History: 2015 – 2016 Season

Roster:

Freshmen
# 35 Daniel Goldstein
# 11 Leo Warren
# 79 Michael Ing
# 21 Noah Robinson
Sophomores
# 13 Andrew Lehmberg
# 26 Bobby Lincoln
# 18 Kyle Hartley
# 17 Matthew Hanna
# 28 Sam Jennings
Juniors
# 23 Dillon Tranquillo
# 15 Dylan Best
# 48 Jimmy Towle
# 38 Jonah Wisch
# 5 Saul Graves
Seniors
# 9 Carl Morgenstern
# 88 Jack Slevin
# 12 Kevin Tang
# 24 Sam VanDusen
5th Year/Grad
# 22 Christian Pitts*
# 2 Joe Bender
# 10 Max Thorne
# 3 Patrick Earles*
# 16 Trent Dillon*
# 30 Vince Tranquillo
Head Coach: Nick Kaczmarek* denotes team captain
Assistant Coach – Film/Strategy Coordinator: David Hogan
Assistant Coach – Player Development Coordinator: Aaron Watson
Assistant Coach – In-game Analytics Specialist: Dan O’Connor

Awards:

Callahan Award: Trent Dillon (5th Year/Grad)
Ohio Valley Men’s D-I All-Region (1st team): Trent Dillon (5th Year/Grad)
Ohio Valley Men’s D-I All-Region (1st team): Patrick Earles (5th Year/Grad)
Ohio Valley Men’s D-I All-Region (1st team): Max Thorne (5th Year/Grad)
Ohio Valley Men’s D-I Player of the Year: Trent Dillon (5th Year/Grad)
Ohio Valley Men’s All-Freshmen: Michael Ing (Freshman)
USA Ultimate D-1 College Championships All-Tournament Team (1st Team): Patrick Earles (5th Year/Grad)
USA Ultimate D-1 College Championships All-Tournament Team (1st Team): Trent Dillon (5th Year/Grad)
USA Ultimate D-1 College Championships All-Tournament Team (2nd Team): Max Thorne (5th Year/Grad)
Ultiworld All-America Men’s Teams (1st Team): Trent Dillon (5th Year/Grad)

Tournaments:

5th Annual Rookie Game against CMU: Pittsburgh, PA – October 3rd, 2015
Steel City Showdown: Turner Valley, Irwin, PA – October 16th – 18th, 2015
Classic City Classic: Athens, GA – November 14th – 15th, 2015
Warm up: A Florida Affair 2016: Tampa, FL – February 12th – 14th, 2016
Stanford Invite 2016: Fremont, CA – March 5th – 6th, 2016
College Easterns 2016: Little River, SC – March 18th – 20th, 2016
West Penn D-1 College Men’s Conferences: Morgantown, WV – April 16th – 17th, 2016
Ohio Valley D-1 College Men’s Regionals: Columbus, OH – April 30th – May 1st, 2016
Alumni Game: The IM fields behind the Cost Center, Pittsburgh, – May 8th, 2016
D-1 College Championships: Raleigh, NC – May 27th – 30th, 2016


Pittsburgh-B

Pittsburgh-B Roster:

Freshmen
# 44 Alex Orseno
# 17 Henry Novara
# 33 Max Thompson
Michael Sapienza
# 7 Noah Weintraub
# 84 Peter Brath
# 52 Ryan Andersen
Sophomores
# 42 Ben Morgenstern
# 10 Dan Goldstein
# 31 David Tulin
# 29 Hafeez Shams
# 96 Kamal Raslan
Matt Reynolds
# 24 Matthew Pawlush
# 8 Matthew Walheim
# 23 Peter Niesman
# 39 Roger Xue
# 3 Xavier Torgerson
Juniors
# 45 David Menard*
# 24 Erik McLane
# 66 Kevin Glorius-Patrick
# 4 Patrick Asinger
# 13 Patrick Vincent
Ryan Manion
Seniors
# 42 Adrian Dicker
Alexander Reisser
# 6 Chen Su
# 2 Dan Mercader*
# 7 Jay Boyle
# 14 Kenneth McQuail
# 34 Mark Olinger
# 5 Michael Driskell*
Quentin Torgerson
5th Year/Grad
Head Coach: Michael Van Ness, Nick Bozich* denotes team captain

