It was a game of runs, but UBC put down Davis with two sizable strings of dominance.
May 29, 2022 by Finwe Wiedenhoeft in Recap with 0 comments
Our coverage of the 2022 College Series is presented by Spin Ultimate. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and shop at Spin Ultimate!
No.6 British Columbia has established themselves as a sturdy team with the drive to prove themselves at Nationals as the only Canadian team. They have a deep roster, with key players talented enough to run their offense and defense. And they were considered the more likely winner of their prequarter contest against no. 11 UC Davis Rogue entering the weekend. But UC Davis had been able to get the key wins at Nationals that had eluded UBC. With many strategies under their belt, which Rogue used to score many break points, even strong competition yielded to their tough defense.
The Thunderbirds speed helped them fly out of the blocks to build a big lead that proved to be too much for UC Davis to recover from, despite an admirable and spirited comeback. A second UBC run ballooned the score to its final count of 15-8.
UC Davis began the game with a zone setup, as the wind brought the perfect opportunity to force some poor throws, which their aggressive defenders could gobble up. UBC has perfected the art of breaking a zone, however, by crashing through the cup and pulling in downfield players who exchange the disc. Madison Ong, who ended the game with two goals and four assists, had clean upwind throws that were rarely taken by the wind, and initiated movements that gained time for the downfield players to establish their own routine.
The first half of the game was very uneven, with UBC pulling ahead thanks to agile handlers and fast disc movement through both zone and person defense. Davis could not keep up with UBC’s well-practiced flow and assertiveness that kept them one step ahead. UBC themselves pushed hard to stay honest on defense and they succeeded, taking away options that Rogue looked to downfield with their relentless pressure. Forcing quick turns allowed them to pull ahead and maintain a comfortable 8-2 lead.
After half, UCD reoriented themselves. The game was not going in their favor and they knew they had to do something to change its course. They found a new gear within themselves to push harder to run through defensive plays and make some difficult snags, and to make and chase down deep throws despite the windy conditions. UCD’s Rani Shah both threw and chased down these throws, with the perfect understanding of the wind in order to control the disc.
These plays inspired a series of breaks. A 6-3 run for Rogue to 11-8 pulled them within range of UBC, a massive comeback for a team that had seemed to be outclassed. The excitement on the field had doubled, both teams were anxious to gain points. It felt like the game’s potential turning point: the Thunderbirds could shrink from the moment, as could Davis, or one or both teams could take control.
UBC proved they were capable of the latter, ending the series of Davis breaks with their talented throwers and determined receivers. They didn’t allow a single point to be scored against them after that, and impressive show of discipline from the Canadians.