History: 2013 – 2014 Season


# 4 Chris Mangogna
# 50 Dillon Tranquillo
# 15 Dylan Best
# 48 Jimmy Towle
# 38 Jonah Wisch
# 11 Marquis Cofer
# 4 Patrick Asinger
# 5 Saul Graves
# 9 Carl Morgenstern
# 6 Chen Su
# 33 Connor Kazmierczak
# 43 Dan O’Connor
# 7 Jay Boyle
# 12 Kevin Tang
# 0 Peter McCloskey
# 24 Sam VanDusen
# 22 Christian Pitts
# 36 Daniel Wickens
# 2 Joe Bender
# 10 Max Thorne
# 3 Patrick Earles
# 88 Ryan DelCasino
# 16 Trent Dillon*
# 59 Aaron Watson*
# 42 Marcus Ranii-Dropcho*
# 18 Stephen Shaw
# 8 Tyler Kunsa*
5th Year/Grad
Head Coach: Nick Kaczmarek* denotes team captain
Assistant Coach: David Hogan


Spin Ultimate All-American : Trent Dillon (Junior)
Ultiworld Player of the Year First Runner-Up: Marcus Ranii-Dropcho (Senior)
Ultiworld Breakout Player of the Year: Patrick Earles (Junior)
Ultiworld Rookie of the Year First Runner-Up: Jonah Wisch (Freshman)
Ultiworld Coach of the Year Second Runner-Up: Nick Kaczmarek
Ohio Valley Coach of the Year: Nick Kaczmarek
Ohio Valley Player of the Year: Marcus Ranii-Dropcho (Senior)
Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region: Marcus Ranii-Dropcho (Senior)
Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region: Aaron Watson (Senior)
Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region: Max Thorne (Junior)
Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region: Patrick Earles (Junior)
Ohio Valley 1st Team All-Region: Trent Dillon (Junior)
Ohio Valley 2nd Team All-Region: Joe Bender (Junior)
Ohio Valley 2nd Team All-Region: Jonah Wisch (Freshman)
Ohio Valley All-Freshman: Jonah Wisch
Ohio Valley All-Freshman: Saul Graves
Ohio Valley Freshman of the Year: Jonah Wisch
Ultiworld 1st Team All-American: Marcus Ranii-Dropcho (Senior)
Callahan Finalist: Marcus Ranii-Dropcho (Senior)


Cincinnati Autumn Showcase: Clarksville, OH – October 5th – 6th, 2013
Steel City Showdown: Pittsburgh, PA – November 8th – 10th, 2013
ACC Ultimate Championship 2014: Chapel Hill, NC – January 25th – 26th, 2014
Warm Up: A Florida Affair: Tampa, FL – February 14th – 16th, 2014
Stanford Invite 2014: Stevinson, CA – March 1st – 2nd, 2014
Easterns 2014: North Myrtle Beach, SC – March 21st – 23rd, 2014
Alumni Game: Turf fields behind the Cost Center – April 5th, 2014
West Penn D-1 College Men’s Conference Championships: Morgantown, WV – April 12th – 13th, 2014
Ohio Valley D-1 College Men’s Regionals: Toledo, OH – April 26th – 27th, 2014
D-1 College Championships: Mason, OH – May 23rd – 26th, 2014


Pittsburgh-B Tournaments:

Skylander XIII: Edinboro, PA – October 12th – 13th, 2013
Steel City Showdown: Pittsburgh, PA – November 8th – 10th, 2013
Bring the Huckus V: Mercer, NJ – March 1st – 2nd, 2014
Snow Pants/No Pants: Wooster, OH – March 29th – 30th, 2014
Pennsylvania Dev College Men’s Conferences: Shippensburg, PA – April 12th – 13th, 2014

Cincinnati Autumn Showcase: Clarksville, OH – October 5th – 6th, 2013

Team X:

Pool Play (2-1)

Cincinnati Y 13 – Pittsburgh-X 11

Pittsburgh-X 13 – SUNY-Buffalo X 5
Pittsburgh-X 13 – Eastern Michigan 9

Crossover (0-1)

Cedarville X 13 – Pittsburgh-X 9

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh-X 15 – Eastern Michigan 13

