Photo by Natalie Bigman-Pimentel – Ultiphotos.com
Ultimate is a sport of big moments – the long downfield huck, the layout goal, the sky in the end zone and the list goes on. Over the past four years of Major League Ultimate, those moments have been captured by our partners at UltiPhotos. In our series, Caught in Action, we look at some of the greatest moments from MLU’s history and how they have been captured by the talented photographers at UltiPhotos. This week, we take a look at a spectacular moment captured by Natalie Bigman-Pimentel.
With sizable roster turnover and a rookie head coach in Jason Seidler, fans of the San Francisco Dogfish certainly saw a new look for the team in 2016. With all the fresh faces, fans still looked forward to seeing two cornerstones of the San Francisco offense in veterans James Yeager and Thomas Lassetter.
Two major pieces of the Dogfish offense over the past few seasons, Yeager and Lassetter were leaders on the field for San Francisco, both appearing in the Top 5 of several statistical categories for the team. Yeager, a three-year veteran, is one of the Dogfish’s leaders in assists throughout his career with 37. While Yeager throws the goals, it is Lassetter who is moving the disc downfield, evident by his career 1.146 Touches Per Offensive Possession (TPOP), the highest over the past two seasons for the team.
These two veterans combined for one of the most impressive offensive plays of the Dogfish season in 2016, as each showed how their particular skill set can help turn the team around in a game. In their Week 9 matchup with the Seattle Rainmakers, the Dogfish found themselves down late in the game and in need of a quick strike.
Deep in their own territory, Lassetter faked a flick, before finding Yeager with a backhand. Sure of his teammate’s ability to throw deep, Lassetter immediately broke for the end zone. Yeager, seeing the move, unleashed a monster backhand that cruised almost the entire length of the field.
Lassetter, using his 6-foot-2, 190 pound frame to his advantage, positioned himself perfectly between two Seattle defenders who had followed him downfield, launching himself at just the right moment to pull Yeager’s toss in for the score. Just as he leapt, Bigman-Pimentel snapped the shot, capturing the moment forever.
While the Rainmakers would hang on to win (BOXSCORE – WATCH GAME), it was strong give-and-go offense like that which earned Lassetter a nod as a finalist for Western Conference Offensive Player of the Year.