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MagnUM stops by Axton, VA for Easterns Qualifier on our way to St. Augustine, FL for spring break. Coming off a poor showing at QCTU, followed by a couple weeks to reestablish our team’s mentality, we were ready to take back our name.
Michigan came out loud and strong against NC State. This was an opportunity to avenge one of our losses from QCTU, and we were ready. Haji started off the morning with one of the best pump up speeches we’ve ever heard. After that, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind we would kill it this weekend. MagnUM played hard the whole game with notable improvements in the zone offense and man defense. We made our statement with a max power win.
Carrying momentum into the next game, MagnUM played energetic and loud ultimate against Toledo. Toledo played with a short roster (9 players) and tired out quickly. We took home a quick win leading into a two-round bye with about a five hour wait. Players headed out to get food, then back to the hotel for an early afternoon rest.
Everyone was a little worried how we would come out after such a long break, but with the whole afternoon to focus for one game and an extended warm up, we got ready to play. This was our third game in pool play, played on a showcase field, and during the transition from daylight to under the lights. Exciting! The game started out mostly upwind-downwind with both teams trading points until just before half. Brown took half on a break, but after half MagnUM quickly answered back with two breaks (9-8)! Credit owed to Matt Orr for a nasty layout d and score for the second break. Both teams’ o-lines held putting the game to 11-11. After a couple long points and a break by Brown, MagnUM o-line was looking tired. Soft cap goes on at 12-13, and we battled for a break. The d-line generated three turns from Brown, but no conversion comes of it. Brown finished us off with a quick huck to win 13-15.
Another opportunity to avenge a loss from QCTU, MagnUM woke up early and got ready to do work. The game was a little windy, but MagnUM played decent offense and very solid defense the whole game. We pulled ahead quickly and kept working hard to extend the lead. Once again, Michigan shows we are a new team – one with energy, positivity, and spirit. Finished off App State with a max power win.
We weren’t sure if we would see UConn in this quarters game, in which case EQ would have been QCTU all over again! SUNY-Buffalo ended up winning their pool after beating UConn 15-12, so it was not QCTU all over again. Our Michigan squad had not seen Green Eggs and Ham before, so we were unsure what to expect from their players. Luckily, we knew what to expect from our team, and that was hard work, a loud sideline, and awesome defense. O-line played clean and d-line generated lots of turns. Daniel DeTone showed everyone he’s been working on his upwind flick by throwing numerous forehand hucks for breaks. Finished off SUNY-Buffalo after tiring them out. Keep up the good work.
We were now in the semis, ready to face an undefeated team, and one of the best at the tournament. The game started out very close, mostly trading points downwind. The Seamen took half 7-8, and I believe they were up one break. But that didn’t slow us down much. We came out of half very strong and our defense kept working their offense. Around 10-10, MagnUM o-line got the jitters and dropped a couple discs, leading to breaks for UNC-W. The opponents led 10-13 with the soft cap just on the horizon. Michigan adjusted their lineups slightly in order to rest some of the o-line players for the upcoming and important d points. After putting in the score on offense, we had to overcome a significant late game deficit (11-13). With great effort, and lots of turnovers, MagnUM d-line rattled off two breaks, putting the game at 13-13. UNC-W offense was back to working the disc downwind, and they had no trouble putting it in to make it 13-14. Our offense stepped out for one last stand, but UNC-W took the disc and put it in the end zone once again to take a spot in finals. Off to the third place game for a rematch against Brown.
With the two finalist teams (UNC-W and Ohio) already holding a bid to Easterns, the third place game was the place to win a bid to Easterns! Michigan captains approached Brown before the game to talk logistics. MagnUM had plans to skip Easterns if they earned the bid, and both teams agreed to play a more relaxed game to 13. The pressure of the game was toned down compared to the one from the night before, but Michigan still played with high intensity. With similar wind, the game proceeded just as it had the night before – both teams traded points for most of the game. MagnuM took half (7-6) and pushed forward. Around 10-10, we rattled off two breaks led by the d-line superstars DeTone, Jamp, and Schecht. Finished the game 13-10 with a sigh of relief and spring break only an eight hour drive away.
Off to St. Augustine, FL for a week in the sun. Looking forward to having Coach Ricky at our next tournament (New England Open).
Ed. Note: Michigan had a rough showing at QCTU, failing to make it into the championship bracket and losing their first round on Sunday. The poor showing was compounded by some angry players, which put the blame for their loss to Connecticut on observers.
A Michigan captain also yelled obscenities at the tournament director, Michelle Ng, due to the Sunday format, which left Michigan with two byes after their Sunday loss (because a team dropped out). This post is in response to these incidents.
I joined MagnUM in 2009 as a graduate of the Amherst Regional High School Ultimate program. I was immediately enamored with the team at Michigan because of how much like that program this one was: a team that cared as much about spirit as it did about winning. Here I found the same ideals, the same drive for greatness and respect for the game that I had grown up on, and I loved it.