Pittsburgh-B Tournaments:

Steel City Showdown: Turner Valley, Irwin, PA – October 17th – 18th, 2015
Fall Championships: Princeton, NJ – November 14th – 15th, 2015
Warm up: A Florida Affair 2016: Tampa, FL – February 12th – 14th, 2016
CWRUL Memorial Tournament 2016: Columbus, OH – March 19th – 20th, 2016
Steel City B-Team Brodown 2016: North Huntingdon, PA – April 2nd – 3rd, 2016
Ohio Valley Dev College Men’s Conferences: Morgantown, WV – April 23rd – 24th, 2016
Ohio Valley D-1 College Men’s Regionals: Columbus, OH – April 30th – May 1st, 2016


5th Annual Rookie Game against CMU: Pittsburgh, PA – October 3rd, 2015

Rookie Game (1-0)

Pittsburgh 19 – Carnegie Mellon 6


Steel City Showdown: Turner Valley, Irwin, PA – October 16th – 18th, 2015


First tournament victory for Pitt 2016 – Steel City Champions champions.

The hardware.

Showcase Game (1-0)

Showcase Game: Pittsburgh 15 – Carnegie Mellon 3

Pool Play (3-0)

Pittsburgh 13 – Ohio 10

Pittsburgh 15 – Cornell 12
Pittsburgh 14 – Lehigh 13

Championship Bracket (3-0)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Delaware 6

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Cincinnati 8
Final: Pittsburgh 15 – Virginia Tech 7


Classic City Classic: Athens, GA – November 14th – 15th, 2015

Pool Play (5-0)

Pittsburgh 11 – Virginia Commonwealth 10

Pittsburgh 11 – Florida 7
Pittsburgh 11 – Ohio 3
Pittsburgh 11 – Auburn 7
Pittsburgh 11 – Kennesaw State 2

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Texas A&M 15 – Pittsburgh 14

5th Place Bracket (2-0)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Central Florida 11

Final: Pittsburgh 11 – Tulane 8


Warm up: A Florida Affair 2016: Tampa, FL – February 12th – 14th, 2016

Pool Play (4-3)

Minnesota 13 – Pittsburgh 11

Texas A&M 13 – Pittsburgh 11
Pittsburgh 13 – Illinois 2
Pittsburgh 13 – South Florida 7
Pittsburgh 13 – Texas 8
Wisconsin 11 – Pittsburgh 9
Pittsburgh 13 – Central Florida 7 recap

7th Place Bracket (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh 15 – Connecticut 9

Pool Play: Central Florida


Stanford Invite 2016: Fremont, CA – March 5th – 6th, 2016

Pool Play (2-1)

Pittsburgh 14 – Harvard 12

Pittsburgh 12 – California-Santa Barbara 9
Washington 13 – Pittsburgh 9 recap

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Western Washington 7

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Massachusetts 13
Final: Wisconsin 15 – Pittsburgh 13 recap

Pool Play: Washington

Final: Wisconsin


College Easterns 2016: Little River, SC – March 18th – 20th, 2016

Pool Play (4-0)

Pittsburgh 15 – Illinois 12

Pittsburgh 15 – Michigan 12
Pittsburgh 15 – Virginia Tech 6
Pittsburgh 15 – North Carolina 9

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: North Carolina-Wilmington 16 – Pittsburgh 15

5th Place Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Florida 13

Final: Georgia W – Pittsburgh F


West Penn D-1 College Men’s Conferences: Morgantown, WV – April 16th – 17th, 2016

Pool Play (6-0)

Pittsburgh 13 – Carnegie Mellon 3

Pittsburgh 13 – Penn State 9 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – West Virginia 2
Pittsburgh 13 – Indiana (Pennsylvania) 5
Pittsburgh 13 – Shippensburg 6
Pittsburgh 13 – Edinboro 2