Semifinal: Michigan 15 – Pittsburgh-X 10

3rd Place Bracket (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh-X W – Ohio – Y F

Team Y:

Pool Play (2-1)

Pittsburgh-Y 13 – Ohio – X 10

Pittsburgh-Y 13 – Rochester 7
Michigan 13 – Pittsburgh-Y 10

Crossover (0-1)

Eastern Michigan 13 – Pittsburgh-Y 6

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh-Y 14 – Dayton 12

Semifinal: Pittsburgh-Y 15 – Ohio Y 12
Final: Michigan 15 – Pittsburgh-Y 13

Steel City Showdown: Pittsburgh, PA – November 8th – 10th, 2013

Showcase Game (1-0)

Showcase Game: Pittsburgh 13 – Penn State 8

Pool Play (3-0)

Pittsburgh 13 – Cornell 7

Pittsburgh 13 – Maryland 10
Pittsburgh 14 – Dartmouth 13

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Cincinnati 11 – Pittsburgh 9

5th Place Bracket (2-0)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 14 – Georgetown 13

Final: Pittsburgh 13 – Tufts 12

ACC Ultimate Championship 2014: Chapel Hill, NC – January 25th – 26th, 2014

Pool Play (2-2)

Pittsburgh 13 – Wake Forest 7

Virginia 10 – Pittsburgh 9
North Carolina State 10 – Pittsburgh 8
Pittsburgh 10 – Florida 9

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Boston College 10

Quarterfinal: North Carolina 15 – Pittsburgh 13

5th Place Bracket (2-0)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Virginia Tech 13

Final: Pittsburgh 13 – Virginia 9

Warm Up: A Florida Affair: Tampa, FL – February 14th – 16th, 2014

In the weeks leading up to this tournament, you could feel the excitement among the team. Everyone was itching to play some real competition, see our hard work pay off, and of course enjoy a warm weather break from the freezing Pittsburgh. Going into the tournament we weren’t really sure what to expect, but we planned to play with intensity and to win.

Pool Play (5-2)

Texas A&M 13 – Pittsburgh 9 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – South Florida 9 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Wisconsin 11 recap
Central Florida 13 – Pittsburgh 9 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Georgia Tech 4 recap
Pittsburgh 10 – Carleton College 8 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Tufts 11 recap

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Florida State 15 – Pittsburgh 11 recap

5th Place Bracket (0-1)

Semifinal: Central Florida 12 – Pittsburgh 11 recap

Pool Play: Texas A&M
Our tournament began with a game against Texas A&M, a team that relies heavily on the playmaking ability of a select few players. Our play was choppy and tense, lacking the flow with which we had practiced. Despite being a deeper, better-conditioned team, we found ourselves behind at half with both our offense and defense looking shaky at best. Sadly, we psyched ourselves out and lost the game 9-13, mainly due to mistakes on defense and stupid turnovers on offense

Pool Play: South Florida
With our first game in Florida out of the way, we were ready to get in the swing of the tournament. We were determined to win our second game, to be played against University of South Florida. We set our priorities and goals for the game and focused on minimizing mistakes as well as improving on offense. After one half of trading points, we found ourselves up a few breaks at half. Not to be lulled to sleep by a comfortable lead at half, the D-line came out hot the second half and started shutting down their huck game (which proved to be our biggest problem throughout the match). We finished the game with a victory 13-9.

Pool Play: Wisconsin
Feeling hot after our first win in Florida, the Pitt squad was feeling ready to take on Wisconsin. The game started with O-lines trading points, and Pitt drawing first blood with several breaks before half. Wisconsin had only brought 11 players to the tournament, which worked to our advantage late in the game, as it became clear that our squad would win by running them into the ground. The game was physical and the attitude was chippy as the game reached its late critical points. Despite Wisconsin’s several breaks to pull the game close, we would go on to win the game 13-11

Pool Play: Central Florida
After a two round bye and a quick dinner, we were set to play a showcase game under the lights. A rematch of last year’s finals game at nationals, all eyes of the tournament were focused on us. We started the game out hot with a break and strong intensity. A smooth offense, an explosive defense allowed us to take half, with us up two breaks. After half, our play started going downhill. Our offense lacked its smooth flow and made mistakes, and our defense failed to get a sufficient amount of breaks. We would go on to lose the game 9-13.