But MagnUM has always had its rough patches. Just like everywhere else in the college Ultimate world, athletes are snatched up out of tryouts, taught the basics, and thrown out into games to represent their teams and their universities. But something is missing. As many times as we say the word “spirit” it just doesn’t mean the same thing to someone who just picked up the game as it does to someone who grew up breathing it.
When I ran for captain earlier this year it was on a platform of spirit and respect. I sent an email to the team detailing why these words are so important to me and why we had to be better. Last weekend, I realized my efforts to get this idea across had been insufficient.
Disappointment is a part of any sport. As much as we’d love to win every game we play it just doesn’t happen. But my disappointment from this weekend went far beyond that when I reflected on the tournament and realized how negatively other teams had perceived us. I was disappointed in my guys for letting their emotions get in the way of our games and disappointed in myself for ever letting that become a possibility.
For this, MagnUM owes some apologies. We apologize to the observers and TDs at QCTU who were just doing their jobs. We apologize to the other teams that outplayed us and outclassed us. We apologize to our alumni, our fans, and our university for misrepresenting them in our actions. I promise to all of you that next time you see us we will be a better team, both in performance and in spirit.
I want to use this opportunity to let other teams learn from our mistake, whether they’re a group of new Frisbee players or the highest level club athletes in the world. Don’t let spirit die. It is not enough to refrain from having bad spirit; teams need to actively make a positive impact with the way they play the game and treat each other—the way it was meant to be. Maybe the sport is going in the direction of full referees and maybe it won’t look the same in years to come. But no matter what happens, Ultimate will not be Ultimate without Spirit of the Game. We need to take Ultimate Frisbee back to its roots, to remember what makes our sport so great. Let’s not let spirit die.
- Carson Mailler
MagnUM does Queen City Tune-Up. According to Ricky this may be the first season in 10 years he hasn’t made it to this tournament.
The game started out slow. We traded points almost the whole way. We gave up one break, and our d line could not muster any sort of answer. As stated by a NC State player, they implemented a new strategy against us. They threw as many break throws as they possibly could. Without Ricky at the fields, we took more than half the game to recognize the changes we needed to make (start playing zone!). But it was too late…NC State finished us off, leaving us with a loss to the 5 seed in our pool.
Ohio State was a better game, but still not great. We played older players on several of the early d points. We got some momentum rolling, held down on the o-line (except maybe 1 point). Started playing more rookies towards the end. Similar to our game against OSU a couple weekends back. More crushing would be nice.
Connecticut came out very strong and hungry. They out worked us, played more athletically, and they threw SO MANY HAMMERS. We played mostly o points in the first half, could not convert many goals. They were playing zone and shutting down our dump and swing. Half was 7-2 them. We came out after half time on defense. I expected this to be a good momentum shift for us. We played zone right from the start, and it really threw them off. We kept rolling, but due to some chippy calls with LOTS of discussion (including observers) and some well used time outs (by UConn), we fell 1 point short at the end of the game.
“I’m fired up, are you fired up?” We had lots of energy this game. They went up 6-3, but we pulled it back to 7-6 (them) at half time. We fought for the lead right after half, and pulled off a few awesome breaks. Had some good d’s from rookies, including a very notable one from Ben Page. We pulled ahead 10-9 and continued to roll on defense. We converted and put the scoreboard at 12-9. We couldn’t punch it in on the next d point (even though we generated a few turns). We seemed nervous on the next few o points, and they capitalized, bringing the game to 12-12. Hard cap horn went off, and we knew it was all or nothing. We turned it, but Leonard made an amazing d on an upline dump cut. Schecht followed it up with an amazing sky catch – it looked like just two fingers were on the disc! We punched it in and took home the W.
Dinner at Jim ‘n Nick’s BBQ was a tasty success. MagnUM looked great in their button downs, and the cornbread muffins were delicious.
MagnUM pulled ahead early, taking the lead 4-2, then 8-5 at half. The game seemed to be ours, but early in the second half App. State figured out our biggest weakness – zone offense. They came hard at us, pressuring our handlers and poppers with their zone, and converting too easily off our turns. They pulled off 2 or 3 breaks in a row to finish us off. We have a lot of work to do in order to be the team we expect of ourselves.
MagnUM vs. MagnUM, that’s right. We ended the weekend with an intra-squad scrimmage, focusing on areas needing the most improvement.
Joe Besser officially elected Nancy of the Month for his outstanding restaurant selection on Saturday night and his successful spring break house hunt!
May 23, 2012 – After a stunning first place finish at Regionals and a full month of prep, MagnUM flew out to Colorado for the 2012 College Nationals. Wednesday was the beginning of a long weekend filled with anticipation, tension, and excitement. Leading up to Friday, the team spent most of their time relaxing and focusing. On Thursday morning, there was a light practice so the team could test out their lungs and throws with the new altitude. Jeff Pape spent most of his time recalibrating the deadly flick. Soon enough, the insanity would begin.
