The excitement in Pool D continued as UMass upset Colorado to take the pool, while UNCW barely stayed alive by winning on universe against UCSB.
May 23, 2015 by Patrick Stegemoeller and Preston Thompson in Coverage with 3 comments
Massachusetts 15 – 12 Colorado
Massachusetts’s Zoodisc met Colorado Mamabird in a battle to decide the winner of Pool D. Both teams came off of wins this morning that put them at 3-0 on the weekend, but only one team would emerge unscathed.
The game started out at a frantic pace, with both teams willing to take deep shots at a moment’s notice. This benefited UMass’s play style, as they are a team much more comfortable working the deep game, while Colorado generally plays a more conservative, grinding, style of offense.
To start the game Mamabird was able to match UMass shot for shot, with Pawel Janas having a great game both throwing and chasing down hucks. After each team got a break to start the game, the score was on serve through 6-6. Colorado received the pull, and UMass came down in the zone they played sporadically throughout the first half. Pawel Janas threw a scoober over the top to an open cutter, but the Mamabird receiver made a costly drop and UMass quickly made Colorado pay when Jeff Babbitt roasted his mark on an upline cut for the break.
Drops have been a problem for Colorado all weekend, and it something they will need to straighten out in bracket play.
The teams traded holds to a 10-9 UMass lead when a floaty Colorado huck was D’ed, and Massachusetts’s Ben Sadok launched a huge backhand into the endzone for a break that gave UMass an 11-9 lead. This point was emblematic of the problem Colorado had in the game: they let their opponent dictate the pace of play. UMass wanted to play a more wide open game than Mamabird and instead of grinding out the game, Colorado tried to match Zoodisc huck for huck — to their own detriment.
While Colorado was throwing more turnovers than their gameplan called for, Massachusetts’s Dline played lights out once they got the disc in their hands. Ben Sadok, Zoodisc’s best thrower, played both ways for much of the second half and had an incredible game. He had a hand in almost every UMass break, as they gradually expanded their lead through the second half.
With the score 14-12 UMass was receiving for game, and after Jeff Babbitt caught an incut, he launched a flick huck towards Sadok, who had taken off deep from the handler position. It appeared as though the disc would hit the ground before Sadok could make a play on it, but a small gust of wind popped the disc up just enough to let Sadok make a spectacular layout grab in the endzone that sealed the win and the pool for UMass.
UNC Wilmington 14 – 13 UC Santa Barbara
After the fourth overall seed Wilmington dropped their morning game to Massachusetts, they were put into an elimination game with UC Santa Barbara Black Tide for third place in pool D and the last berth in pre-quarters.
Based on seeding and UCSB’s lackluster performance throughout most of the weekend it appeared that this game would largely be a formality, more of an opportunity for Wilmington to regroup after two straight losses than the heart stopping drama that usually accompanies elimination games. UC Santa Barbara’s inspired performance put an end to that narrative — and almost to Wilmington’s season.
Both teams came out well on offense, Wilmington connected on deep shots at will while UCSB matched them point for point by grinding in cuts and working the breakside. Wilmington would finally break just before half, as a heat seeking missile that left Xavier Maxstadt’s hand found Jack Williams just inbounds on the side of the endzone to give Wilmington an 8-6 lead at half.
Wilmington would score again out of half, this time it was Luke Hancock hitting Jack Williams deep, and down 9-6 UCSB was on the verge of letting the game get away from them. They responded with a patient offensive point, eventually putting in a break side swing to Hunter Corbett for the score. The next point Black Tide’s Bailey Wu came through with a gigantic layout D that lead to UCSB’s first break of the game — and a one point game.
The teams would trade points until UCSB was able to grind out another break to make the game 11-11. Wilmington’s offense was playing hard defense and making UCSB’s Dline earn every yard after turnovers, but the Black Tide players fought hard and tied up the game.
With the game capped at 14, Wilmington just needed to hold for three more points to win, while UCSB needed to get another break. After several points where both teams had chances to get a break, the game came down to 13-13, double game point.
Maxstadt lined up downfield as a cutter for Wilmington and after receiving an incut sent a flick huck to Jack Williams just outside the endzone by the flick side cone. Then, with the stall count climbing, Williams found Cale Ward on the force side in the endzone for the game winning goal that sent UNCW into prequarters and eliminated UCSB.
Santa Barbara player their best game of the weekend, but it wasn’t quite enough to knock off a Wilmington team that, despite its struggles, is still alive and in contention.
Auburn 15 – 11 Texas
Auburn got their first win of Nationals at the end of Day 2 against a Texas team that had locked up the top seed in the Pool. Texas rested their starters, but Auburn still managed to win with open lines. 10 of Auburns 15 assists came from players that will be returning next year, and the same goes for 12 of their 15 goals. Standouts were Sophomore Michael Volz (1 assist, 3 Goals, 1 D) and Freshman Eric Sjostrom (2 assists, 1 goal, 2 D’s). Texas gave their younger players experience in preparation for their next matchup: the winner of the Oregon v. Minnesota.