UCF took down Minnesota in the major Pool B matchup of the afternoon
May 23, 2015 by Simon Pollock in Coverage with 1 comments
Florida State 15 -11 Maryland
In the final round of Pool C, Florida State asserted their talent and experience over Maryland in a 15-11 win that was not as close as the score suggests. Oregon was more or less handed a berth into prequarters, as they took on the second and third line players of North Carolina and won 15-5.
Florida State broke right out of the gate for a 1-0 lead, but Maryland came right back with a quick 2-0 run to put the game back on serve. There was a steady crosswind, but neither team seemed to care much as Florida State handed in their own 2-0 run to go up 3-2. The teams stayed even for just a few lingering points, scoring downwind until FSU broke to make it 6-4, then took over the half, up 8-5 at the break.
If you’ve been following our coverage of DUF so far this weekend, you know the names that made the difference early. Chris Larocque continued his POTY-worthy performance this weekend, along with the familiar duo of Andrew Roney and Connor Holcombe helping to run the show and combining for big scores. Brian Phillips has played well as a reset handler, occasionally using his size downfield when he drew the mismatch, and Bobby Patterson faired well filling in for Jason Holleran on the O-line, mostly working out of the stack instead of working as a reset player on the D-line.
As much as the FSU offense was in command of the game, Maryland struggled with throwaways after the early back and forth of the game. Mark Lin didn’t play as big a role as he may have wanted, although Eric Biggs did, as Biggs helped orchestrate a late 4-0 in the second for Maryland. FSU had subbed in a host of rookies that scored to make the game 13-7 beforehand, and Maryland took advantage by leaving in their starters and trying to get the late game push.
At 13-11, both Larocques, Holcombe, and Roney came back in and put the game away with a 2-0 run, knocking Maryland out of contention for the bracket and pushing themselves into a familiar matchup in prequarters with Texas A&M.
Central Florida 15 -10 Minnesota
Central Florida and Minnesota entered their round 4 contest 3-0 and assured of advancing into the elimination rounds but anxious to win the Pool B crown and, with it, the bye into the quarterfinal round; though technically independent with having a bye to quarters, 23 of the past 24 men’s division pool play winners have then advanced to the semifinals.
UCF jumped out to an early 2 break and never looked back. The first half featured UCF firmly establishing their deep game via the usual suspects: Stuart Little and Michael Fairley used their height and speed to haul in hucks from Jeremy Langdon and Brawley Adams. After cashing in those goals, Little and Fairley were giving ample respect deep from Grey Duck and proceeded to work the underneath game. Langdon in particular starred for the Dogs of War, feeding his receivers passes and scoring goals himself.
The storyline of this game has to be that UCF effectively outclassed Grey Duck, applying more pressure on defense (and generating the turns that go with it) and taking better care of the disc on offense with better execution. UCF also threw a zone that Minnesota had little answer for, resulting in turn-heavy points that stiffled offensive rhythm. The Dogs of War took the lead early, extended it, and put the game functionally out of reach by the middle of the second half. Toward the end of the match Minnesota captain and primary thrower Josh Klane, who has battled injuries for the year, was sitting out O-points despite just a 4-goal differential.
Central Florida will be happy to receive their bye to quarters, but must be ready for a big test in the morning as they are set to face the winner of UNC-Wilmington vs. Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Grey Duck will play to keep their tournament hopes alive this evening against Pool C 3rd place finisher Oregon Ego.
Texas A&M 15 – 9 Western Washington
Texas A&M Dozen faced off against Western Washington Dirt in what was functionally an elimination game, with the winner advancing 3rd out of Pool B and the loser going to consolation. In what one would have suspected to be an intense affair, both teams came out relatively flat. The game was upwind/downwind to begin with gusts that were enough to give the upwind defense a tangible advantage. A&M jumped out to an early lead on the strength of what has to be considered standard Matt Bennett magic. Big hucks, hammers, and tight-window breaks drove Dozen to a lead, augmented a few hustle-play second chance goals where they came down with deflected discs. After getting out to an 8-4 halftime lead, Dozen cruised and was content to trade with Dirt. They kept Dalton Smith and Bennett on the O-line and successfully kept Dirt down by avoiding breaks. Meanwhile, WWU Callahan nominee Matt Russell turned in an average performance for Dirt; he was a centerpiece, but never quite took over the game to will Dirt back into it.
With their win, #2 overall seed Texas A&M managed to scrape by and advance as the third seed out of Pool B. They will face a strong Florida State in pre-quarters this evening. WWU is eliminated from contention early in their first appearance at Nationals, finishing 4th in their pool.
**With assistance from Cody Mills.