To some surprise, Michigan started out strong against Luther, taking a couple breaks and carrying their momentum to half time (8-4). After a short rest, MagnUM sent out a d-line to hold the lead. The game rolled on, but Luther chipped away at their deficit with a couple breaks on rushed centering passes from the Michigan o-line. The game reached 11-10 Michigan, and they were really feeling the pressure. Luther capitalized to make it 13-13. Michigan sent in the veterans to hold things together, and the game reached 14s after Spencer caught a hammer meant for a tall man in the back of the end zone. Hard cap went on during the next point, so it was now 14-14 – next point wins. After a hard fought battle, Luther scored the game winner. And MagnUM was off to their next big game against Texas.
MagnUM started off on serve, trading points with Texas. At 2-2, Texas took off two breaks, and Michigan called a time out to slow things down and bring it together. The time out did its job, and Michigan brought things close (5-5) with some solid offense, including a couple big catches by players like Buchsbaum. But all of a sudden Texas took off again for the half (8-5). Michigan started the second half strong, battling to get back in the game.
Things were looking good when MagnUM brought it as close as 9-8, but they couldn’t maintain the momentum, and Texas pulled away again. Michigan began to feel the weight off the game. A loss meant starting off the weekend 0-2, but a win meant a solid chance at getting into the pre quarters. Texas quickly pulled three points ahead and maintained a nice cushion until MagnUM broke to make it 14-13. Michigan had the momentum to make a comeback, but Texas silenced the d-line with one last goal. Michigan went 0-2 on Friday and began analyzing the potential pool play outcomes for their chance to make it to the pre quarters.
In an exciting upset on Saturday morning, California-Davis beat Luther. It was clear the other teams’ games were out of Michigan’s control, but if all went their way, MagnUM would sneak a spot into the pre quarters. And so far, things were working out. As for the game at hand, Michigan refused to underestimate California-Davis. This was a team that had earned their bid to Nationals by playing above their potential, and Michigan had just seen how Davis could play against a sturdy team like Luther. Come game time, MagnUM unloaded the pressure from the start. The team played clean offense and took advantage of every mistake from the opponent. Michigan powered to half (8-3) finishing with an incredible break throw to catch from Pape to Moen. In the second half, the team came out strong just like before – this was no time for holding back. Michigan extended the lead by two points and finished the game at 15-8. Time for Pitt!
In the wake of play on the field was chatter of standings and potential outcomes. According to Michigan Ultimate strategic experts, the Michigan vs. Pittsburgh game did not have as much importance in seedings as the neighboring Luther vs. Texas game. If Texas beat Luther and Michigan lost to Pitt, Michigan would be ranked third in the pool based on point differential – meaning a spot in the pre quarters. But if Texas lost to Luther, then Michigan had other things to worry about. That said, Michigan players focused on the game at hand with the intent of fighting for every point. The game started with MagnUM on offense, and things stayed tight for the first few points. It soon became apparent that Pitt’s starters were not playing, but instead, enjoying cold towels and massages while their teammates took charge. All these extras seemed to surround the atmosphere of the game, trying to find a way in. But no luck. MagnUM. Was. Focused. A couple points in, Pitt worked its way into control and took half 8-6. By now, Coach Ricky was interested in getting Michigan’s younger players on the field. With both teams playing mostly younger players, the second half went on its way. Pitt started on offense, and both teams traded points. Just after soft cap went off, Pitt scored to make it 11-8, game to 13. Michigan stayed with their young line and went after Pitt, pulling off two breaks to make it 12s. After a long point, with many turns, MagnUM showed resilience to take the win over Pitt. Next door, Luther overcame Texas 14-10, placing Michigan at fourth in their pool, just missing the pre quarters.
In 2010, Michigan lost to Cornell in the quarters at Nationals. The final score was 17-16, with a double game point victory by Cornell. It’s no doubt there was hope for revenge. Michigan started out nervous; as though the current Cornell team was the same group they played two years before. They gave up two breaks right off the bat, but suddenly realized this was in fact not the same Cornell team. As quickly as
Michigan gave up the lead, they took it back to put the game at 3-3. With a few older players still feeling the jitters, MagnUM traded points until 6-6, at which point they scored two in a row to take half. It was here they saw how the game should be, and they began to extend the lead in the second half. Michigan went rolling with clean offense and athletic D’s from the whole team. They finished off the game 15-11 with a clean victory over the long ago rival. On to the last game of the weekend versus North Carolina.
Michigan had seen North Carolina earlier in the season at Queen City Tune Up, and their one point loss had been used to justify many College Ultimate fanatics’ predicted Nationals seedings. So again, Michigan came out with more than just one reason to win this game. The game started, and it was clear it would not be an easy win for either team. Slowly, the game reached 5-5, but with no clear number one. MagnUM made a couple silly mistakes and North Carolina stole ahead to take half 8-6. They maintained their lead to make it 12-9, but Michigan wasn’t about to lose this game. They pulled off a slick O point, followed by two fabulous D’s in one point by Moen and Landstra, and a third D in the next point by Pape to make it 12s. Soft cap went off just before, game to 14. North Carolina scored their O point, leaving Michigan one last chance to stay in the game. There was truly nothing to hold back on this point. MagnUM’s line couldn’t hold it together, and they yielded a turn to North Carolina who quickly moved it up the field for a game winner (14-12).
