25 College Open Teams
March 5-6, 2011
Maryland Heights, Missouri
A storm hit the St. Louis area Friday night, causing Saturday’s games to be moved to backup fields that were not in the best condition. According to Eastern Illinois Captain James Roush, “Saturday we played on the worst field I have ever seen, with 6-10 inches of mud on over half of the field which really made it difficult to run efficient offenses and defenses.”
The top 10 seeded teams were placed in power pools, with all 10 teams advancing to the prequarters. In Pool A, top seed Wisconsin-Whitewater was tested in their first game, a 14-12 overtime win over Missouri S&T. Whitewater cruised in the rest of their pool games, winning 13-6, 13-6, and 13-8. Harding beat Notre Dame 11-10 to take second in the pool.
In pool B, Washington University Contra dominated with four blowout wins, including a 13-2 destruction of the pool’s top seed, Iowa State. Iowa State came out on top of a three-way tie with Purdue and Nebraska to claim second in the pool.
In the lower pools, Eastern Illinois, Grinnell and North Park all went undefeated to earn a place in the prequarters. Southern Illinois, Nebraska-Omaha, and Truman State also advanced from the lower pools to the championship bracket.
The weather was no longer a problem on Sunday, so the tournament moved back to the original field site. Top seeds Wisconsin-Whitewater, Washington, and Iowa State all took care of business in their first two games to advance to the semifinals. However, Eastern Illinois, who started the weekend in the lower pools, made sure not everything went to seed, beating Purdue and Harding to make the semifinals. EIU’s Roush describes how they did it:
“Against Purdue, we played a lot of rookie heavy points, especially on D line early and found ourselves down by 3 or 4 at half. Having a very talented transfer player from Purdue in Tim Leung helped us match up against them. 2nd half we called tighter lines on both sides of the disc and went on a 7-1 run to finish the game and come out on top.Our game vs Harding was very similar to how we played against Purdue. We traded early with rookie-heavy lines and when they started to pull away we called tighter lines and scored 5 unanswered points. This game was very hard fought by both teams but in the end we forced more turns and seemed to have more energy which was the difference. Harding played very similar to us, depending on a few strong handlers to huck the disc to a solid core of cutters who went deep often. Michael Schwenk #29 had an incredible game, most notably having a monster defensive sky late in the game over a Harding player who was wide open for a score. Great plays like that made the game interesting and heated the entire time but a small 3 point cushion at the end was enough to let us secure the win.”
In one semifinal, Whitewater continued their dominance, beating Iowa State 15-9. In the other, Washington would be tested by EIU. Matching up against Washington’s Joe MacDonald (2010 All Region with Middlebury), EIU’s Michael Schwenk made several huge plays as EIU jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Washington was up to the challenge, and Evan Winograd would lead the way. According to Washington Captain Dan Lin, “The play of the weekend was Evan’s in which he made a gigantic pull and sprinted down the field to catch a shoulder height layout Callahan on EIU’s first throw.” Fueled by that play and a switch to zone defense, Washington put the game away 15-9.
In the final, undefeated Washington and undefeated Whitewater faced their biggest tests of the weekend. Washington’s Lin recaps Contra’s 15-11 win:
“WashU jumped ahead in the game early with a couple breaks that lead to an early time out. After that early lead, Whitewater eventually earned back some breaks, and the game was pretty even until the end of the first half when WashU jumped back ahead to an 8-6 lead into half and put in its first offensive point in the second half to take the lead 9-6. The second half was mostly traded, but the game ended on a WashU break to win 15-11. Joe MacDonald, who is a first year graduate student at WashU had some huge skies. Doug Richardson was unstoppable as a cutter on both the defensive and offensive sides of the disc and made some incredible throws that can really only be described as buttery smooth. The game was probably headlined however by Evan Winograd’s huge pulls and incredible layout D’s.”
1. Washington University
2. Wisconsin Whitewater
3. Iowa State
4. Eastern Illinois