By: Gabe Hernandez
UNC falters in wind, Brown wins first title since 2005
It’s unclear what caused UNC to play so uncharacteristically, but it may have had something to do with their absolute MONSTER of a game against Cal Poly-SLO. In a late and not-so-windy semifinal match, Darkside came down with absolutely everything. Every huck was just outside the defender’s reach, every break throw was crisp and clean, and every 50-50 shot seemed to find its way into the hands of the defending champs. UNC committed only one unforced turn on offense all game, putting on an absolute clinic under the lights.
However, the story was not the same in the much windier championship game. After a clean first hold from Brown, UNC turfed a flick in their own half of the field, and Brown weaved their way up the field for a 2-0 lead. The next point, UNC was unable to come down with two upwind hucks, and Brown attacked the break side downwind to make it 3-0. The next point also featured a Darkside turnover, but they were able to get it back for their first hold to make it 3-1.
The two teams traded clean holds to get to 5-2, and a UNC missed huck combined with a point-block catch callahan gave them another hold to bring the score to 5-3. The next point included the very first Brown O-line turnover, but Darkside put the would-be-break assist just out of the reach of Callahan winner Matt Gouchoe-Hanas in the end zone. Brown marched it down the field yet again to hold for a 6-3 lead, and the next two points featured more Darkside miscues that Brownian Motion converted into an 8-3 lead at the half.
The second half included only one break, but it did include 15+ turnovers from both sides, thanks to both the wind and impatient decision making from both teams. Luckily for UNC, their O-line junk look was able to stifle the Brown D line upwind weave offense that had created the huge lead in the first half. However, the UNC D line could not hit their upwind hucks in stride like they did against SLO, and at the end of the day, they cashed in zero breaks during the entire game.
The Brown D line handler weave – perfect for consistent offense in a windy environment – picked teams apart the entire weekend. When teams clamped down hard on the handlers, they hit big throws to the break side to continue their offensive flow. The only opponent that was able to take it away somewhat consistently was the aforementioned Darkside O line, but by the time they adjusted, it was simply too late.
Brown won their first College Championships title since 2005, 14-9 over the defending champions, North Carolina Darkside.