Michigan finished the weekend tied for 15th. They suffered three losses, each no more than 2 points. They also defeated Pittsburgh, the team that went on to win the championship. Carson Mailler received the team Spirit Award, Matt Orr topped the stats charts with 23 goals on the weekend, and Jeff Pape made the top 4 in assists with 24. And its no question that MagnUM 2k13 already has their eyes on Madison.
All photos by Sam Janicki.
MagnUM headed back to the Naperville Polo fields to take part in the Great Lakes Regional tournament on April 28th-29th (sorry for the delay of this post). We did not take the trip to Boulder in 2011, something that has only happened three times in modern Michigan Men’s Ultimate history, so the tension and the expectations were high. Adding another element the Michigan commencement as it always does conflicted with the Saturday games, which took away a couple of seniors, but also brought a big cheering section of loving parents.
Saturday’s weather forecast was windy, cold, and rainy. Luckily it turned out to only be the first two.
The first game of the weekend was a test. It was the coldest it would be all weekend and the wind was strong. UChicago tested our luck and our patience with a few big upwind throws that almost turned in to scores. However, in the end upwind downwind did not matter too much. MagnUM wins 15-1.
We had played Northwestern at the Chicago Invite and beaten them handily. However, we had word that a few of their big guns were back on the field so we brought it with all we had. We don’t get broken and consistently get turns in our zone. 15-5 win.
In a turn of events that we’re not sure of Eastern Illinois beat Illinois in their quarterfinals game so instead of playing the three-seeded-top-20 Illinois we played an Eastern Illinois team that we reall knew nothing about. We soon figured out how they beat Illinois. Their tall cutter Mike Schwenk, a bearded handler who threw a no-look flick upwind through our cup, and a small fast dual threat who popped through our cup gave us trouble for the first bit of the game. They break us once when a cutter doesn’t run through, but we hold upwind and break back. From there it’s all MagnUM. We take it 15-4 with a very strong second half.
Now all we have to worry about is the finals. We head in to downtown Naperville to eat some great pizza with a table of parents right next to us (both the players’ meal and the parents’ meals were secretly paid for by some happy parents of graduates). Ice baths took place, and thanks to the second years our vibe stayed positive and loose with some hilarious paper plate awards.
This game is what it is all about. We had lost to them twice previously, once badly at Chicago Invite. Both times we went down early. Our team would not let it happen. We start on offense and hold, get a d on the first defensive point, but don;t capitalize. Then we hold again. Then we break. We would only let them score once more during the first half with our whole team contributing on both sides. Half is 8-2.
THE TEAM THE TEAM THE TEAM
It seemed that every defensive point we had them on the ropes. Although our offense falters a few times, we never get broken twice in a row and our defense keeps working hard. Albeit on a floaty pass, we take the region back with a 15-8 victory. MagnUM is going to Boulder!!
This really was a team effort. Everyone contributed and many took hits to the ego to get it done. With our parents cheering us on, we celebrate and enjoy the victory as a team. Our women’s counterparts also finish first and Michigan State beats Illinois in the backdoor game in a thrilling turn of events. Michigan came to play at regionals, that’s for sure.
We head in to May ready to practice, throw, and continue to condition our legs. The teams will be good in Boulder and we’ve got more work to do.
MagnUM drives fourteen hours to a stormy and moist UNC Wilmington campus to the last “major” of the regular season. First off is Saturday pool play.
MagnUM’s affliction of coming out lackluster on either morning seems to follow us to North Carolina every time. MagnUM gets broken on their first offensive point and struggles to come back. Michigan has no breaks at all and in the second half the offense gets broken twice more. A game we’d all like to forget. Bloodthirsty 13 – Michigan 10.
After our first loss would begin an epic two-part saga of battles between Michigan MagnUM and Georgia Jojah. Part 1, pool play:
We went up one break early in the first half only to be broken back two times soon afterward. Jojah would break once more in to half with an 8-6 lead. After coming out on defense and failing to stop them, MagnUM would get broken one final time to fall to an almost insurmountable deficit of 10-6. It was at about this point that Seth “captain-on-the-comeback-trail” Collins would again lace up his cleats and bring some fire in to the game. On offense Spencer would receive a huck and punch it in to Seth. On the following five defensive points Seth would have three more goals and two assists aided by a pair of dropped centering passes by Jojah and a few timely Ds by the likes of JB (Jesse Brauner) and JB (Joe Besser, aka Jewish Jordan). Soft cap went on at some point during the scrum ensuring the game would end at 13, and the score was now 12-10 MagnUM. The defense would get a chance to make it six in a row, but Jojah would finally punch one in. The offense has a clean final point to finish the game off. MagnUM 13 – Jojah 11.
Tensions had been high the whole day. Game one was a loss and game two felt destined to be as well. With a short break to refuel both physically and mentally we came out ready to fight, but also ready to be relaxed, goofy, and have some fun. We clapped it up beforehand, but also beat-boxed, danced, and sang.
