Liberty peaks at right time, places third in home tournament
November 17, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
When Virginia Tech's B team pulled out of Liberty University's men's Ultimate Frisbee tournament on Friday, it left just seven teams for Saturday's and Sunday's event at the new intramural fields.
That forced Flames Head Coach Jason Jarrett to rearrange the format to establish seedings for the playoffs, with one seven-team pool instead of two four-team brackets.
Liberty finished 4-2 in pool play before advancing to the consolation finals where it overcame a 9-7 deficit and avenged a loss to Bridgewater College, winning 15-12 to claim third place.
"We could have been second because of our two losses on Saturday, we beat one (Bridgewater) today and the other one won the tournament," Flames Head Coach Jason Jarrett said of You Already Know (YAK), an experienced club team from Lynchburg featuring a few former Flames. "UVA and Bridgewater also went 4-2 in pool play, setting up a three-way tie for second place behind YAK. We had to go to a point differential as a tie-breaker and UVA won the second seed for the one-game playoff."
The Flames won two very tight matches in pool play, rebounding from a 12-10 loss to Bridgewater to edge UVA 10-9 and the Roanoke-based BLUD (Big Lick Ultimate Discs) 11-10 in two hardcap time limit tie-breakers.
They also defeated Roanoke College and lost to YAK by the same 13-2 margin Saturday before beating another Lynchburg-based team 13-8 and putting it all together for the third-place game against Bridgewater on Sunday.
"We started out sloppy on Saturday and showed spurts of playing very well," Jarrett said. "On Sunday, we started to slow it down, played more patient, played hard on defense, and the team chemistry was the best it's been all semester."
In the comeback wins over Virginia and BLUD, the Flames used four- and five-point scoring spurts to take the lead after trailing 9-7 in both games.
"Even when we were down, people stepped up and we played hard to the end," Jarrett said. "It's exciting, going into Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, that we can come back even stronger in the spring semester."
Senior Brendan Kinne played the most points overall for Liberty.
"He contributed to a lot of the scores and made a lot of big defensive plays," Jarrett said. "He was one of our top defenders."
Sophomore Caleb Brown, a transfer who played Division I soccer in the past, was a key playmaker.
"He's very experienced athletically and on offense, he really helped settle the team down," Jarrett said. "He makes good decisions, doesn't try to make big throws, but makes smart throws, which is extremely important."
Liberty has a few trips planned for tournaments in the second semester, including the Turkey Snatch in North Carolina in early February, Cupid's Revenge at St. Mary's City, Md., in late February, the Garden State Tournament in New Jersey in late March, and the USA Ultimate Virginia Conference Championships in mid-April, which Jarrett plans to put a bid in to host again.