Pool Play: Georgia Tech
The beginning of Saturday gifted us with a windy game against a huck-happy Georgia Tech. Our defense was able to stuff the in-cuts and swarm the deep shots to earn a surplus of breaks. The O-line did its job and converted all of its points and gave up no breaks. We went on to win the game 13-4

Pool Play: Carleton College
In a much anticipated matchup against Carleton, it was a crucial game to win in order to make it to the championship bracket on Sunday. In the early points of the game, it seemed like nothing was going our way, with Carleton coming down with the majority of 50/50 discs as well as catching what should have been our D’s. The tone of the game would shift to favor us, with our offense working the disc well despite multiple mistakes and turnovers. The D-line played well but relied more on Carleton’s mistakes to get turns rather than generating their own D’s. Our game became more and more consistent as the game went on as our superior conditioning allowed us to dictate the pace of the game. We would win after hard cap 10-8.

Pool Play: Tufts
With tufts being the last team standing between us and a trip to the championship bracket, we went into this game with high intensity. We went up early with an O-point conversion and two quick breaks, but our momentum was lost shortly after when Tufts answered back with a break of their own. From that point on, every point was played with high energy and strong focus. Each team had their runs with strings of breaks, but the game stayed fairly even throughout. Tufts junky defense and athletic offense proved to be difficult to handle, but we emerged victorious 13-11

Quarterfinal: Florida State
Sunday began with a big quarterfinal matchup against the generally disliked DUF team. From early points, we could tell that we weren’t playing the game we wanted. We traded points until the score was 3-3. Although we were getting turns on defense, we failed to capitalize and convert breaks. When we did finally break for the first time to take the lead, Florida State answered right back with two breaks of their own to quickly turn the tables. After half, our game simply fell apart. A lack of breaks and an excess of turnovers proved to be our demise as we went on to lose 11-15

Semifinal: Central Florida
During this consolation game, we focused on rotating everyone in who had not got a lot of playing time during the rest of the tournament. The O-lines and D-lines switched roles so each line could improve on its weaknesses. Our rookies really stepped it up and proved to be better than UCF’s rookies. Unable to convert on game point, UCF won 12-11

Stanford Invite 2014: Stevinson, CA – March 1st – 2nd, 2014

This year, Stanford as a tournament seemed like a bit of a letdown. We couldn’t spend the week in California as the tournament didn’t coincide with spring break, the field site was moved two hours away from the beautiful Stanford campus to a remote farmland in Stevenson CA, and the wind during all the games resembled the strength of a typhoon. From the start of game 1, it became clear that going upwind would be a battle throughout the weekend. Playing upwind defense became easy because it was as if the wind was an extra man on the field. On the other hand, on offense upwind, it was impossible to huck accurately more than 30-40 yards and if a throw had any wobble on it at all, the wind forced it in another direction at ridiculous speeds. Regardless of the sour mood, we arrived in California ready to play. This was still the most competitive college tournament of the regular season and we were determined to compete and win.

Pool Play (3-0)

Pittsburgh 9 – Stanford 6 recap

Pittsburgh 9 – Las Positas 5 recap
Pittsburgh 10 – North Carolina 8 recap

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Wisconsin 11 recap

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – California-Davis 8 recap
Final: North Carolina 15 – Pittsburgh 11 recap

Pool Play: Stanford
This game was one for us to get used to the intense wind presence on the field. It was difficult adjusting our style of play that we practiced for hours to fit such harsh conditions. Stanford came out in a zone while we switched between man and other zone variations on our defense. To be expected, there was a lack of upwind breaks throughout the game as we traded points for most of the first half. We did a good job of converting our O-points with minimal turnovers while forcing Stanford to have multiple 4-5 turnover O-points. We would score enough upwind breaks to win 9-6.