Penn State looked messy as we came out and got two breaks with no blocks. O punches it in, we get another break, and then broke twice more to bring it to 7-2 before mother nature intervenes. A 30 minute lightning delay later, we break in to half up 8-2. John Abela got double-happiness in there somewhere.
Mother nature was not on our side, it seems, because the wind picked up and Penn State started to play zone. We lost our composure. Penn State gets three breaks because of this, but finally at 10-7 the Michigan offense scores. We trade for the rest of the game until the Michigan defense gets one last break, again aided by Seth “second-half” Collins to win 15-10.
Getting second in our pool, the only pool to not go to seed, we drew a pre-quarters match up with Florida. The weather again played a part in delaying this from its original 6pm Saturday start time to 8:30am Sunday morning. Fast forward through some Golden Corral, ice bathing, and many hours of sleep and we arrive.
The Florida game turned out to be exactly what some of us wanted. A competitive game, against a team with great defense, and a chance for Michigan men to show what they are made of. The first half was very tight. Florida breaks first, and Michigan breaks back soon afterward. Our defense has a great, two block point, but can’t punch it in. At 6-6 Spencer has a game saving poach block in the end zone on one of Florida’s many high backhands. At 7-7 the offense has two poor turnovers and Florida breaks before half time.
The second half was just as tight, but MagnUM just couldn’t come back. Florida breaks once very early. The offense is mostly successful afterward despite some wrist grabbing. JB skies above all on a huck and Spencer has a great deep D. Even with the help of Seth “last-third” Collins we can’t win. Florida takes it 14-12.
What would you expect a team to do after losing a close, competitive game that eliminates them from the championship? Fold? No way.
MagnUM max-powers the first SD team of the day with a lot of fun and energy. Spencer rises above all to snatch a disc from the heavens above Matt Orr and over half the Federalis. Jordan has a great D gorilla style. Jeff Pape throws five assists. Beeler gets a catch-block, accompanied by some sound effects. Phil Bunge has no turnovers, a goal, and a block. Remarkably, Seth “bare-feet” Collins does not play a point.
Part 2 of the saga, 9th place semis:
This game almost turned out to be the inverse, or converse, or opposite of the first part of the saga. MagnUM would go up by many breaks aided by actual blocks by Jamp, JL, Abela, JB, Carson, and Jeff. MagnUM takes half 8-4.
In the middle of the second half, MagnUM up 11-5, Jojah breaks three times in a row to get to 11-9 and our offense finally scores. We trade until the end. MagnUM 13 – Jojah 10 to end the saga.
This game was not that exciting. We won 11-5 and it was cut short by weather. By this time Seth “fly-home-early-and-steal-a-van” Collins isn’t even there anymore.
MagnUM takes 9th at a highly competitive tournament with only two close losses. We’ll be playing in Chicago at the invitational tournament ready to tune up before the series. Here we go boys!
MagnUM drove 10 hours south and encountered a frigid Carolina weekend with stiff winds on both Saturday and Sunday. With a depleted squad of only 14 players and missing both of their captains, this weekend was about growth and energy conservation.
We came out against a match up that brings fear to our fifth year seniors, but is pretty much unknown on the ultimate field. They had a big thrower and a very good receiver (shaved head) and kept it close for the whole first half. Our defense sharpened up and scored 4 breaks in a row before App State scored on hard cap.
Another relatively unknown team who has been written about a bit online, Uconn also gave us issues with a big thrower that we for some reason couldn’t stop. We went up 3-0, but at a score of 5-3 we gave them 5 straight and could never climb back. Robbie gets a callahan (his first) and Joe Besser gets a point block on their big thrower on the last point, but it’s too late with hard cap on. MagnUM suffers their first loss.
The schedule had to be changed to attempt to accommodate for the late plane flights of some GOP players, but they had still not arrived by the start of our third round game with them. With an even more depleted squad and the winds picking up GOP struggled to get flow and dropped a lot of discs. MagnUM cruises to an easy victory.
The winds continued to pick up over our fourth round bye and coming in to the OSU game we knew that it would be a close game regardless. Offenses on both sides chose to huck and gain field position rather than risk a short field turn. Because of that, our defense had the entire field to work up after a turnover. Before halftime a few stacked defensive lines were played and Joe Besser, the standout player of the weekend, aided by the crisp upwind flicks of Travis “T-Mart” Martin sent a disc into the upwind arms of Jordan to complete the first break of the game. MagnUM would hold on to this break as the cap horn sounded and successfully avenged their loss at the inddor and secured the second spot out of the pool.
There’s no way to hide from it, MagnUM has had a hard time getting up for 9am games in the past. Winning our game on Saturday wasn’t a piece of cake and we all had no idea what to expect from Carnegie Mellon. We come out on D and they have a pretty easy point. Then our offense scores. Then we get our first break. Then we trade. Then the defense gets six breaks in a row. We trade for the majority of the rest of the game and close it out with two breaks.
