Terminus Preview by Grant
March 26, 2011, 2:19 am
Filed under: tournament write-ups

20 teams descend on Atlanta this weekend to do battle in one of the final national tilts of the regular season before the USAU series.  With wildcard bids on the line, everyone will be gunning for their best outing of the year to date.

Pool A:

Tufts leads this pool and they are the defending champions of this event.  If you think that the talent has dropped after Andrew Hollingworth left, you’re quite mistaken as the E-Men are also riding the coattails of a Southerns victory last weekend.  Despite being without the services Adrian Banerji and Jay Clark, they still have plenty of firepower and should be able to hold serve but this is a dangerous pool.  Lurking right behind Tufts is a bevy of fast, tall and talented teams starting with Washington University in St. Louis.  They might not necessarily have gotten the same press as other teams who benefited from big grad student pick ups but adding Joe MacDonald to a largely intact roster from the previous year is huge.  The former Prankster joins Chris James from Indiana as first year grad students playing for a Wash U team that has had its share of players gain valuable experience on the club circuit in the fall.  MacDonald’s former team, Middlebury, is also in this pool.  A rare site occurred last year when the Middlebury Pranksters wore matching uniforms with numbers as per USAU regulations but this is never a team to slack on.  These guys have a lot of fun and play excellent disc while enjoying themselves.  Jake Herman leads the way with a good chunk of the cast from last year’s Nationals squad remains including Joe “Waldo” Cox and sophomore stud Mattias Fitzpatrick.  Behind them is Alabama whose leadership made an appearance at club Nationals this past fall with Tanasi.  The positive vibes from this team though comes from the quickly developing rookies.  The newbies are really adapting to not only the game on the field but the culture of the sport as well according to Bama president Will Drumright.  The Tide have been on the cusp of really shining in the series over the past few years and if they want to carry momentum into the conference, this is the time to bring it.  If you thought that was the end of the talent in the pool, you’re wrong as Kennesaw State brings up the rear but boasts Chain Lightning rookie Taylor “Tree” Goforth as well other standouts from last year’s Regionals team including the O’ Kelley brothers and Jac Clark.  The Owls are a dangerous team and have already chalked up a finals appearance at Music City after a lackluster Saturday and short roster.  They can win at any time if other teams aren’t careful.

Pool B

The top end of this pool starts with a pair of teams double dipping from last week’s Easterns tournament.  Ohio, the champion from the qualifier tournament and UNC-Wilmington, the hosts, carry some heavy hitters.  Ohio has really stepped onto the national scene after winning the qualifier and finishing 11th in Wilmington, beating out the hosts in that final game.  The Bobcats have struggled to finish tournaments in previous years according to Andy Ball but this was redemption for them.  UNC-Wilmington is a traditional powerhouse that finally closed the gap with their regional competitors last year by qualifying for Nationals for the first time since 2002 with steady guidance of Rusty Ingold-Smith.  The Seamen lost him to graduation but retain big men like Tommy Lamar and all around solid player Stephen Bender.  The Seamen also have a tremendous asset in Tully Beauty as a coach as they look to finally put all the pieces together in their last tournament before the series.  The team really deems this tournament a national tournament is the Stanford Cardinal, making the trip from Palo Alto to regain some mojo.  The most dominant program of the 2000’s out of the old Northwest region, they stumbled last year, failing to make Nationals for the first time since 2003, when there was only 1 bid out of the Northwest.  This is a program that won’t be on hard times for very long and has capable players who can lead Bloodthirsty to victory.  Ryan Thompson is the steady handler on O who marches the Cardinal down the field and Stanford will need plenty of scoring this weekend in hopes of earning their new region another bid to Nationals.  Williams, another perennial Nationals contender out of New England returns to Terminus this year, hoping to get out of mixed bag funk as well as blustery New England conditions this time of year.  WUFO showed promise in their first tournament in Tuscaloosa but poor Saturday play in Statesboro meant they were fighting for 25th place after pool play.  With only a week to figure out a game plan, look for Williams to be happy that time spent in the South is better than cracking the books back home right now.  Rounding out the pool is another local squad, Emory who’ve struggled mightily this year.  Juice has produced a bevy of solid players in the past.  Simply look at the elite coed team, Bucket for validation.  The problem is Emory has failed to produce elite teams since a bid to Nationals has largely remained a pipe dream.  The team is taking steps in a positive direction by adding alumni Matt Wetzel as a coach this year.  If Mike Arenson shows up to back up Byron Liu, this team won’t be a pushover.

