On The Grind: How Machine’s Defense Got The Team To Its First Final

New personnel, improved flexibility led to banner year for Machine's D-line.

Chicago Machine’s Von Alanguilan makes the improbable catch block. Photo: Jeff Bell — UltiPhotos.com

Ultiworld’s club men’s postseason coverage is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author. Gear up for your big games, your tournament parties, and everything in between at Spin Ultimate!

It’s 11-10, Sockeye, in the men’s national championship game and, after having a foul call upheld on Chicago Machine’s goal line, Matt Rehder throws a short lefty backhand to Matty Russell to put Seattle one point away from a championship.

Except that’s not what happened.

A white jersey flew in and speared the disc to give Chicago’s defense another shot to tie the game at 11. It was a game-defining play by Machine veteran Von Alanguilan, a play that would set up Machine’s 35th and final defensive conversion of the weekend. Thirty five breaks. That was the aggregate number the men’s division runner up had in their six games at Nationals. It’s a number that sums up how much Chicago relied on their defense to win and how well their defensive unit operated in the 2019 season. Chicago grew out of the strong offensive mold they’ve had over the last decade into a team that was able to go pound for pound against the best offenses in the country and beat them.

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  1. Hugo Sowder
    Hugo Sowder

    A former player out of UNC Asheville and founder of Seven on the Line Productions LLC., Hugo has been involved in the North Carolina ultimate scene since 2010. As a freelance filmmaker and content creator he hopes to give back to the sport and community that's given so much to him. You can follow his adventures at https://twitter.com/Hugosowder

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