Pool Play: Las Positas
The game started out with a crucial upwind O-point as Las Positas won the flip and chose to go with the wind. We would score our first point upwind and then easily break downwind to take the early 2-0 lead. We eventually refined our offense to a “punt and play d” strategy as we could easily pin them on their own goal line, get the turn, and have a short field to score. Our strategy would pay off as we went on to easily beat Las Positas 9-5

Pool Play: North Carolina
A very important game for us, we came out ready to play as we wanted revenge on UNC for beating us at ACCUC. The wind was strong and our intensity was high for our first live streamed game of the season. The game started out slow by trading points but would eventually pick up when we earned a few tough upwind breaks. Our shutdown in-cut defense would lead to our victory and UNC’s first loss of the season 8-10.

Quarterfinal: Wisconsin
Our perfect record on day 1 earned us a direct bye to quarterfinals against Wisconsin for the first game of day 2. The conditions were just as windy as day 1, however we had grown accustomed to its strength and were prepared for it. We started the game going downwind on defense and earned a quick break. As the game progressed, a trend of constant hucking downwind became evident with each team. Both teams struggled to maintain possession of the disc, and each point had multiple turnovers. Unfortunately, the game would see an excess of arguing with Wisconsin making some highly questionable calls that do not hold up upon further film review. In the end, our ability to work the disc well upwind would prove to earn us the game, as we would go on to win 15-11.

Semifinal: California-Davis
Our next matchup in the championship bracket was against an unexpected opponent in UC Davis. Their strategy relied on a few key players to dominate the game, but their influence on the game was greatly diminished due to the wind. We were able to huck, as well as work the disc effectively for large gains when going downwind, but as usual, the game would be won by whichever team could earn the most upwind breaks. The game saw us trading points for the majority of the first half, which was long and drawn out thanks to numerous drops from both sides. It was us who would get the first break, and soon another giving us the lead 7-4. After half, we would find another two breaks from our bench players to take our lead to 12-7 which would prove to be too much for UC Davis to overcome. Pitt would win 15-8.

Final: North Carolina
A rematch from earlier in the tournament, we were prepared to stick to the game plan that had won us the pool play game against UNC. A close but failed first upwind O-point, slightly hindered our spirits but we still played strong through the first few points. After UNC took the lead 1-2, an unexpected thunderstorm temporarily suspended the game. Once the rain stopped, so did the wind. For the first time the entire weekend we were not fighting insane winds to throw a simple 10 yard pass. This new absence of wind proved to be a problem for our defense, as the wind had generated most of our d’s over the course of the weekend. We found that our defense was lazy coming out of the rain delay, and UNC capitalized on it. UNC would break twice to take half 8-5 and it was all downhill for us from there. We would fail to get any breaks throughout the second half as UNC kept their lead for a victory 15-11.

Easterns 2014: North Myrtle Beach, SC – March 21st – 23rd, 2014

The anticipation leading into Easterns set the tone as generally unfavorable; the field site had been moved from its original location to a new unknown site in Myrtle Beach, the weather called for heavy rain, and of course no one was excited about the ten hour car ride to get to the tournament. Our tentative attitude was quickly replaced with excitement as soon as we arrived at our destination. The Hotel was a vacation resort right on the beach, the weather was fantastic and the fields we played on were some of the best we had seen all season. Easterns was a great tournament for us and also a very important one, as it was our last tournament leading into the college series.

Pool Play (3-0)

Pittsburgh 15 – Illinois 12 recap

Pittsburgh 15 – Luther 7 recap
Pittsburgh 14 – Florida State 11 recap

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Florida 14 recap

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – North Carolina 10 recap
Final: Michigan 15 – Pittsburgh 13 recap

Pool Play: Illinois
Like any other tournament this season, our first game had its rough patches. Despite an early break to get us the lead 2-1, Illinois was able to respond back with several breaks of their own to take the lead 4-3. Throughout the first half, our play was choppy and inconsistent. Both O-line and D-line were turning the disc over often. Illinois was able to break twice to take half 8-5. After half, our game started clicking; we earned three breaks immediately out of half and let up no more breaks for the rest of the game. We took our first lead at 11-10, and won the game 15-12.

Pool Play: Luther
We weren’t sure what to expect when playing Luther, as this was their first tournament of the season. We entered the game prepared for a fight, however it turned out to be a massacre. Despite starting the game out with a rough and long O-point, we scored 5 unanswered points before Luther was able to make it to the scoreboard. With a 8-2 score at halftime, a second half surge was not in the cards for Luther. Our rookies saw plenty of game time as we went on to finish the job 15-7.