Championship Bracket (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh 15 – Penn State 12

Pool Play: Penn State


Ohio Valley D-1 College Men’s Regionals: Columbus, OH – April 30th – May 1st, 2016

Pool Play (2-1)

Pittsburgh 13 – Dayton 6

Pittsburgh 15 – Akron 8
Lehigh 14 – Pittsburgh 12

2nd Place Backdoor Bracket (5-0)

Round of 32: Pittsburgh 15 – West Chester 2

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Ohio 10
Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Ohio State 9 recap
Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Lehigh 10
Final: Pittsburgh 15 – Penn State 11

Quarterfinal: Ohio State


Alumni Game: The IM fields behind the Cost Center, Pittsburgh, – May 8th, 2016


Alumni Game 2016, behind the Cost Center where the team was first founded.

Alumni Game (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh 15 – Pitt Alumni 13


D-1 College Championships: Raleigh, NC – May 27th – 30th, 2016


Pool Play (3-1)

Auburn 15 – Pittsburgh 13

Pittsburgh 15 – Minnesota 13
Pittsburgh 15 – Utah 7 recap
Pittsburgh 15 – Carleton College 10 recap

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Texas A&M 9 recap

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 14 – Wisconsin 12 recap
Semifinal: Minnesota 14 – Pittsburgh 13 recap

Pool Play: Utah

Pool Play: Carleton College

Prequarterfinal: Texas A&M
This is the kind of matchup the people wanted to see. A system-based Nationals blueblood and a gunslingin’ short bench of warriors.

Pittsburgh led the whole way and the game would never be in real doubt but there’s a reason why Dozen is the most watchable team in college ultimate. The burning question for any A&M opponent is: how are they going to try to minimize the damage of Callahan finalist Dalton Smith? Pittsburgh was no stranger to how lethal Smith could be with the disc and prepared accordingly.

“We’re just going to come at him with wave upon wave of great athletes,” Pitt head coach Nick Kaczmarek said moments before the game. “Just wait and see.”

It took all the king’s men, but it was a strategy that worked well and played to Pitt’s depth. A&M had already given tons of points to their top players like Smith and country-strong cutters Ben Lewis and Carter Hollo to advance in the elimination bracket.

There was a rotating cast of defenders assigned to Smith. Carl Morgenstern and rookie Mike Ing primarily took turns guarding A&M’s ace, with Trent Dillon coming over from offense sporadically to take a shift. Since Dalton Smith played 23 of 24 points, he was constantly marked by fresh legs, then had the tall order of covering Dillon on defense.

Before long, Pitt broke to go up 3-1 and had other chances to build a bigger cushion but A&M showed some true grit. The following Dozen offensive try was perhaps the most dramatic hold of the tournament ” a five turnover point that included an unsuccessful attempted huck from the back of the endzone while Pitt waited for Smith to walk it up, and a baited layout block by Smith who hurriedly picked up the disc and ripped a hammer to Connor Ughetta. That would be Smith’s only hammer of the game as Pitt wisely chose to force backhand the whole game to limit overhead chances.

Just as they did in the final round of pool play against Carleton, Pittsburgh’s O line hummed along at high efficiency. Pat Earles caught a goal and threw his third of the game to take it to half 8-4.

Dozen would get their only break of the game shortly after halftime to narrow Pitt’s lead to 8-6 but Pittsburgh would prove too much as they continued play deep into their bench. One of Pitt’s lesser known role players, graduating senior Kevin Tang, chalked up two goals, a layout block, and an assist, reminding people that it isn’t just his team’s household names that will be missed next season.

Coaches Jose Cespedes and Bobby Lewis made some solid adjustments in the second half. They were having trouble resetting in a no-dump vertical stack so they brought another handler back, which aided offensive flow. When Dalton Smith ran into some short field turnovers late in the game, they threw him in the stack as a cuter where he immediately caught a deep shot. Give Texas A&M credit. They went down swinging.

