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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

GOP repeats as D-3 National Champions

<ast weekend, the Gods of Plastic ultimate team headed to Appleton, Wisconsin to participate in the UPA Division-III collegiate ultimate championships. This was the first year that the championship was run by the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), with the previous years championships being privately run. GOP came into the tournament the defending champions, but the move to being a UPA event meant that the competition would be much stronger and a repeat would be no easy feat. After a strong regionals run that had put GOP only two points from qualifying for D-I nationals, GOP was the #1 overall seed.

On Saturday GOP proved that their high seeding was no fluke winning their three pool-play games by an aggregate score of 45-14. This put them in a quarterfinals match up against Lehigh to start out Sunday. GOP came out strong and didn’t let up, taking an early lead and winning 15-5. GOP then faced Kenyon, in the semi-finals. Kenyon had a strong roster, including a standout from the 2008 junior national team. However, they were not match for GOP’s depth and GOP took an early lead and didn’t let go, winning 15-6.

The finals pitted GOP against the Whitman Sweets from Walla-Walla Washington. The game started at midday as the temperature creeped near the 90’s and the humidity hovered around 100%. With a pretty constant upwind-downwind setup, it was clear that the team that could demonstrate the ability to score upwind would prove the victor. Whitman relied on a huck heavy offense that made it so GOP would never get to work with a short field. The game stayed on serve, as both offenses were able to convert their downwind points. However, some miscues and stupid decisions by the offensive line allowed Whitman to get two breaks to take a 6-3 lead. 6-3 became 7-4, and then GOP went on a run. Despite some marathon points, that took 15-20 minutes, GOP refused to let up. With consistent handling from Danny Hoppe, Kevin Draper and Nate King and downfield dominance by Andrew Hooker and Martin Granick, GOP was able to take four straight points to take half 8-7.

The first half had taken so long that the game had reached its “soft-cap” making it a game to 11. GOP held its downwind offensive points and finally with the 10-9 lead, senior captain Andy Cochrane hit senior captain Eric Alexander for the tournament-winning goal. This capped the most successful season in the Gods of Plastic’s history and GOP will look to be back next year to defend the title. 

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