Fun Fact: Matt Orr played nine points in this game. He had seven goals and one assist.
Ohio is a team that we beat on universe at last years QCTU and out-placed us at the indoor only three weeks previous. We play very close with them, both teams making plays and both teams having chances to break. We strike first, but before half Ohio strikes back threefold. We can’t come back and MagnUM is eliminated from bracket play by the Alma mater of coach Ricky.
This next game, no longer for the championship, was all about getting better. Our crew of sideline players all drafted at the beginning of points in order to pa attention to one specific player and give advice. The game turned chippy with a big Dartmouth spike on the first point and some questionable foul calls on both sides. Still, MagnUM creates a lead early in the game and secures it with a couple of late second half breaks.
The game for fifth place was against the hosts, UNC – Chapel Hill, a team that had been significant rivals of ours only a few years previous. It was clear that they had talent and were willing to work in the wind. Despite some drops on the first few points giving us a lead, they would turn around and make big skies in both end zones. Our sick-nasty, and very chilly zone offense was counteracted by UNC’s ability to have their big throwers huck out of the cup and make plays. The game ended up tied when the horn went off bringing it to universe. Again, the same tall UNC receiver caught a big pass to win.
With a lot improved, and a lot to work on, and many injuries to heal, MagnUM heads back home with two weeks before Spring Ultimax and spring break. Let’s do work.
The weekend of January 21-22 MagnUM took the narrow fields of the Ooosterbaan, split halfway, to test themselves for the first time since a semifinals appearance at Missouri Loves Company in November. Both MagnUM and Reserve would eventually play a great mix of teams including an always strong Pittsburgh team, and somewhat recent unknowns in Ohio, Ohio State, and Michigan State. The story of the weekend would be trying to get Ds indoors.
Due to a snowstorm the night before the schedule was changed slightly to allow Pittsburgh and Ohio to arrive for the second round. Because of this MagnUM ended up playing MSU in the first round. In typical, but not ideal fashion the O-line got broken early and settled in to their normal flow soon afterwards. Although it was a small hole, the defense could not claw out of it in the first half.
Early in the second half our defense would get its first break. Offenses would trade for the rest of the half. At the end we found ourselves down by one, receiving with hard cap essentially on during that point. A must score scenario. The offense put it in on a relatively easy point. It was now up to the defense. MSU turned it over and we had it near the endzone to score. An overthrown pass to the block was cleaned up by a diving Matt Orr to win. Michigan 12 – MSU 11.
After a close first game MagnUM prepares to play a recently successful Pittsburgh team that had an unbroken offense in their tournament win at CCC in the fall. The first half stays close with plays on both sides of the disc, but Pittsburgh manages to get a break and hold it in to halftime with a lead 7-6. MagnUM would get a chance or two to get the break back aided by great dump D by Travis and a pair of blocks by Detone. However, they would never punch a break in and the Pittsburgh Defense would get one more off of MagnUM’s offense. Pittsburgh 12 – Michigan 9.
The same storyline would continue in to the next game against OSU. The Buckeyes broke our offense once in the first half and our defense, albeit close on multiple occasions, would not retaliate. Although MagnUM would score on the last point it would be too late with hardcap on. Ohio State 12 – Michigan 11. Worst. Game. Ever.
After a tough, close loss to a team that we wanted to beat handily MagnUM got a chance to gain confidence again in the last round game against their own B-team, Reserve. The first point had a bunch of horrible turns by our O-line before they finally punched it in, but luckily they would not have play much the rest of the game. At first the D struggled to contain Matt Cornish’s huge flick and thus ran suicides during a time out. A first for Coach Ricky, but necessary nonetheless. After that wake-up call the defense stepped it up with many goals, blocks, and skies. MagnUM wins 13-4 after taking half 7-4.
Because MagnUM lost to Ohio State on Saturday they came in to Sunday with the 4-seed and drew Michigan State who lost two overtime games and a close one with Pitt to go 1-3 on Saturday and earned the 5-seed. The game started out even worse than Saturday, with an unfortunate bunching of turns by Spencer (me), which resulted in a deficit of three breaks. MagnUM would take one back later in the half, but so would MSU. MSU takes half at 8-5 and MagnUM finds itself in the biggest hole of the weekend in the Quarters at their own tournament.
This halftime was most likely the turning point of the weekend, and certainly a point of growth for the team. We know that we’re in shape and frustrated that it isn’t working out. We’re reminded that we first have to do the essentials of defense. We have to actually play smart and then we’ll give our bodies a chance to work and succeed.
We come out of half and break MSU an impressive four times in a row and then our offense scores on its first point. MagnUM is now up 10-9. With soft-cap on it is now a game to 12. The offenses of both teams trade to bring it to 11-10 with MSU receiving and the Michigan O-line players readying themselves for another universe point. Zubin Shetty comes up huge with a layout block right after pull and we’re set to score. However, Eli Leonard (FOTY) picks it up and promptly turns it over on a slightly off flick in to the endzone. MSU has it on their cone and sends a huge backhand downfield that never comes in. Eli Leonard calls a timeout and, thanks to Ricky, gets a great play call and throws the assist to win. Michigan 12 – MSU 10.
