Stanford Open 2011: Open Recap

by | March 1, 2011, 3:41pm 0

Thanks to Stanford Open TD Ryan Thompson, UPS Coaches Adam Lerman and Adam Restad for their contributions to this article.

The Stanford Open kicked off the Stanford Series 2011 this past weekend, hosting 22 College Open and 23 College Women’s teams.  With mild weather and the same weatherproof, full-size fields as last year [Stevinson Polo Club, in Stevinson, California], the stage was set for two full days of games with the prize of a free ticket on the line to the Stanford Invite this coming weekend the 5th and 6th of March, at Stanford.


Pool play started with Oregon St. missing from Pool A due to bad weather preventing a drive south from Corvallis, and some tricky crossover games worked out to account for their absence and that of CSU- San Marcos.

Pool A: Oregon State’s absence meant that Cal State Long Beach faced little competition, holding opponents to 4 or fewer points until their crossover match up vs. Humboldt, which TD Ryan Thompson called one of the best games  of the tourney. CSULB has looked very strong this year, having put up very respectable numbers in games vs. top level teams like Cal and UBC, and has continued to look strong through the end of the first day of play.

Pool B: Going into to day 1, Pool B looked the hardest to win, although neither A or B pool squads faced elimination from Championship bracket play on Sunday.  Whitman looked strong at a small tournament two weeks before, despite facing no real competition, and UCLA was coming off a win over University of Washington at Presidents’ day and several strong scores against high caliber teams.  In the end the victor was a Whitman team operating on all cylinders.

Pool C: Featuring historically tough Victoria and Humboldt State, along with Air Force and California Irvine.  The most competitive pool of the tourney saw close games between Uvic, Humboldt and Air Force, while Irvine failed to show the spark they had last year.

Pool D: Stanford x, according to TD Thompson, was composed of  “rookies and second-year players from Bloodthirsty, playing together to gain experience and confidence heading into Stanford Invite and the rest of the season.” X faced some good competition from the Sonoma State Grapes of Wrath, a team which looks better and better each year, and Parkland, Washington based Pacific Lutheran University.  Ultimately Stanford prevailed in the pool and won their crossover to cap a perfect 4-0 day.

Pool E: So-Cal based Occidental Detox prevailed in the pool despite a close call with Utah, who lost all their first day games, but played a very good Saturday, losing those four games by a total of only 8 points. Santa Clara also had a strong Saturday, so nearly knocking off Chico St., who would go on to have a strong Sunday, 10-11.

Pool F: The University of Puget Sound Postmen had a very strong Saturday, getting revenge for a universe point loss to Las Positas last year, with a hard capped win, 11-10. UPS finished Saturday with strong wins over Cal Irvine, Arizona St., and Stanford B.  Pool F also featured a relative rarity in Open play, a game that ended with the winning team, Arizona St. having only just reached half, 7-4 over Las Positas.


Day 2 featured sunny 50 degree weather, and very little wind.  Whitman, CSU LB, Cal Poly- San Louis Obispo, and Humboldt all received a bye which put them straight into the quarters.

Pre-quarters featured Strong wins from UPS and Cal Poly SLO, while Chico St. (13-12 over Brown) and UCLA (13-12 over Uvic) both survived to move on to the quarterfinals.

In the quarters, Chico St. managed to beat their regional buddies, Humboldt St. TD Ryan Thompson noted Humboldt’s strength throughout the tournament. “Humboldt State looked very skilled and athletic, adding Miles Raymer from Oregon, but faltered against Chico in quarters on Sunday. They were down 9-4 and fought back, only to lose 14-13 in the big brother-little brother matchup of Northern California.”

Thompson also looks at the Whitman-UPS quarter final match-up as another highlight of the Open. “Whitman-UPS was one of the games of the tournament,” said Thompson. “Puget Sound played great defense against Whitman, but they didn’t have the D-line offense to convert breaks when they had the chance.”  Whitman prevailed 13-11.  CSULB and Cal Poly advanced with relative ease.

The semis proved to be less competitive games than the quarters, with Whitman and CSULB advancing to the finals with relative ease, 13-7 vs. Chico, and 13-5 vs. Cal Poly respectively.

The Finals

The Finals featured arguably the two strongest teams of the tournament.  Neither team had lost a game up to that point, with Whitman only being challenged by Brown(13-11) and UPS (13-11), while CSULB’s only danger of losing had come against Humboldt St(13-12).  The game featured a close battle between both teams, with traded points nearly the whole way.  Playing with a smaller roster, Whitman took half  using Zone D which had limited success in a game in which both teams relied on lots of hucks, some leaning towards 50-50 jump balls.  Whitman’s offense ran through Jermey Norden and 6’4″ cutter Ben McGinn, while CSULB utilized a good flow on offense thanks to strong dump swings to open up for big hucks from their handler run offense.  Whitman prevailed in a capped game 12-11, with CSULB scoring the last point after the cap horn.

What this means for the Stanford Invite

Whitman faces a long drive, or expensive flights back to Stanford next weekend if they are to take their earned spot in the upcoming Stanford Invite.  If Whitman cannot make it, CSULB has the next shot at the bid.  Ryan Thompson reckons both teams can win games at the Invite, but adds, “the top teams play a level of defense that neither team has seen thus far, and both teams are little too mistake-prone to really take advantage and upset a favorite.”

On Whitman, UPS Coach, and Skyd Staffer, Adam Lerman notes, “Whitman is a lot more than just Norden and Janin this year.  They are a deep, athletic team.  Jeremy didn’t try to do too much and looked to move the disc quickly (though he still threw the majority of the hucks).  All their handlers were solid and were able to move the disc from one side of the field to the other with ease.  Jacob came down with some huge skys, but mostly was using his quickness to get wide open for big yardage on under cuts.  They ran a very effective zone D.  I think they mostly ran a 3-man cup that looked to trap, but Jeremy was getting D’s all over the field as the short deep.  They played only man D against us in the quarters, with very little poaching (as we’ve seen a lot from Jeremy in the past).”

Final Results

1. Whitman
3T. Chico
3T. Cal Poly

Full Results available here

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