Pool Play: Florida State
Going into our first live streamed game at Easterns, press was the last thing on our minds. This was a rematch against a disliked Florida State team that kicked us out of the championship bracket at Warm-up. We smelled blood in the water as FSU had barely squeaked out a universe point win over Illinois and suffered a 17-15 loss at the hand of Luther, during the two earlier rounds, but we didn’t let that hinder our focus on the game. The game started out with both teams trading points until the score was even at 5-5, with a notable Callahan coming from Captain Watson. After an offensive conversion, we broke first to make the game 7-5, and we went into half 8-6. Straight out of half, we would get two breaks. Florida State would pull close with a few breaks of their own to make the game 11-10, but in the end our consistent play would prove to be enough. Pitt wins 15-11.

Quarterfinal: Florida
After a short, 3-game day one and a relaxing night in a nice resort, we were well rested and ready to take on Florida; a matchup we knew we would have to play our best for. In the first few points of the game, our offense worked the disc quickly and efficiently while our d-line forced Florida to take long O-points with several turnovers. A Florida drop on their own goal line allowed us to take the first break of the game, which was followed a few points later by a badass Callahan, courtesy of Pat Earles. After half, Florida was able to break twice, and shortly after soft cap was called, we found ourselves pulling in a universe point situation. We put our kill d-line on and got the d on their half of the field and punched in the score easily to win 15-14.

Semifinal: North Carolina
This was the matchup we had been waiting for. The entire team was itching for another shot at UNC, who beat us in the finals of Stanford. With our fans watching live on Ultiworld, we were ready to kick some ass. We took the early lead and were able to break UNC with our “young defensive line” to make the score 3-1, but UNC answered back with a break of their own to even the score 3-3. We were able to get another break with our young defensive line, especially with contributions from our rising star Carl Morgenstern, despite being much shorter than his matchup John Nethercutt. We would take UNC to half 8-6, and quickly get two explosive breaks immediately out of half. Although we started the half with a lead as big as 8-11, we let UNC come back into the game, bringing it as close as 11-10. Luckily we got our game together and finish on a strong run of breaks, winning 15-10.

Final: Michigan
After a long break from the UNC game, we were ready physically to take on Michigan, but not mentally. We entered the game with a different mindset than we had played with all tournament and it showed. We started out the first half well with an immediate break on the first point, but from there we went into cruise control; our first fatal mistake. Although our offense played well and smoothly throughout the first half, our defense was not up to par and allowed Michigan to take two breaks into half. After halftime ended, our defense was still lacking intensity. Our zone defense generated several turnovers, but few of them were D’s. When Michigan had the lead 11-9, as strong wind made its presence known on the field shortly followed by rain; the sloppy conditions did not help our play. We were able to get two breaks to bring the game close towards the end 12-12, but after trading several points Michigan would break for the win 15-13

Alumni Game: Turf fields behind the Cost Center – April 5th, 2014

2014 Alumni game. More photos on fb.

Alumni Game (0-1)

Final: Pitt Alumni 15 – Pittsburgh 10

West Penn D-1 College Men’s Conference Championships: Morgantown, WV – April 12th – 13th, 2014

Round Robin (6-0)

Pittsburgh 15 – Indiana (Pennsylvania) 5

Pittsburgh 15 – Shippensburg 9
Pittsburgh 14 – Penn State 8
Pittsburgh 15 – Edinboro 1
Pittsburgh 11 – Carnegie Mellon 5
Pittsburgh 12 – West Virginia 5

Ohio Valley D-1 College Men’s Regionals: Toledo, OH – April 26th – 27th, 2014

Pool Play (3-0)

Pittsburgh 15 – Edinboro 7

Pittsburgh 15 – Carnegie Mellon 9
Pittsburgh 15 – Pennsylvania 4

Championship Bracket (3-0)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Shippensburg 7

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Cincinnati 6
Final: Pittsburgh 15 – Penn State 4

D-1 College Championships: Mason, OH – May 23rd – 26th, 2014

En Sabah Nur tied for 5th after a heartbreaking loss in quarterfinals.

The team finished first or tied for first in spirit for the first time ever at Nationals.

