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2018 College Championships: Men’s Quarterfinal Recap

By: Grant Lindsley

Brown v. Oregon

Far and away the most entertaining quarterfinal. Defensive intensity created more turnovers than unforced errors, with Xander Cuizon Tice running through an under for an early Ego D, shortly followed by a fantastic layout block from Azeez Adeyemi to save a Brown offensive hold. Numerous Brown players smeared eye black on their lips, lending a crazed, if not bruised, up-close aesthetic. Ego’s Will Lohre seemed unfazed, however, hitting his signature stutter-step up-line cut to tie the game at 6s on Ego’s way to a narrow lead at halftime, 8-7. Brown’s Mac Hecht threw a fast, looping flick huck to a diving John Randolph, who couldn’t quite reel it in for the score. Brown’s offense generally hinged on the success of the Hecht-Randolph connection. On defense, Brown’s Ned Dick came up with an unbelievable layout block on a pass through Brown’s zone D, colliding with a late-approaching Ego popper who helicoptered Dick’s body to the ground: team misconduct foul on Ego. Hecht and Randolph strung together up-line cuts for the break and the momentum, 10-11 Ego. Ego seemed poised for a collapse, but Adam Rees saved a wide flick to help Ego hold on offense, and then Noah Coolman’s gorgeous layout D flying by a break-side Brown cutter allowed Ego to flex, up 13-10. Brown generated an Ego drop for the would-be winning pass in a congested end-zone offense, converting for the goal (Hecht to Randolph, no surprise) to bring the game within one, 14-13 Ego. Star players on both sides took injury subs at times – Hecht and Ayemi for Brown, Lohre for Oregon – a cause for concern for whichever team would face a more-rested opponent in the semis. Ego held on for a 15-13 victory and a berth in the semifinals of the College Championships, against the winner of…

UNC v. Washington

Washington started off hot with a gloved Jake Steen reaching high for the first goal and a Sundodger hold on offense. On the next point, UNC Darkside’s side stack transitioned smoothly into a horizontal flow, and their clinical offense, while not spectacular, went unchallenged. UNC’s effective zone created late stall counts for Washington, who continued to find themselves trapped on the sidelines and might have struggled even more if not for Nick Roberts, who zinged a line-drive, cross-field hammer to escape the zone and score Washington’s second goal. No turnovers in the first six points led to a 3-3 tie, but the mood was of UNC’s D line chopping at the tottering tree of Washington’s skilled-yet-shallow O line. Sure enough, two Washington turns led to two quick UNC breaks and a 5-3 lead, UNC still without a single turnover after eight points. Darkside pushed their lead to three by halftime and showed no signs of wavering. Despite a late, great grab by Lucas Chen over UNC’s Callahan finalist Nathan Kwon to bring the Sundodgers within four, Washington could not find a way to crack UNC’s offense. Final score: 15-11. UNC to face Oregon in the first semifinal of the day.

Carleton v. Georgia

Carleton CUT worked an early break, then another one, and then another one. While the play was somewhat sloppy, with multiple dropped passes and throwaways on both sides, it was even more lopsided. Joe White leapt and reached over and around a defender with the grace of a grand jeté for one of the most impressive CUT breaks. Carleton found a comfortable halftime lead, 8-3, but was Jojah brewing a historic lull? Four points later, @JojahUltimate tweeted “12-3 we got em right where we want them.” Alas, no secret weapon materialized, and Carleton twirled on to a 15-4 win. In the second semifinal, Carleton faces the winner of…

Pittsburgh v. Wisconsin

Pitt won. It wasn’t close. Pitt looked as energetic as Wisconsin looked drained. With a commanding 5-0 lead and all the momentum, Pitt cruised past the Hodags for a 15-8 victory. Pitt, an overall nine seed in the tournament, secured their place in the top four and hopes to upset Carleton in order reach the championship game.

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