“Overall our team did great,” said Ben Lewis, who made an insane grab on the first Dozen O point, after the game. “We started off with 31 guys at the beginning of the season and now we’re here with 17. [We] had a real up-and-down season and playing a lot of rookies who are only three months into Frisbee.”

Lewis isn’t lying. You could see the wheels turning in the heads of some young Dozen defenders but you also saw raw athletic potential. This program is still very much growing and even had a C team for the first time ever this year. It will be interesting to see what the landscape of this team looks like post-Dalton Smith.

A Heavyweight Quarterfinal Matchup

So Pittsburgh advances… and plays the one team that has presented the most problems for them this season in Wisconsin. Their losses to the Hodags, at Stanford and Warm Up, have been by small margins but have been in meaningful games.

Pittsburgh’s offense is firing on all cylinders right now and Wisconsin’s defense is as stingy as ever. It’s a shame this isn’t the finals, but it would be robbery if we didn’t get to see this matchup at all.

Written by Tad Wissel for
Ultiworld

Quarterfinal: Wisconsin
With UMass, Oregon, and Wilmington all eliminated, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh were two of the three top seeds still alive in Raleigh heading into Sunday play, and their showdown in the quarterfinals meant that only one of these renowned programs could survive to the semifinals. In the end, it was Pitt left standing after edging the Hodags 14-12.

After two days of punishing heat, the weather in Raleigh offered teams a new challenge this morning in the form of torrential rain. Pittsburgh got out to a hot start, as the rain limited Wisconsin’s deep game. All weekend long, the Hodags had managed to score in only a few throws, usually off of flick bombs from Craig Cox. When on the first few possessions Cox got the disc in power position and didn’t let it fly, it was a clear indication that the rain had thrown a wrench into Wisconsin’s game plan.

With Wisconsin dissuaded from launching their typical hucks, they were forced to work the disc underneath. Pitt responded by forcing Wisconsin’s cutters out, and slagging off of the sideline cutters of Wisconsin’s horizontal stack to take away angles in the middle of the field, making it very tough for the Hodag cutters to operate. Without the middle of the field open and with the rain making it hard to hit pinpoint over-the-top throws to the sideline, the emphasis was on Wisconsin to complete multiple horizontal throws to move the disc and open up angles of attack. In the heavy rain, this presented its own difficulties, and on the third point of the game Wisconsin’s Ross Barker let a wet disc slip through his mitts and Pittsburgh capitalized via a Sam Vandusen flick huck that gave Pitt the first break of the game and a 2-1 lead.

Pittsburgh would get two more breaks in the first half, generating turns by sitting on Wisconsin’s backhands and forcing them to make tough forehand throws in the deluge. While Wisconsin’s defense had been able to create a few turnovers, their D-Line offense was paltry and often couldn’t move the disc more than 15 -20 yards before giving it back to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s D-Line, much maligned in recent years for not being able to convert, looked much better, grinding short upline cuts for hard-earned but valuable yards and taking their opportunities with aplomb near the endzone.

When Pitt made it 6-3 on a Saul Graves strike cut into the endzone, it could have been a breaking point for Wisconsin, but the Hodags were able to punch in the hold on a crafty inside break from Avery Johnson to Craig Cox. “It would have been easier for a less experienced team to panic and look for quick outs at that point” said Wisconsin coach Hector Valdivia. “But our defense kept up the pressure and our offense clamped down.”

As the game approached the end of the first half the rain began to slow, and with the sun peeking out from behind the cloud cover, Wisconsin’s defense came to life, demonstrating apparent photosynthetic qualities. When Max Thorne overthrew Pat Earles in the back of the endzone, Wisconsin drove down the field for their first break of the game, and punched in a second after forcing a tough high-release from Trent Dillon at the end of a stall count to tie up the score at 7-7. Now it was Pittsburgh’s turn to respond to pressure, as they came out on the line needing to hold to take half.

