D-I College Championships 2024: Day Two Centering Pass (Men’s Div.)

A sunny day at Reddan Soccer Park brought tight games and startling upsets as the curtains closed on pool play. Tomorrow: the bracket

Austin Gin is enthusiastic about scoring a goal for Minnesota in their 15-8 romp over Massachusetts at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Grey Duck Dad

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Welcome to Centering Pass, Ultiworld’s articles covering tournament news and event stories you need to know.

VERONA, WI – As promised by the forecasters, the players and spectators who suffered through a miserable day of waiting (with scattered outbreaks of ultimate) on Friday were treated to one of the prettiest days in recorded human history. Somehow, the frisbee was even better than the weather. Here’s a rundown of the top happenings – of many – in the men’s division today.

Grey Duck: Titan Slayers

#9 Minnesota Grey Duck started Saturday with a thud. A clunky universe point loss at the hands of the same #14 California Ursa Major side that spent hours1 getting pasted in their first game did not augur well for the rest of the day. And then Grey Duck found whatever was ailing them, ripped it from their systems, tied it up in a burlap sack, and tossed it into the Big Woods of Wisconsin.

The Grey Duck that fought to come back against #2 Pittsburgh En Sabah Nur from down 8-5 and 13-11 to win on universe – have you seen that ending?!2 – was a different breed from the one that waddled. But Darwin’s darlings weren’t done evolving. They mutated into monsters for a too-hot-for-TV3 destruction of #4 UMass Zoodisc to close out the day, making the 2023 finalists look like first-timers in front of a boisterous pro-Minnesota crowd and stealing Pool C’s free pass into quarters.

Making CUTs: Carleton Kicked Out of Contention

What do you think of when you think of #10 Carleton CUT? History, certainly. Recruiting, perhaps. And, lately, let-downs at Nationals. The woes continued for CUT on Saturday – they skidded to a halting 0-4 to miss the bracket in spectacular fashion.

They were one of the division’s four teams who didn’t get a game in on Friday, so all of their troubles were packed into a single day. Those troubles included coming all the way back from 8-2 against #16 NC State… only to lose on universe point; an injury scare for star Declan Miller that, while it turned out not to be tournament-ending, kept him out of much of the game against WashU that should have been a bounceback; and a, frankly, clearly-not-good-enough effort against #5 Oregon Ego. They were out before they even took the field against Georgia for the last round. Yikes.

Triangle of Success: The Undefeateds

Footloose and drama-free, three of the division’s best managed to avoid the upset bug that plagued the rest of the teams at the complex: #1 Georgia Jojah, #3 North Carolina Darkside, and #6 Cal Poly SLO SLOCORE. How did they step so carefully through the minefield that was pool play?

The Undefeateds are good, to begin with. Cal Poly-SLO pinned the defensive intensity meter at the limit early and often, and the offense built a perfect replica of North Carolina-style red zone sets to go with the Calvin Brown and Anton Orme deep tossing. Georgia have a new superstar take a spin across the spotlight every game and some of the most fluid (and therefore unpredictable) lines in the division. And Darkside? Yeah. They know how to play at Nationals. The reward is an extra round of rest after a brutally long day.

Quick Hits

  • Holy Great Lakes! Bottom-seeded Michigan MagnUM cashed the check they began to write with Friday’s upset of #12 Vermont Chill by leapfrogging both Vermont and #17 Penn State Spank to reach the bracket.
  • Ben Thoennes of #13 Oregon State Beavers topped the assist table from pool play with 20 (one ahead of #7 Brown Brownian Motion’s Leo Gordon) after tallying a healthy six against Brown to close out the day. UNC’s Eli Fried holds the lead for goals with 17.
  • Nationals newcomers #11 Alabama-Huntsville Nightmares and #24 Ottawa Gee-Gees joined Carleton in the 0-4 club. Building character for future runs.

  1. Literally, if you include the delays 

  2. Or better yet, rewatch the whole thing 

  3. But not too hot to stream 

  1. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

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