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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

CUT and Syzygy defend Sectional titles as GOP upsets Minnesota

<ast weekend all six of Carleton’s intercollegiate Ultimate teams attended the sectionals tournament in Maple Plain, Minnesota. This first step in the UPA Championship series would determine which teams get to attend regionals, which takes place at Carleton 6th weekend. With over 130 Carls participating, excitement was in the air and all 6 teams got off to good starts.

CUT, GOP and Syzygy rolled through their first games on Saturday with posting overall scores of 44-11, 44-7, and 52-4 respectively through their first four games. Eclipse, Nova and Hot Karls also played very well. Eclipse went 2-2 beating St. Thomas and Gustavus. Nova went 0-4 but played Gustavus very close and Hot Karls struggled early but managed to get a win in their 5th game of the day.

The women’s schedule only had four games on Saturday, but due to the fact that finals would be played at Minnesota’s TCF stadium in Minneapolis, the men’s bracket went all the way through the semi-finals. CUT rolled, beating St. Johns 11-3. However, only two fields over, GOP was in an epic struggle with the University of Minnesota, in what would end up being, perhaps the greatest game to date in the teams 16 year history.

Minnesota had entered the tournament ranked #3 in the nation, with hopes of challenging CUT for the sectional title. They came into the semi-final game with their offense and defense firing on all cylinders, having won their previous four games with a combined score of 44-10. However, little did they know that the hawaian shirt clad Gods of Plastic were more than ready to meet their challenge, and take the game to the next level.

With a slight wind going up and down the field, both offenses were able to complete their scores and the points went back and forth to 3-3. However, there were plenty of turnovers and with the score at 4-3, GOP got its first defensive break of the game. With captains Andy Cochrane ‘10 and Danny Hoppe ‘11, playing great handler defense and running a very stingy offense, GOP looked ready to pull the game away. When the other Carleton teams finished their games, they began to come to the sideline to cheer on and as GOP took half 6-4, the field was surrounded with almost 100 Carleton fans.

With the sidelines pumping the GOPpers full of energy, GOP came out to take the first point of half and a 7-5 lead. However, some rushed play and handler miscommunication led to Minnesota brining the score to only an 8-7 lead. The scores would go back and forth with some stellar play from freshman Rhys Lindmark and senior James Sheridan making the GOP offense seem unstoppable. At 10-9, all GOP needed was 1 point to get the win, however, Minnesota scored and it became 10-10 game to 12. Both offenses scored and at 11-11 it was double game point with GOP receiving and heading upwind. GOP got the disc and never gave it back as they showed great patience and poise. Finally, from 15 yards out, senior captain Eric Alexander hit sophomore Cory Fauver with a inside out break throw for the huge upset win. The crowd went into a state of delirium as the entire Carleton crowd rushed the field. Not only had GOP beat Minnesota in the greatest upset of their history, but they earned the chance to make the sectionals finals a Carleton special with CUT and GOP going at it at TCF stadium on Sunday.

In the women’s bracket, Syzygy continued its stellar play as they rolled through the finals, winning 13-5 and ended the tournament with only 10 goals scored on them through the entire weekend. Eclipse played well, beating Nova and St Benedict to earn their spot at regionals. Nova was able to get their win for the weekend beating St. Olaf B 13-2.

Hot Karls ended their weekend with very spirited play along with some shows of talent from young players.

About a half an hour from Maple Plain, CUT and GOP were preparing for their first ever match up in the finals of a tournament. CUT came out very strong and with stifling D was able to disrupt GOP’s offense and force some uncharacteristic errors. However, GOP showed some fire on defense as well as they were able to generate breaks against CUT’s offensive line. However, CUT’s defense was too strong and they took half 8-4 and then the game 15-8.

This sent GOP into a rematch with Minnesota. However, GOP was unable to recreate the magic of the previous day, and the 6 previous games had taken a toll. GOP fell behind early, with both offensive and defensive miscues as Minnesota took half 8-3. GOP pulled themselves together in the second half and kept the half even, managing to bring the final score to a respectable 15-9.

All six teams played very well, with CUT, GOP, Syzygy and Eclipse qualifying for regionals. Come out sixth weekend as CUT and Syzygy will look to continue their run of nationals appearances. As well, this year offers a special opportunity as the central region has 4 bids to nationals in the men’s division. With GOP’s recent performance, there is, for the first time ever, the possibility of Carleton sending three teams to the UPA Collegiate Championships.

-Eric Manley is a member of GOP.

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