Pool C

Ohio State has the unfortunate distinction of losing in the finals of every spring tournament they’ve played in so far.  That’s got to hurt.  Getting over that Sunday hump will be the only thing on Lead Belly’s collective minds and they have the players to go deep into the weekend.  The Baumann brothers, Phil Cherosky and Jesse “Spike” Wohl are big playmakers for the Buckeyes and will be key to generating wins throughout the weekend.  Central Florida and Georgia Tech aren’t slouches either and could very well take the pool as well.  UCF hold the keys in order to earn the Southeast a second bid.  Former Dog of War Andrew Roca has coached this team to the tune of only a couple of losses heading into the weekend and the Dogs could very well bump up their ranking into the wildcard zone with a deep tourney run this weekend.  Georgia Tech is also primed for a good showing after making semifinals in this event last year and keeping the roster largely intact.  They won ACC’s earlier this year and have responded well with national champion Nick Lance and Hogan McHugh making impact plays on offense and defense.  Sean Lee is an under the radar defender who racks up D’s on a regular basis.  Tribe suffered heartbreak in the game to go to Nationals last year and don’t want to suffer the same fate again, so Terminus is the launch point for a bid.  George Washington has seen success in the past, but that success is too far gone that the current squad has no first hand knowledge of Nationals experience.  That could change in the coming seasons as Evan Feeney is really impressed with this year’s crop of rookies.  Four freshmen make up the starting O line for the Hippos and with hardly any results to their names so far this season, this team is a wildcard that spoil the hopes of many other teams this weekend.  The 5th seeded team, MIT is has shown flashes of brilliance at times but so far this season has not been able to produce favorable results.  Another of the stable of teams thats staying the week from playing Statesboro last weekend, the Beavers have some seriously tall players and some skilled handlers but lack the depth to make a run at the top.

Pool D

The Illini have become a Nationals staple out of the Great Lakes region but have had trouble making it out of the bottom half of the field the past few years.  Zubair is gone, opting to turn pro and play with Machine, but captain Austin Lien is excited about the new talent that has arrived in Champaign-Urbana.  Nate Gibbons, Dane Jorgensen and the return of Chris Hidaka were unexpected additions to the roster which have contributed towards success so far this year.  Dartmouth on the other hand hasn’t seen the Nationals scene in some years and this year’s senior class would like to make a return trip.  Coached by Brook Martin who has two decades worth of experience to teach the players, the Pain Train had a great Saturday of Centex followed by a series of letdowns on their way to an 8th place finish.  Watch out for Lars Osterberg getting D’s left and right for the Big Green and a general happiness of not having to deal with New Hampshire weather in March.  The other hometown crew, Georgia struggled at Easterns at the tail end of their spring break.  As Charlie Herrig put it, they “were still trying to get the booze out.”  Well, its a new weekend and the team wants to get ready to peak during this time of the year again.  Matt Bailey returns after being out of Wilmington and the Dogs are hungry to get back to their winning ways if they want to extend their consecutive Nationals appearances to 7 years in a row.  North Carolina is another team that wants to get back to their winning ways of years past when they were consistently competing for Nationals bids and producing players such as Zach Washburn and Jared Inselmann.  This will be their first tournament of the spring outside of the state of North Carolina and maybe it will be the kickstart they need to to turn the tables on the competition.  Look out for Thomas Sayre-McCord, Noah Saul and Paul Weeks to keep other teams in check against Darkside.  Oberlin remains a mystery for the most part because they started their season so late.  Just last week in fact.  The Flying Horsecows haven’t been a major player in the college scene for over a decade and will run into some stiff competition this weekend as the talent level of teams rise significantly from Steakfest.

Well, that’s the skinny of what each team brings to the table this weekend but the results will speak for themselves.  See everyone on the field!

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