Pool Play (4-0)

Pittsburgh 15 – Dartmouth 8 recap

Pittsburgh 15 – Texas A&M 9
Pittsburgh 15 – Michigan 8 recap
Pittsburgh 15 – Central Florida 12 recap

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: North Carolina-Wilmington 14 – Pittsburgh 13 recap

Pool Play: Dartmouth
Pittsburgh (#2) v. Dartmouth (#18)

16 hours on a bus is not conducive to playing your best Ultimate. Neither is playing the two time defending champion in the opening round. Dartmouth did a nice job stopping Pitt’s pull plays with zone defense, but then you’re just picking a different poison. Pitt took the foot off the gas around 9-5 and took some studs off of the defensive line. Give Dartmouth credit, they were still able to score, but this result was never in question.

Pitt wins 15-8.

Written by Ultiworld

Pool Play: Michigan
Pittsburgh (#2) v. Michigan (#11)

Pittsburgh dominated Michigan wire-to-wire in a rematch of the 2014 Easterns final, closing out a dominant 15-8 win and putting themselves one step closer to a pool victory.

The defending National Champions came out hot, with two quick breaks, taking advantage of a short field drop and a throwaway from the Michigan offense. After Michigan held on offense to make it 2-1, Pitt scored four straight, opening up a 6-1 lead that basically sealed the game.

Pitt used a combination of “kill” lines designed to get breaks and more typical defensive lines throughout the first half. Though Michigan got two breaks back with their junk zone creating some Pittsburgh execution mistakes, they still trailed 8-5 at the break.

Pitt came out strong in the second half thanks to strong play from Pat Earles and the entire defensive line. After Pitt extended the lead back to six, both teams emptied their benches as the game wound down in garbage time.

Pitt has yet to face a challenge this weekend, and will likely play UCF for the pool this afternoon.

Written by Charlie Eisenhood for Ultiworld

Pool Play: Central Florida
Pittsburgh (#2) v. Central Florida (#14)

It’s rare to have a game plan that holds water when the game starts. Instinct takes over. Momentum rises and falls. Things don’t go the way you drew them up and the mind panics. That is, unless you’re UCF coach Andrew Roca, who previewed the Dogs fourth round game against Pitt with me perfectly a half an hour before the first pull.

“On of the biggest things I saw this season is them getting beat deep, but we have to open up opportunities to go deep,” Roca said following a pool play win over Dartmouth. “That’s going to be the biggest challenge. I think once we’re in the air we’re going to be golden.”

Even though Pitt held seed and defeated UCF 15-12 – Roca wasn’t lying.

Offensively, this game was a home run derby. Huge throws to huge guys, over and over again. Pitt knew what UCF was doing and often couldn’t stop it. The Dogs’ big guys Jeremy Langdon (#25), freshman Michael Fairley (#5), and Stuart Little (#74) ran wild in the first half. Moon shot hucks came from Brawley Adams (#1), John Best (#33), and Mike Ogren (#42).

Unlike the other teams in Pool B, the Dogs ran very little junk defense at Pitt. The Dogs challenged Pitt with man and generated some early turns with hard pressure. Yeah, Pitt’s got athletes, but so does UCF. You can tell by the score.

UCF isn’t the only one team that can huck. Throughout all of this Pittsburgh’s Pat Earles (#3) is throwing break huck after break huck to the upwind endzone.

Pitt takes half 8-7 on serve and makes their adjustments, running switches on in cuts to keep a man deep. It works, kind of. The strategy slows Central Florida down but Pitt wasn’t really taking the disc away.

Playing the deep game, being as heavily invested in the deep game as UCF was is a lot like living and dying by the three pointer in basketball. A lot can go wrong from that far away, and if you’re not clicking, Pitt will make you pay. The Dogs have a good short game, too, no question, but hucking was a category where Central Florida held a serious advantage.

Pitt scores to make it 12-11 and UCF is hanging tough. Then a familiar scene unfolded. Head coach Nick Kaczmarek calls for the muscle and sends out a KILL line of Tyler Kunsa, Max Thorne, Aaron Watson, Trent Dillon, Christian Pitts, Marcus Ranii-Dropcho, and the man of the hour, Pat Earles.