“It reminded me of our 2013 semifinal against Oregon, where we could have gone into half 8-5 but gave up two breaks to tie it up” said Pitt assistant coach Dave Hogan. “In 2013 we responded by going with our bread and butter, Alex (Thorne) hucking it to Tyler (Degirolamo). We did the same thing today.” That bread and butter was Pat Earles hucking to Max Thorne, which worked out for Pitt just as it did three years ago, with Thorne beating Aaron Speiss in a footrace to reel in the goal that gave Pitt an 8-7 lead.

When the second half kicked off, the rain had all but stopped, and Wisconsin took advantage by breaking again to tie the game 8-8. With the game back even, the offenses on both teams started to adjust and each ran off a string of holds. Wisconsin responded to Pitt’s force out and poaches by sweeping a cutter from the sideline across the middle, which provided just enough space for their cutters to work the disc downfield. Pittsburgh used Wisconsin’s aggressive defense against them, getting them to bite on force side fakes and working the disc on around breaks.

The big moment happened at 11-11, when Wisconsin’s center handler Avery Johnson threw a turn on the first throw, not seeing Pitt’s Kevin Tang poaching in the handler lane as the soft cap horn blew. Pittsburgh worked the disc to senior Carl Morgenstern who sent a hammer to a waiting Tang in the back of the endzone that gave Pitt their first break of the second half and put them in the driver’s seat with a 12-10 lead, game to 14.

The teams traded holds to 13-12 but not without drama, as Pitt just missed on a huck that could have given them another break and Max Thorne leaped stupifingly high to pluck a Trent Dillon huck out of the air over Sterling Knoche.

Pitt received, just needing to hold to win the game and advance to semifinals. They fastidiously worked the disc downfield into the teeth of Wisconsin’s man defense, with every throw squeezed into tight windows just out of the range of the hungry Hodag defenders. Wisconsin finally got the break they needed near Pitt’s attacking brick mark, when Andrew Lehmberg turfed an I/O flick, giving the Hodags a chance to score and force double game point.

Wisconsin took a timeout to set their offense, and while the teams huddled the skies opened up and unleashed a deluge of rain, just in time for the game’s dramatic final moments. With the sidelines and packed stands going crazy amidst the downpour, chaos ensued on the field. Aaron Speiss dropped Wisconsin’s first throw, but promptly got the disc back after Pitt’s Jack Slevin underthrew an O/I flick to the endzone.

Wisconsin turned again on a swing near the goal line, but a Sterling Knoche layout block regained possession for the Hodags, only for Christian Pitts to knock a low huck out of the sky and earn the disc back to En Sabah Nur. With both teams scrambling to get in position after the flurry of turnovers, Trent Dillon took advantage of the chaos and launched a skyscraping break backhand into the endzone towards Kyle Heartley and his defender. Time seemed to stop for a moment as the fate of the game and Wisconsin’s season hung in the air along with the disc.

Moments later, the disc was in Hartley’s hands and Pittsburgh were rushing the field to celebrate with the sophomore who made an incredible read and leap on the disc to send En Sabah Nur into the semifinals. It was one of several important plays made by Hartley, who made his mark on Pitt’s O-line after slowly earning the role over the course of the season. “It was surreal” said Hartley after the game. “In that moment, I just wanted to focus on cutting hard and using my athleticism, and I guess I’m lucky Trent made such a great throw.”

For Wisconsin, the loss came as quite a blow after they had been easily the most dominant team at the tournament before this morning and were beginning to feel that this was their year. It has now been four years since the legendary program has made the semifinals, but with the quality of players coming through the Hodag system, there’s always next year for Wisconsin. “We’re returning 20 of our 26 players” said Valdvia after the game. “As soon as the season ends we think about what we’re going to do to prepare for next year, and right now it’s the start of the 2017 season,”

For Pittsburgh, the win sends them back to the semifinals after big upsets the past two years ended their seasons in quarters. Unlike the past two seasons, Pittsburgh did not come in as a one seed in 2016, and perhaps their tumultuous road to Nationals toughened them for games just like this. “Losing in Regionals helped us so much” said Hogan. “We’ve had our backs against the wall already this season, so we were ready for today.”

