Stanford Open 2011: Women’s Recap

by | March 1, 2011, 7:23pm 0

Thanks to Stanford Open TD Ryan Thompson and Kristin Eide of the Humboldt Hags 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 battle in hopes of securing a bid to the Stanford Invite this coming weekend the 5th and 6th of March, at Stanford.


Pool L: One of two power pools, along with Pool M, Pool A featured a Strong Arizona team coming off a 12th place finish at the Presidents Day Invite.  Pool play saw Arizona dominate, winning all three games by at least 5 points.  Santa Cruz, Davis and Cal Poly SLO all finished with equal 1-2 records.

Pool M: The story of Pool M goes much the way of Pool L.  The Humboldt State Hags won the pool with a perfect record, employing what Captain Kristin Eide calls “offidence”. ” Our constant focus is hard cutting and timing down field and aligning that with a cool, calm, confident offensive set,” Eide explained. “This ‘offidence’ partnered with strong team defense is no secret to ultimate success. We can get the turns that we need, it just becomes a matter of taking advantage of scoring opportunities.”  Pool M also saw reigning the DIII National Champion, Reign of Pacific Lutheran University, win a tight game against conference rival Uvixens of the University of Victoria, BC.  In a matchup which may very well happen in just over a week’s time at the PLU BBQ, the ladies of Reign prevailed 10-9 over a squad which took the title at last year’s BBQ.

Pool N: Absent the Oregon State squad, who like their open team were prevented from playing due to bad weather in Oregon, Pool N play ended with Brown University sitting atop with a 2-0 record. UCLA-B won over USC-B to take second place in the pool, but failed to advance to the championship bracket because power pool teams advanced automatically.

Pool O: Chico State ran with it in Pool O, winning out despite a close game with Occidental, which ended 7-6.  Wind seems to have played a huge factor in women’s games on Saturday, as many pools featured games which only made it to a half triggering score, or not much further.  By winning their pool, Chico would advance to meet Cal Poly SLO in the first round of Sunday play.

Pool P: While Pool P only advanced one team to the championship bracket, as did pools N, O and Q, It would have been interesting to see how Whitman would have fared given the chance to play power pool teams.  Whitman proved they may below in their game against San Diego State, losing 7-8 in what was the deciding game for champ bracket advancement. Given San Diego’s win early Sunday in the pre-quarters, it’s likely the Lady Sweets would have had a good shot of shaking things up had they been given a shot.

Pool Q: Claremont advanced out of Pool Q to the final championship bracket spot with ease, giving up only 8 points all Saturday.  Pool Q also featured a win by Cal-B over Illinois 5-4, while challenging Claremont with a 4-7 loss in two games heavily influenced by wind.

Saturday Highlights

The game of the day Saturday on the Women’s side was the Pool M match up of Humboldt State and UC San Diego.  The two had faced each other just two weeks earlier at President’s Day, with Humboldt winning 12-10, and as Kristin Eibe of the Hags relates, this time around was another good one:

“Rivalries are fun. [UCSD] has given us two great games in the last two weeks. They have a very strong cup with four or sometimes five girls all in the front with the disc,” said Eibe. “This was forcing us to work on our cool, calm, methodical offense. It put us in the driver’s seat early in the game on Saturday. When we forgot to stick to the offense and got frantic with the disc, we allowed UCSD to come back late in the game and score four in a row (I think). This took the game to universe. We should have, in my opinion, been able to run away with this game in the second half. UCSD keeps the pressure on and plays strong forcing us to maintain focus. I can’t wait to play them again.”


When the pre-quarter round of Sunday play was finished, three of the power pool teams from Saturday were out of the running.  Pool winners Claremont (Q), San Diego State (P), and Chico State (O) all advanced with close wins over Davis, Cal Poly and UC San Diego respectively. However, come the quarterfinals round, only Claremont was able to give PLU a game, while the rest of the teams advancing were unable to match the play of the top four teams from Saturday’s action. Claremont’s narrow loss, 8-9 to PLU meant that the hope of a Cinderella performance was out of the question.  The rest of the way the top four would battle it out for the championship and a bid to the upcoming Stanford Invite.

Despite the lack of wind, and the fact that the top four teams were playing in the semi-finals, neither game was much of a contest.  Arizona continued their dominant performance with a 13-4 win over PLU, while Humboldt St. put away Santa Cruz 13-5, who had advanced with a 13-1 drubbing of Chico State. However, Chico State, was playing with only 10 women and given that, TD Ryan Thompson was impressed by their performance. “[Chico is] a great story…rising up from a third seed in a lower pool to upset SLO and make quarters with fewer than 10 girls, similar to UPS’s performance in the mens division,” said Thompson.

The Final

With Arizona having limited opponents to 7 or fewer points up to the championship game, and Humboldt having limited their opponents to 5 or less (save their game against UCSD) the final featured the two teams which had proved themselves a step above the rest of the competition. TD Ryan Thompson credits Humboldt’s Kristin “Charlie” Eide and Heidi Halverson for having played very well against Arizona’s zone.

Kristin “Charlie” Eibe recounted the close game:

“This felt like a close game the whole way. We [Humboldt Hags] started the game on defense and I’m pretty sure that we started the game down by two. Points were traded in ones or twos, maybe a rare streak of three in the first half,” explained Eibe. “But when we scored two in a row to take half, I knew that we were in good position going into the second. Points were traded in ones or twos throughout the [rest of the] game. We held a lead of two (I think) for a little while. But, again [as in their game vs. UCSD], we were held up at game point and allowed Arizona two in a row… Turnovers in the endzone took us to universe. It was awesome to remember our confident offensive set and come away with the win.”

What this means for the Stanford Invite

Humboldt earned a free bid by virtue of their win in the championship game, but will not be taking part in the Stanford Invite.  Kristin Eibe explains:

“The tournament was awesome. Ryan did a good job organizing. Five hooked us up with some free shwag. The cow fields sort of smell, but all the fields in one spot, grass and no mud, plenty of port-o-johns, some good competition; we can’t complain. The Hags had an awesome weekend. Unfortunately though we’ve been taxed financially and academically (poor little CSU) this season already. We made two trips from Arcata to San Diego (1300 miles round trip) for the Qualifier and then the Invite. Then we went to the Stanford Open. We really, sadly, cannot afford to go to the Invite. I hate missing the opportunity to play other awesome regional match ups next weekend. But it’s something that we’ll have to miss.”

As a result of Humboldt’s declining the bid, Arizona, UCSC, and PLU will be asked, having finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th,  if they will attend.

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