Ranii-Dropcho forces a misread on a hammer, Earles gets the disc and rips a break huck to Max Thorne. Pitt goes on to win 15-12.

Written by Charlie Eisenhood for Ultiworld

Earles finished the game with an unbelievable stat line. Six assists, two goals, and zero turnovers.

Quarterfinal: North Carolina-Wilmington
Double game point:

There were a lot of possible storylines a college Ultimate fan could dream up by glancing at the quarterfinal matchup between Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Headlines like ‘Pitt Rolls Through Quarters, Readies for Semis’ would probably come to mind. Maybe something about Pitt’s core of North Hills High School players in Max Thorne, Pat Earles, and Aaron Watson, who accounted for 18 of a possible 26 goals and assists.

One headline nobody had was ‘UNC Wilmington Stuns Pittsburgh In Quarterfinals Thriller’ 14-13.

Wilmington’s head coach Greg Vassar agreed.

“Who out here expects us to be in semis?” an elated Vassar remarked over the riotous scene following the game. “Nobody. Except for our 23 guys.”

After the game, the packed sidelines have started to spill on to the field. The Wilmington faithful setup a human cheering gauntlet for their team and coaches to run through. People are crying for joy, crying for disappointment. Jerseys are off. It’s a madhouse.

“This is where we wanted to be,” said Vassar. “We believed and we executed. That’s all the difference.”

Really, who else could believe it? A defending two time national champion against a team that went 0-2 on Friday . . . a game that didn’t see a single break until 13-13 . . . Pitt Kill lines failing to get breaks for the first time all season. If you had this in your bracket, you can collect your billion dollars.

There’s a big difference between saying you believe, and actually believing. Everyone says they believe. UNC-W showed it with their actions and, really, all facets of their game.

Man Defense

For most of the weekend weekend, Pitt had seen zone or transition from teams that didn’t want to run with them. Wilmington showed no fear of running man defense against Pitt’s offensive line. The Seamen came down man on the first point, creating some pressure with hard bids. Even though Pitt held, there’s that word: pressure. Vassar and company kept Pitt on their toes by mixing in some junk defenses here and there, like good teams do. But when they pulled to Pitt at 13-13 – for all the marbles – they believed in man defense.

Hammers & Hucks

When you’re favored like Pitt was, the onus is on you to play flawless offense. Wilmington, on the other hand, played nice and loose with their throws. Comfortable. Huge, screaming huck came from Xavier Maxstadt (#80), Trueman Nottingham (#21), and Luke Hancock (#10), who led the Seamen with six assists. Sophomore Jack Williams (#11) got past Pitt deep several times. Pitt had shown vulnerability deep and UNC-W knew it.

The relaxed offensive attitude of the Seamen really showed in the amount of hammers they threw. Good hammers.

Senior Nick Jackson provided some insight. “We like to play some playground style if we can incorporate it. Lots of goaltimate and lots of mini, early in our training,” Jackson shared after the game. “I know Luke (Hancock) is going to look for me on that open side hammer if someone’s poaching. In Wilmington, we live and die by the hammer and we use it to our advantage whenever possible.”

UNC-W Survives Pitt’s Kill line

The game is on serve 8-7 at half with Pittsburgh in front. UNC Wilmington is upbeat. Pitt is pissed off. Predictably, Pitt coach Nick Kaczmarek goes to the bullpen and brings out his ace. Here comes the Kill line: Max Thorne, Pat Earles, Tyler Kunsa, Trent Dillon, Marcus Ranii-Dropcho, Aaron Watson, and Christian Pitts. That’s five first team All-Region players. Whammy.

Wilmington is unfazed. Luke Hancock sends it deep. 8-8.

At 10-9 the Kill line goes out again. Good thing, too, since Pitt took an uncharacteristic third technical (for rushing the field early and language) so UNC-W started with the disc at the opposite brick.

Pitt’s Kill line got the turn. Four turns, actually. But Wilmington also gets four turns, wins the hundred years war, and punches it in. Still tied. Still no breaks.

The next Wilmington possession is more of the same. Wilmington is taking haymakers on the chin and standing tall. A perfect hammer from Hancock to Williams sends it to double game point.

