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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Ultimate teams head to warm climates, start season off strong

<ite the cold harsh winters, the various Carleton ultimate teams have been busy spending hours in the rec training and yearning to get outside and play on a real field. Those hours have paid off as CUT, GoP, and Syzygy were finally able to leave the rec and traveled in the past two weeks to play in warmer climates. Midterm ago CUT and GoP headed out to the supposedly warm climate of Las Vegas to let loose and play three full days of ultimate, while Syzygy spent their President’s Day weekend in San Diego taking some time at the beach in addition to a weekend full of ultimate.

In Vegas, CUT came ready to play and determined to compete against the best in the nation. With the slightly bizarre tournament setup, CUT was slated to play seven scheduled games against other top tier opponents, from there seven teams, in somewhat arbitrary pools, would advance to the championship bracket, as would one other team that played a 64-team double elimination bracket for the final spot. GoP was placed in this 64-team bracket, and unfortunately was eliminated from contention for the championship bracket on this first day, but continued out the tournament strong winning many games in the consolation brackets.

CUT’s lineup of games was against Western Washington, Stanford, Colorado, Tufts, University of British Columbia (UBC), Florida, and UC-Santa Cruz. CUT went 7-0 including huge wins over Colorado and Florida, a semifinalist and finalist, respectively, from last years UPA National Championship.

For all teams in Vegas, games on Saturday and Sunday were played in terrible conditions. It rained extensively Friday night into Saturday, creating fields of mud rather than grass we had hoped for. In addition to the mud and rain, the temperature hovered in the 50s and there was a fairly strong wind. This made for tough conditions throughout the weekend for all teams. But teams prevailed through these conditions slightly altering their strategies and plans to account for the conditions.

After dominating play in scheduled games, CUT entered the championship as one of two undefeated teams, and played their quarterfinals game against Pittsburgh. CUT came out with intense defense, which coupled with the wind overwhelmed Pitt’s offense as CUT took the first half 8-2. Carleton’s own offense ran into a little difficulty as well, but their defense was able to win the disc back and score. CUT continued their strong play in the second half, closing the game out 15-8.

In the semifinals, CUT was matched up against Colorado again. The conditions got slightly better as the sun came out and wind died down, but the mud pit of a field still made it difficult to run. Both teams came out firing, and mostly trading points, but CUT took half 8-7. The out of the half, CUT came out with impeccable offense to make it 9-7. But Colorado came right back scoring two in a row to bring it to 9-9; at this point the round had ended, thus forcing one final point. Both teams put their best lines on the field, but CUT had a quick turn and Colorado was able to capitalize, and scored winning 10-9. This set up a final of Florida vs. Colorado, two teams that CUT defeated in the first rounds.

It was a successful weekend for CUT, being outside for the first time since late November. CUT will next see the light of grass fields 9th weekend, when they travel to California for the Stanford Invite.

Syzygy has also been hard at work training and waiting for any chance to get outside. They headed to warm San Deigo for the Pres Day Invitational. Syzygy has been a little short on numbers this year, and for many of their rookies this was their first opportunity against big time competition. Syzygy came out strong in their first game with a tough 10-11 defeat, but Syzygy bounced back in the next round with a 13-9 defeat of Colorado. In the third round Syzygy met their match again loosing 11-7 to Stanford. But Carleton finished out pool play with a 13-7 win over Sonoma State to bring their pool record to 2-2.

The their pre-quarters match, Syzygy was paired up with UCLA, but unfortunately Syzygy lost their second game of the tournament by one, loosing 11-10. Although eliminated from Championship contention Syzygy finished the tournament strong winning the 9th place bracket with a 13-1 win over Illinois and 9-4 win over Southern California.

Syzygy will next be in action March 7, as they travel to St. Louis for the Midwest Throwdown. All of the ultimate teams are also excitedly waiting for Spring Break to travel to their respective warm climates. CUT and Syzygy will be heading to Texas, while GoP will be going to Georgia. But until then all teams will have to bear through many more tough practices in the rec and west gym.

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