After a nerve-wracking quarters game MagnUM is set to play the undefeated Pittsburgh squad in the semis. The first half is a microcosm of the whole weekend. The O-line has a few turns, but plays gritty D to continue holding serve and the defense struggles to contain the huck and their big cutters. The offense would make many plays including a big circus sky by JB on a huck from Spencer. Tied at 7s Pittsburgh gets their first break to head in to halftime.
The second half was just as close as the first, with the O-line holding down and the D-line getting a small amount of turns, but not capitalizing. Pittsburgh gets one more break near the end of the second half and MagnUM cannot recover. Pittsburgh 15 – Michigan 12 in a game with only two breaks in total all by the Pittsburgh defense and only a few possessions for the Michigan defense which didn’t pay off.
This weekend was full of growth, that’s for sure. Many rookies including Jesse “BushBabyBaby” Buchsbaum had big weekends and Sam Greenwood had beautiful pulls on the D-line. Eli Graves looked more comfortable in his role and Jeff Pape continued his dominant play. Also, many offensive studs came out of the weekend with low turnovers and good stats. The story of the weekend, as mentioned, was consistently getting blocks and converting on defense and of course the eternal goal of a clean sheet on offense. We’ll continue to Joust and get fit, and at practice we have a renewed focus to make plays. Next tournament is Queen’s City in Charlotte, NC on Feb 11th where we protect our title.
MagnUM, now a team, finished off its fall season in sunny Columbia, MO at MLC. Overall it was an encouraging weekend, and more than anything we both saw how well we could perform and, through some frustrating losses to an old nemesis, where we really need to put in the work. A 4th place finish and an upset of the defending national champions was something to pat our backs about, especially given the heavy squad of rookies who showed up and played with great maturity when we leaned heavily upon them.
Day 1, Game 1: Colorado. W.
MagnUM started the day off against defending MLC champs and national semifinalist Colorado Mamabird. Without Zemmel and Zander, Colorado relied heavily on a constant dosage of Jimmy, who seemed to be touching the disc on O every other time. This actually worked to our benefit, because due to injuries we lined a short and handler-heavy D-line, and Mickle spent so much time around the disc Colorado was not able to capitalize on his height advantages. Constant pressure defense from rookies Joe Besser, John Abela, and Sam Greenwood was able to consistently frustrate Mickle, and the high pressure under defense downfield helped Magnum pull ahead 6-3 with a couple of upwind breaks. The wind all day would be a major factor, leading us to some tight games. The eventual Colorado surge came, but Magnum was able to keeps the bird at bay and eke out a 9-8 win. Every game the entire tournament would be hard-capped, due to the wind and the incredibly short (80min) rounds.
Day 1, Game 2: Missouri. W.
The question coming into the tournament was whether or not Mizzou deserved to be in the power pools, and we knew they were for real before they even showed up to play us, having just completed an upset of national finalist Wisconsin. MagnUM needed a few points to figure out who was who on a team of no-names, but once we were able to get favorable matchups against their two big downfield cutters and #24, a very good handler, we were able to shut down the offense in the second half after a late Mizzou run put them ahead 7-6 and come up with a “closer-than-it-was” 11-10 universe win.
Day 1, Game 3: Illinois. W.
No doubt we wanted to win this game. Three consecutive regional losses at the hand of Illinois will forever tarnish the Magnum books, and this year we want to beat as often as we can. Great defense from Jordan Macocha, who had evolved into a key Magnum shutdown defender and some strong wind helped slow down stud handler Ryan Smith and the huck-happy Illini, and Magnum rode the first break of the game, taking half at 7-6, through to a capped 8-7 victory.
Day 1, Game 4: Wisconsin. L.
Although 3-0, Magnum had yet to lock up any place in the pool, and could fall anywhere between 1st and 3rd depending on how games played out. A fourth straight game against a physical Wisconsin team saw multiple players go down with injuries, including O stud Yoni Rafael (hamstring) and rookie Sam Greenwood (ankle). With a tired and depleted roster, Magnum was unable to capitalize on early Wisconsin mistakes and sustain a fresh Wisconsin team who was playing off a bye. Although Magnum was able to keep it close through half (Wisconsin taking it 7-6), a second-half Wisconsin break saw Magnum lose 9-7.
The only benefit of the last round bye was that we were able to get back and shower in time to see the Illinois game, which, as Michigan football has gone in the past three years, was a bit frustrating to watch. As it was unable to keep our attention, most exhausted players, after ice bathing, simply passed out in their beds (rookies on the floors, of course).
