Thank you to Aaron KS for helping the team and writing this killer report!
The University of Manitoba Ultimate Club attended the Canadian University Ultimate Championships in Brampton Ontario from October 18th to 20th.
Flying into the tournament Friday morning our team had no idea where we would end up finishing. We were ranked second going into Saturday pool play with the top five teams all having impressive rosters. Our first match up was against Toronto’s Ryerson University boasting top end talent of Bretton Tan, Jason Huynh and Kieran Charnock. We knew that going into Saturday that Ryerson would probably be our toughest match up. We came out strong opening a two-point lead into halftime thanks to multiple stacked defensive lines. Coming out of half time our D-line clamped down hard and snuffed Ryerson’s offense ending the game 14-8. Our final two pool play games were between Waterloo A and Carleton college. Waterloo played a very aggressive offense beating our d-line into tight up line throws no matter how much we poached the lane or put our bodies in the way. The game went back and forth until we managed to get one break and hold on universe point to secure victory 13-12.
Out last game of the day was against Carleton college and was livestreamed on Ultimate Canada. Starting on defense we got the turnover but couldn’t convert the break opportunity. Carlton’s defense came out strong and tallied up three breaks to start the game 4-1 in their favor. We called a timeout to regroup and held on offense to make it 4-2. Our D-line stepped up with impressive offensive movement from our rookies and by pulling multiple O-line guys onto defense to get the game tied at 5-5. We went back and forth with each team committing multiple turnovers on offense but struggling to convert the break opportunities. With hard cap sounding our team was up 8-7 but Carlton held on to force universe point. Our offense worked it up the field against Carlton’s zone and scored with a tight up line pass from Oren Binnun to Gil Binnun. With pool play over we finished 3-0 looking to our quarterfinal matchup on Sunday.
The quarterfinals were against Quebec’s Sherbrooke...
Sherbrooke played hard but were no match for out D-line’s quick switching and athleticism. The game played out as expected with everyone on our team contributing to the 15-10 win. Our semi-final matchup was against 4th seed Laval University from Quebec. Pre-scouting reports showed that Laval had a very deep roster packed with world class talent and multiple years of experience. But rosters don’t mean anything on the field and we quickly sprung out to a 3-0 break thanks to Quinn Wilson and Sam Peterson working the backfield once we forced the turnovers. Laval’s slow start didn’t last long though as they started stacking lines together to tire out our offensive core. Coming out of half we held onto the lead 8-6 but Laval continued to put the pressure on by forcing long tiring points and converting on a couple key miscommunications. Again, we were faced with universe point tied 10-10 starting on offense. Quinn immediately put up a backhand huck to Steven Crew but it floated out of bounds giving Laval the chance at victory. Laval worked it up the field before forcing a Crossfield hammer shot that was defended by James Williams giving Manitoba a second chance. This time our O-line fought for every inch of the field and worked it up to half before Quinn tried a second backhand to Steven against double coverage but this time fate was on our side as the throw was perfectly placed and Steven came down with the game winner. Our team was thrilled to know that this time we would be fighting for a medal and not have to settle for 4th place.
In the other semi-final, Ryerson ended up defeating 1st seeded Queen’s University and forced a rematch with Manitoba. Going into the final we knew what to expect from Ryerson and knew that our defensive core could out work their offensive sets. Lead by Matt McDonald and Quinn Wilson our D-line put the pressure on early and never let up. At first Ryerson threw multiple contested hucks for scores but as the game progressed Ryan McDonald and Jadon Rich got the blocks we needed and Quinn did the rest by commanding the back field and putting up perfectly placed shots. After our first break score to make it 3-2 we put a powerful line out and Matt McDonald got a quick block off an easily anticipated up field pass and we converted the goal to lead 4-2. The rest of the half went back and forth with Manitoba leading 8-6. Coming out of half on offense Manitoba increased their lead by 3 points and traded possessions with Ryerson until 12-9. Time was running out and as the hard cap sounded with Manitoba leading 12-10 we knew the game was over. Quinn Wilson went deep for the last long throw of the game before completing the final pass to Steven Crew to take the win 13-10. Our entire sideline erupted into cheers, handshakes and fist pumps and for the first time in five years our club had finally reclaimed gold!