Men’s Ultimate Wins Over Ohio StateBy Edmund Chou
The MIT Men’s Ultimate team knocked off 2001 national qualifier Ohio State last week in the team’s first major national tournament of the season.
MIT topped Northwestern 13-8 with strong man-to-man defense and physical play to open the tournament. Fordham was not particularly competitive, falling 13-2. MIT worked on its zone defense against Fordham, but was never really tested.
Against Ohio State, MIT found some strong competition. The score was nearly even the whole game, with MIT taking a 7-6 lead into halftime, but OSU rallied with three scores in a row to take a 9-7 lead in the second. MIT refocused and stopped their momentum, bringing it back to 11-11. The team easily scored 12-11 going downwind and then marched upwind to score the winning goal.
MIT opens second day with win
The following day, MIT played St. Olaf and came out trying to use a clam zone defense, but didn’t get too many opportunities and playing a 2-3-2 cup zone turned out to be a better choice. MIT started strong enough to take the first two points and swapped until it was 4-2. St. Olaf went on a strong run to take the lead at 4-6 and the best MIT could do was rally back a point, letting St. Olaf take the half at 5-7. Most of the turnovers were execution errors rather than decisions errors, but there were a few too many turns, which St. Olaf capitalized on. MIT played the second half was much stronger as they came back to score four in a row to lead 9-7. St. Olaf caught up and tied the game at 11-11. The MIT zone offense looked much better was able to score an upwind point to take the game to 12-11, before beating the opposing zone defense to win 13-11.
Middlebury was a very fast team and MIT was able to run with them with plenty of subbing to keep fresh legs in the game. The team threw a clam against Middlebury, and it worked great. It took two swilly throws and two lucky skies for them to score. MIT only had four turns in the first half, making it was no coincidence that Middlebury was up 7-3 at the half. They were very unforgiving whenever MIT turned the disc. MIT stepped up the defense and got a few more turns out of them, while punching in a few points, but not enough to get that close. The final score was 7-13, the first loss of the season. Against Lawrence College, there wasn’t much competition, and MIT won 13-1 to close the day.
Engineers fall to Oregon
On Thursday, MIT beat Middlebury B 13-1 before taking on top five team Oregon. Oregon had no obvious weakness and a good chance to win it all. They were fast, tall, and athletic -- great throws, great hands, sick layouts, and they could play short and long.
MIT came out focused and fired up. There was a quick turn on a huck allowing Oregon to score the first point, but MIT came back with the next three. The clam and cup zone (2-3-2) defenses gave MIT three turns in a row, and MIT was able to convert them all into points. After going down 3-1, Oregon responded with a few points of their own. The first half was heavily contested and ended at 6-7 with Oregon in the lead. The level of play was excellent, except for two very critical turns on MIT’s own goal lines, which Oregon was able to take 70 yards and convert to scores.
MIT came out pretty strong after half and scored a few points to tie the game at nine, but Oregon pushed ahead and turned the game to 10-12 with MIT receiving. There was a near score where Matthias Craig G made a great end zone grab and almost scored, but the “in” call was contested. MIT couldn’t finish the point, and Oregon won the game at 10-13.
Next came Wisconsin Stevens’s Point, where MIT blew an early 4-1 lead and barely took half at 7-6 before Wisconsin SP ran away with the game. MIT ended up losing this game 9-13 with some pretty unfocused ultimate, apparently the result of an obvious letdown after the game with Oregon. So despite the three losses, MIT made it to the final four bracket with Middlebury, Oregon, and Wisconsin SP.
Team forced to miss semifinals
Unfortunately, the MIT team had an early flight on Thursday and had to leave without playing in the semifinals. Oregon took Wisconsin pretty easily winning 13-7. St. Olaf played in MIT’s stead against Middlebury for the semifinals. The final was Oregon over Middlebury by a score of 13-7.