The newest member of a Magnum lineage, Jesse Buchsbaum (also injured), decided to attack the Sky Hi Grill’s $30 eating challenge, ingeniously called the “Sky ‘Wall of Fame’ Burger meal,” which consisted of 2lbs of fries, 1 lb of pulled pork, and two 1lb burgers, all to be consumed in an hour. With consistent encouragement and tactical advice from mastermind Jeff Pape and persistent pessimist Phillip Bunge, Jesse put out a solid effort in the first 25 minutes, before hitting a wall. Here comes the Magnum nomination for “play of the week:” noticing an increasingly contorted face and furrowed brows on Jesse, Yoni deduced what was finally coming, and dove for an empty water pitcher—had Yoni acted one second later, the entire challenge would have been all over 1/3 of our team.
Of course, we learned that the wall of fame Jesse would have been on was not the same wall as the other 8 pictures—no one had actually completed the challenge yet, as it had been revamped to be more expensive and add more food. Classy, Sky Hi. The only other notables from the night were how Magnum was able to dry up the Ski Hi’s water-on-tap supply (Ricky’s first question of the night: “so, is your water free?”) and Yoni and Seth’s discovery that Columbia may be one of the worst college towns ever—its “nationally famous” pizza place, Godfathers, stops serving pizza by the slice at 9pm on weekends—shouldn’t it be the opposite?
We learned that due to our amazing point differential of zero, Magnum took third in the pool behind Wisconsin and Mizzou.
Day 2, Game 1: St. Louis. W.
Day two started much warmer than day 1, but with winds much stronger, gusting at up to 45 mph. Magnum faced of against Saint Louis University (who thankfully have finally deviated from their old team name, St. Louis Ultimate Team—SLUT) in a strict upwind downwind game. The game started out with the first Callahan of the season, caught by rookie Ryan Schechtman, a rookie who played beyond his years (mostly) on the O-line this weekend, and also the odds-leader in the disc race at 3-1. With the O-line scoring easily on the down-winders, the outcome was known to both teams after the first two points. A poachy defense helped the D-line get some backfield handler turns, and after a few marathon points to figure out the wind, we were able to churn out some breaks.
Day 2, Game 2: Carleton: W.
The next game was the one we were all looking forward to, a match-up against a team we had lost to twice last year at Easterns and the defending national champion, Carleton. The game was a non-stop battle, where we consitantly played our “Ohio” defense, going straight up on the mark and fronting their downfield cutters to disrupt the under-flow that CUT specializes in. The game, though constantly traded, was leaning in our favor, as Carelton was unable to convert on the hucks we were giving them and our O-line went unbroken, with a host of 2-throw points, mostly between senior captain Jeff Pape and downfield stud Matt Orr. Twice in the same point our D-line was able to get the disc within yards of the break end zone, but two unfortunate turnovers led to a no-break first half, MagnUM up 8-7. The second half saw more of the same, but with MagnUM on a D point leading 9-8 with Universe looming, the D line was able to get it outside the endzone and a diving catch by Jordan Macochoa sealed the expected upset, 10-8.
Day 2, Game 3: Wisconsin: L.
I don’t like writing about losing to Wisconsin more than once, if ever, so I’m going to keep this one brief. Some long marathon points that went the wrong way for us and some early breaks given up, along with some interesting observer rulings saw this game fall out of hand way too quickly, and with the short-capped games we never had a chance to really get back into it.
Day 2, Game 4: Iowa: L.
After deciding not to play an “annotated” game, MagnUM fell to IHUC in a game where we saw the rosters open up a lot and many rookies get much deserved playing time. Highlights of this game would have to be John Landstra’s stellar layout grab on O, covering the distance of the endzone in probably half a second. Landstra is one of our stellar rookie additions, a former starting safety at Missouri S&T, now an Engineering grad here at UM.
Take aways: like always at MLC, the rookies were exposed to the national spotlight that sets MagnUM’s expectations for the year. Many played well beyond their years, with spectacular grabs from Landstra, Sam Greenwood (who “now you see it—now you don’t’ed” an Illini defender in the endzone), and Dan “sticky scoober fingers” Harras. Eli Leonard stepped up huge and showed that he belonged on the D line, showcasing some big throws and quality composure throughout the tournament. John Abela, back with the MagnUM program, showed his veteran wile with some nasty “where was he?” poach d’s. The sophomores held their own as well, with Jordan Macocha establishing himself a premier shutdown defender (especially on Carleton’s Julian C-W) and Matt Orr did just what we expected from him—catch an inordinate number of goals (his goal-to-catch ratio must be around 4-5). Not to be outdone, the veterans showed why they call us that, and stellar consistency from the O-line, especially from Jesse Brauner, Robbie Steinbock, and newcomer Travis Martin all gave us great things to look forward to in the spring.
That said, there was much to work on. At times, our overall lack of fitness really showed on some of the longer points, especially in the Wisconsin games. Also, the high winds exposed our throws a bit, and we will be out this winter in the snow working on them. Now marks a transition for us, as we head into the gym, indoor track, and indoor fields to start the grind towards reclaiming the section and region this year.
— Seth Collins
After a long and rain filled tryout process, the 2k12 teams have been formed. As always, the talent level at tryouts was high and the competition fierce.
Both MagnUM and Reserve are looking forward to starting the fall season.