The Final Point

Here comes UNC-W in man defense after a great pull. Pat Earles finds Trent Dillon on a deep shot short of the end zone that Wilmington’s Robert Goode just missed. They move the disc around a bit. Pitt captain Aaron Watson muffs a routine swing pass and a bidding Max Thorne can’t reel it in, watching it bounce off his fingertips. UNC Wilmington has a shot at the first break of the game.

Xavier Maxstadt breaks force backhand with a big around flick, saves possession with a quasi-layout and a great adjustment, and finds Cale Ward at the front cone with a quick break flick. The observers signal goal.

Chaos ensues.

The Upset

When it looked like there was a chance at the half that the most obvious storylines for this game could go out the window, decorated Pitt Ultimate alum and current assistant coach Tyler DeGirolamo may have foreshadowed another thing this current group lacked.

“There’s a lot of youth on this team,” he said. “Still learning. The majority of them haven’t lost at Nationals.”

Nationals experience isn’t just about winning at Nationals. It’s about also losing. There’s a lot a team can take away from a loss. The Pitt teams DeGirolamo finished his college career with had lost in quarters twice. They’d lost in semis, too. They’d measured themselves against other teams and they knew exactly how good they had to be.

Most of all, Pitt ran into a red hot team. How hot? Wilmington has now won its last three games at the tournament by breaking on double game point.

“I knew we had the heart. Whether they were going to cough it up? I don’t know,” reflected Vassar after the best signature win in recent program history. “We made the disc heavy. We made it really hard for them to score and they coughed it up. The pressure was too much.”

Intensity and belief is ever-present for Wilmington.

At 9-9 I watched along as a feisty Wilmington defense forced Pitt to really work to move the disc. I made a comment aloud about UNCW playing fierce, while turning to see Vassar standing right behind me. “Of course we are,” he said.

Written by Tad Wissel for Ultiworld

Pittsburgh-B Tournaments

Skylander XIII: Edinboro, PA – October 12th – 13th, 2013

Pool Play (1-2)

Haggwas 15 – Pittsburgh-B 12

Our Pets Heads are Falling Off 13 – Pittsburgh-B 6
Pittsburgh-B 15 – Clarion 11

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh-B 11 – Allegheny and Friends 3

Quarterfinal: Edinboro 15 – Pittsburgh-B 12

9th Place Bracket (1-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh-B 15 – Gannon 0

Semifinal: Our Pets Heads are Falling Off 15 – Pittsburgh-B 13

Steel City Showdown: Pittsburgh, PA – November 8th – 10th, 2013

Pool Play (0-3)

Ohio State 13 – Pittsburgh-B 11

Northwestern 13 – Pittsburgh-B 5
Princeton 13 – Pittsburgh-B 5

17th Place Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Indiana 15 – Pittsburgh-B 11

21st Place Bracket (0-1)

Semifinal: Carnegie Mellon 15 – Pittsburgh-B 8

23rd Place Bracket (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh-B 7 – Princeton 5

Bring the Huckus V: Mercer, NJ – March 1st – 2nd, 2014

Pool Play (4-1)

Muhlenberg 12 – Pittsburgh-B 11

Pittsburgh-B 9 – West Windsor-Plainsboro HS North 7
Pittsburgh-B 8 – Connecticut B 7
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Penn State B 1
Pittsburgh-B 13 – Rowan B 3

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Columbia 13 – Pittsburgh-B 8

9th Place Bracket (0-1)

Semifinal: Haverford 12 – Pittsburgh-B 10

11th Place Bracket (1-0)

Final: Pittsburgh-B W – Cornell B F

Snow Pants/No Pants: Wooster, OH – March 29th – 30th, 2014

Pool Play (1-3)

Clarion 11 – Pittsburgh-B 8

Edinboro 8 – Pittsburgh-B 7
Pittsburgh-B 11 – Cleveland State 1
Kenyon 8 – Pittsburgh-B 2

Pennsylvania Dev College Men’s Conferences: Shippensburg, PA – April 12th – 13th, 2014

Round Robin (2-1)

Pittsburgh-B 13 – West Chester B 4

Pittsburgh-B 13 – Shippensburg B 3
Lehigh B 13 – Pittsburgh-B 6