Carleton Ultimate Claims Third Division I College National Title

Carleton Ultimate (CUT) won its third national title by dominating the competition at this past weekend’s USA Ultimate Collegiate Championships. CUT went unbeaten throughout the national tournament, finishing 4-0 in pool play before breezing past Stanford, Iowa and Wisconsin to take home its third national title in club history and second in the last three years. CUT was backed by a large contingent of parents, alumni and fans during the national tourney in Boulder, Colo.

May 30, 2011

Carleton Ultimate (CUT) won its third national title by dominating the competition at this past weekend’s USA Ultimate Collegiate Championships.

CUT, which had been ranked at or near the top of the national polls for much of the year, ended up finishing third at the regional tournament and thus found itself as the ninth seed heading into the national tournament.

Once CUT showed up in Boulder, Colo., for the event, though, it served notice quickly that the regional results were not indicative of their level of play, as they proceeded to whip all comers en route to the club’s second title in three years.

In pool play, CUT dispatched of Cornell University (N.Y.), 15-10, and blew past Whitman College (Wash.), 15-4. In day two of pool play, CUT topped British Colombia, 15-7, and Harvard, 14-11.

In Sunday play, CUT opened by dismantling Stanford in the quarterfinals, 15-7. In the semifinals, CUT controlled the bulk of the contest and cruised past Iowa, 15-10. The win over Iowa avenged an earlier loss in the regional second-place game where Iowa utilized deep throws and a stingy zone defense. CUT, however, made the necessary adjustments, capitalized on its break opportunities and took an 8-4 lead at the break. CUT extended to a 14-8 margin and cruised into the national title game for the third consecutive season.

Once in the finals, CUT battled old nemesis, Wisconsin. The Hodags had taken the central region title this season from CUT, and the rivalry goes back to the start of the programs. Only one thing could overshadow such a rivalry in such a big contest, and that was the playing conditions, which many called the worst ever for a college championship match. Winds gusted upwards of 40-50 miles per hour, and were sustained around 20-25 mph for much of the match.

CUT, though, wouldn’t be denied. While both sides elected to play for field position, this marked a departure in strategy for CUT, but it executed to near perfection. Rather than depend on its normal possession offense that relies on speedy cutters and keeping the disc moving, CUT played field position and took advantage of the long hucks when available, making a number of nice grabs in traffic for goals or near the goal that led to easy scores.

CUT took the early advantage, 2-0, and after the Hodags closed to 5-4, CUT reeled off three straight points to seize control at the break, 8-4. The soft cap was called at 9-5, and the result seemed no longer in doubt. Carleton held going downwind to make it 10-5, and on the next point, a Grant Lindsley ’11 (Atlanta) huck left CUT just shy of the clinching goal, which was reeled in by Justin Norden ’13 (Shoreline, Wash.) to clinch the title.