A UMass ZooDisc player celebrates after scoring at the Stanford Invite earlier this spring. Photo by Rodney Chen of UltiPhotos.com.
Some delayed words on the tournament from three weekends ago.
- Saturday was a beautiful day for ultimate, Sunday not so much due to rain. The fields held up surprisingly well for the amount of rain that fell though, something you can’t say for a lot of field sites. When talking with Greg Vassar (UNCW coach and the TD), he wasn’t too worried about overuse at the field site between High Tide and then the upcoming DIII Easterns events.
- Cook Out was only a 20-minute drive from the fields. #blessed
- As has always been the case, it was a well-run tournament and keeps getting better over the years.
- The most interesting result of the tournament is going to be how weekend performances affected bid implications.
- How much stock should be placed in the final results though? UMass is without a doubt one of the best teams in the nation, especially with Babbit back at their disposal, but figuring out where Pittsburgh, Florida, and Stanford fit into the conversation is difficult after this weekend.
- Pittsburgh hit a UNCW team that caught fire after some not so stellar results the rest of the weekend.
- Florida looks like the best team out of their region, but depending on who they hit at Nationals and/or if they don’t take the #1 spot at regionals in a few weekends, an early exit seems like a possibility.
- Stanford has a really impressive win over UNC-W from this tournament, but where does the North Carolina loss fit in? Just very confused as to where to place this team.
- North Carolina confuses me too. Not sure how seriously to take them, and what their ceiling possibly could be. Watching them, or even just straight looking at their results, their spot nationally just doesn’t have a solid placement to me.
- And then you have teams like Georgia, Harvard, Central Florida, Colorado and Florida State.
- Georgia is the only one of those teams to have made the championship bracket after an impressive showing in Pool D, and took 5th via forfeit, but the blowout loss to UMass looks bad when trying to consider any possible ceiling for the end of their season. Jeff Haskell was a very impressive cutter, though I worry that the Philadelphia Flyers hat he wears will someday have a negative effect on his play. After Florida, is Georgia the best team out of the Southeast? (Yes.)
- Harvard’s 15-8 loss to Minnesota was costly, with the -5 point differential costing them a shot at the championship bracket. But then following that up with a 13th place finish after a loss to Florida State in the 9th place bracket stings even more. After the Stanford Invite, Harvard could conceivably be thought of as a quarterfinalist at the College Championships - now, I think, a challenger in pre-quarters. The most impressive aspect of their play this weekend was their defense’s offense, which functioned seamlessly without crossing over any offensive-line players.
- Central Florida played each of Minnesota and Harvard extremely close, while beating UConn and losing definitively to Georgia to end their Saturday. They are without a doubt one of the weaker Central Florida teams of the past few seasons, but that still doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of more. Like Harvard, prequarters during Nationals may be where they finish, but with Andrew Roca at the helm and a strong core of players, a surprise trip to quarterfinals isn’t unreasonable.
- Notice that the last three teams were all in Pool D - what a great pool that was. Colorado may not be the national powerhouse this season, but they still have the makings to be a team that disrupts on the national level and the future is certainly still bright.
- Florida State isn’t the team they’ve been in years past, but still brings it in each and every game.
- Trent Dillon is still the favorite I think for the Callahan and any other end of season individual award. Talking with a Wilmington parent during their quarterfinal game against Pittsburgh, they remarked just how blown away they were with his determination in that game - a game Pitt lost. I hope the Ultiworld cameras caught his hat kick-spike during the marathon second-to-last point of the game (they did).
- After Trent, who else from this tournament is in the conversation? Babbitt from UMass, who will be Trent’s main challenger, Maxstadt from UNC-Wilmington, and possibly Jagt from Minnesota. Maxstadt though will undoubtably have his national standing hurt from the controversy that got played up post-Easterns.
- It’s great to see Mike Gerics back at it, he observed games all weekend long. Wonder if he’ll be doing regionals or even nationals with its location and all.
I only caught a few points sparingly of pool play on Saturday and the finals on Sunday, but UNC-Wilmington seemed a class above the rest of the competition.