Pitt will face another tough North Central opponent in Minnesota this evening, and they’ll need to get back to the level they played at this morning if they want to continue their quest for a title on Monday. If they can continue to get production out of their D-line role players, and the big four of Dillon, Thorne, Earles and Pitts play to their potential, then Pittsburgh could very well make it to Monday, and possibly add a third National Championship to their trophy case.

Written by Patric Stegemoeller for
Ultiworld

Semifinal: Minnesota

In an unforgettable semifinals victory over Pittsburgh, Minnesota underscored a simple fact: they were the deepest team in the country this season.

While Minnesota (#4) had started the tournament as a narrow favorite over Pitt (#5), a rash of injuries that would have devastated lesser teams made Grey Duck anything but. This should have been a very different team than the one that started elimination play. In prequarters, they lost freshman sensation Cole Wallin and D-line star Sam Bumsted in an upset of the top seeded Massachusetts. Minnesota’s Callahan nominee Ryan Osgar, whose six assists led them to a win against Colorado a round earlier, was ruled out with a lingering knee injury. Then in the middle of this semifinals match against a Pittsburgh team trying to become the first modern dynasty, Tristan Van de Moortele (who already had three goals) pulled up lame with an apparent hamstring problem.

If you look at the situation from a Moneyball perspective, when Van De Moortele went down, Minnesota was replacing guys who accounted for a staggering 26 goals and 43 assists thus far at Nationals.

Perhaps most enigmatic is that each of those players were available for a Friday pool play meeting with Pitt ” a game in which Minnesota blew a 13-11 lead.

But it’s hard to beat a team twice.

Through intermittent downpours and with a well-lubricated crowd behind them, the boys from Minneapolis put on a gutsy performance that would become the game of the tournament.

***

The contest started the way it was supposed to for a squad missing as much firepower as Minnesota. Pitt capitalized on the first Grey Duck turnover of the game when rookie Mike Ing made a heads up play on a huck intended for a teammate to go up 3-1.

At this point if you’re Vegas, Minnesota objectively had no chance. They are just too snakebitten with injury. Pitt is too stacked. If they were going to win this game they were going to have to hold on every O point and at the very end…pray, maybe.

The next offensive possession wasn’t perfect, though Duck would hold. Then, in an incredible sequence, Minnesota would rattle off three breaks.

Trent Dillon missed on two deep flick hucks that carried just a little too far for their targets, and Soham Shah dealt a lefty backhand to Connor Anderson at the front cone for 3-3. Max Thorne muffed an inside throw and Wyatt Mekler hit Alex Jirele with a touch flick for Jirele’s second goal of the tournament. Anderson poached his man for a layout block on a Pitt in cut then Mekler found Van De Moortele for Grey Duck’s fourth straight point. Minnesota now led 5-3.

This is where you really start to notice the matchup differences from the first meeting between these two teams on Friday. With Cole Wallin out, Van De Moortele and freshman Zach Trosvig took Thorne. Connor Anderson was now covering Dillon, who won the Callahan Award earlier in the day, in place of Sam Bumsted (who is five inches taller than Anderson). So many unfamiliar faces were coming into the game on defense you had to have your program folded to Minnesota’s roster at all times. And the madness of it is that they were all playing well.

“We got some huge contributions from freshmen like Zach Trosvig coming out and D’ing up Max Thorne on a couple hucks,” said Grey Duck head coach Tallis Boyd. “Alex Jirele, Neil Peterson, Blake [Trantina]… they just don’t stop running.”

Rain was coming down in sheets just before halftime. Pitt trailed 7-5 and desperately had to hold but Ben Jagt got a sneaky block on what seemed like one of three dozen around backhand breaks from Dillon near the Minnesota goal line and Grey Duck called timeout to give themselves the best chance to break. After some high stall throws, Jagt found Tony Poletto at the cone. Minnesota went ahead three breaks and held to start the second half for their biggest lead of the game at 9-5.

Minnesota was invigorated but all parties at WRAL Soccer Park seemed to know that some kind of Pitt comeback was inevitable. It just wouldn’t have made sense for a team with Dillon, Thorne, and Pat Earles to close the book on their college careers without some pushback.

The Pitt stars got assists on the three of the next four goals to rally back and knot the game at nine. As if there weren’t enough grounded ducks, at 9-6 Minnesota’s Tristan Van De Moortele, who had been critical for the offense in the absence of Ryan Osgar, went down with a hamstring injury.

Pittsburgh’s D-line had started to generate some consistent pressure running force flick and funneling cuts to the forehand side. Minnesota’s stack drifted too deep from time to time. Trapped Grey Duck players had to put up some high stall shots on a few occasions. If you’re going to do that, it helps to have Ben Jagt.

“Luckily the bailouts worked for us more often than they didn’t,” said Jagt, who was on the receiving end of most hopeful throws. “During the breaks Tallis was just saying ‘Just execute. Just do your thing.’”

The atmosphere in the stadium was like a home game for Minnesota. The lightning delay in the earlier semifinal gave soaking wet fans some extra time to get crazy. Through the hit parade of Jock Jams coming from Auburn’s Hank Womble’s trombone, the crowd rallied around Jagt and his Grey Duck team in a way seldom seen. Jagt’s unique combination of size, speed, and pun-versatile last name propelled him to cult hero status. Twitter was ablaze with Jagt-related memes. His big plays (like the five goals and pair of assists he registered) were almost always celebrated by those in attendance with a Jagt-centric rendition of Shots by LMFAO ft. Lil Jon. Between pulls, the masses joined the Minnesota Quack!… Quack!… chant.

While there was a strong Pittsburgh contingent (southwestern Pennsylvania is only about seven hours from Raleigh), Joe Ultimate Fan was pulling for Minnesota. This new fan base also rained poignant heckles down upon Pitt, like “Leeeeeeeeeee-hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh!” a reference to the D-III sized school that upset Pittsburgh at Ohio Valley regionals.

“That was the most unreal feeling,” veteran handler Soham Shah reflected at tournament’s end. “On the field, we were so excited to play. When you have every single player in the stands cheering for you, there’s no way we can lose that game.”

Pedigree, injuries, weather… none of it mattered anymore. Minnesota had to find a way to hang on. Excitement would not wane down the stretch.

Duck’s offense settled back in and churned out some clutch holds. After a second Trosvig block on a huck to Thorne, Minnesota broke to pull ahead 12-10. Again Minnesota would have a chance to convert on defense with a 40 yard try to the end zone before Pitt’s Kyle Hartley would make up the ground for a trailing edge, highlight reel stop. Pittsburgh held and broke back. Minnesota found themselves in trouble with a shaky O point that ended in a Mekler dime hammer to Anderson late in the count. Pitt responded in kind with an all too familiar Earles huck to Dillon. 13-13. Double game point.

Minnesota patiently worked the disc up the force to the goal line and sent it around to the break side. Mekler found Shah in the shallow break space with a low flick. Shah went down and tackled the catch with two hands to be absolutely certain, and there it was. Ballgame.

“No hero ball,” Boyd laughed when asked what was going through his mind on the final point. “We’re just looking for completed passes. We have an end zone offense that we feel works pretty well. It relies on guys making cuts, clearing space, and hitting open hands. Sometimes that means something a little slippery on the inside and that’s what won it tonight.”

Next man up. It had been said in conversations with players and by Boyd repeatedly when the injuries started and, let’s be honest, sounds like nothing more than coach speak. Yet, somehow this mantra was spoken into reality as top players were dropping like flies. About the only thing going right for Minnesota was that they practice late at night (due to the weather delays, the game ended around 12:30 AM) and they were unburdened of expectation. Who doesn’t love being the ‘dog?

“We knew we didn’t have much pressure on us because these dudes [Pitt] are the ones who want to win so bad and they’re a legacy program,” Jagt said as security guards started ushering players and fans from the field. “So we knew the pressure was on them and we just sort of took on our last year’s persona of underdogs and just played.”

Pittsburgh had expectations of their own. Though it didn’t work out the way the senior-heavy team had planned, they lost to the eventual champion and staged a late comeback using the full complement of their roster -” something they may not have been able to do a year ago.

“They battled like a bunch of warriors,” Pitt head coach Nick Kaczmarek said after his team’s first trip to semis since 2013. ” I think we went 17 [or] 18 deep in semifinals. We certainly haven’t done that before and that comeback is 100 percent due to that depth. Without that depth and rotating in, I don’t think we could’ve fought back in that game. I don’t think there was a shot.”

Written by Tad Wissel for
Ultiworld


Pittsburgh-B Tournaments

Steel City Showdown: Turner Valley, Irwin, PA – October 17th – 18th, 2015

Pool Play (0-3)

Dayton 15 – Pittsburgh-B 9

James Madison 15 – Pittsburgh-B 10
SUNY Buffalo 15 – Pittsburgh-B 13

9th Place Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Ohio 15 – Pittsburgh-B 9

13th Place Bracket (1-0)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-B 11 – Carnegie Mellon 10


Fall Championships: Princeton, NJ – November 14th – 15th, 2015


Pittsburgh-B at the Fall Championships.

Pool Play (1-3)

Lehigh 13 – Pittsburgh-B 4

Temple 13 – Pittsburgh-B 11
West Chester 13 – Pittsburgh-B 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Rutgers X 1

5th Place Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-B 13 – Messiah 8

Final: Temple 13 – Pittsburgh-B 10


Warm up: A Florida Affair 2016: Tampa, FL – February 12th – 14th, 2016

Emerging Powerhouse Pool Play (5-1)

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Auburn B 1

Pittsburgh-B 13 – South Florida B 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Florida Atlantic 3
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Central Florida B 4
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Northwestern B 0
Florida State B 13 – Pittsburgh-B 11

Emerging Powerhouse Championship Bracket (3-0)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh-B 15 – South Florida B 3

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-B 15 – Florida State B 8
Final: Pittsburgh-B 13 – Florida B 12 recap

Final: Florida B


CWRUL Memorial Tournament 2016: Columbus, OH – March 19th – 20th, 2016

Pool Play (4-0)

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Wright State 6

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Rochester 5
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Case Western Reserve B 3
Pittsburgh-B 12 – Carnegie Mellon 8

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh-B 15 – Ohio Wesleyan 11

Semifinal: Dayton 15 – Pittsburgh-B 8

3rd Place Bracket (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh-B W – Carnegie Mellon L


Steel City B-Team Brodown 2016: North Huntingdon, PA – April 2nd – 3rd, 2016

Pool Play (6-0)

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Impuluse 3

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Case Western Reserve B 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – George Washington B 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – SUNY-Brockport 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Pittsburgh-Johnstown 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Ohio State B 1

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-B 11 – Lehigh B 6

Final: Wisconsin B 15 – Pittsburgh-B 14


Ohio Valley Dev College Men’s Conferences: Morgantown, WV – April 23rd – 24th, 2016

Pool Play (4-0)

Pittsburgh-B 13 – West Chester B 1

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Penn State B 1
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Case Western Reserve B 2
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Lehigh B 7

Championship Bracket (2-0)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-B 15 – Case Western Reserve B 4

Final: Pittsburgh-B 15 – Lehigh B 7


Ohio Valley D-1 College Men’s Regionals: Columbus, OH – April 30th – May 1st, 2016

Pool Play (1-2)

Cincinnati 14 – Pittsburgh-B 12 recap

Ohio State 15 – Pittsburgh-B 1
Pittsburgh-B 15 – Villanova 10

2nd Place Backdoor Bracket (0-1)

Round of 32: Ohio 15 – Pittsburgh-B 10

9th Place Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-B 13 – West Chester 12

Final: Dayton 11 – Pittsburgh-B 9

Pool Play: Cincinnati



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