Atypical weather for a Midwest tournament in March is forecasted, but the 40 women’s teams attending Chicago Invite surely welcome the change. Teams from across the Great Lakes, North Central, South Central, and Ohio Valley will come together for one last battle for bids to the Division-1 and Division-3 College Championships.
Expect Northwestern to win Pool A. After winning only one game at Women’s Centex, Gung Ho will come out with all guns firing starting off with what could be their hardest pool play game of the day with Illinois. The ladies of Menace had a solid performance in bracket play at Midwest Throwdown. Though these two have not matched up all season, it will not be the last as the post season creeps closer. Notre Dame had a strong showing at Southerns, losing only to teams who will likely win their regions to head to Division 1 Nationals. Will WOMB be able to match up against Lien Hoffman and the rest of Gung Ho?
Pool B will be a nail-biter between Minnesota and Valparaiso. Minnesota edged out Valpo when the two teams matched up at Throwdown, securing a 7-11 win over the Chicks Hucking Discs. Valpo, a strong team in the wind, will have the opportunity to showcase the work they have been putting in with their man-to-man sets, which is something we can expect this weekend with the nicer weather. Minnesota won easily won the Tier 2 Championship of Music City Mashup, after having been eliminated by Wisconsin. With Emily and Natalie Depalma at the helm, the Ninjas are poised to make it far this tournament. Michigan State is coming off of a High Tide Session I win in Georgia—with the weather mimicking that of Brunswick, Georgia, Infamous might have a chance to upset the teams at the top.
Division 3 Showdown
In Pool C, look for the Truman State vs. St. Benedict game during the 2:15 round. Based on the rankings from March 28, the North Central may have 4 bids to Division-3 nationals. The St. Ben’s Ugly Hucklings are in contention for one of those bids, looking to take down the favorite out of the South Central Truman State. Based on their performance on Sunday of Throwdown, expect TSUnami to fare well in this weather.
Another Division-3 favorite, Drake, is looking to fight into the championship bracket. The duo of Jenny Perry and Nora Sullivan is one not to miss, as they bring the power to Ibex’s high powered, quick transition offense.
We also will see St. Olaf and North Park play against some more Division-3 competition—which may help them secure a higher seed as Conferences draw near.
Wisconsin-Lacrosse will compete in their first tournament all season. Senior co-captain Carli Hron is an athlete to watch on both sides of the disc, who has helped to rebuild the GaLAXy program over the past few seasons.
Marquette, another team from the North Central, has yet to report games this season. This tournament will reveal Moxie’s work this season. Katie Godfrey can shred any mark and take control of the game. If you’re looking for another game to watch, don’t miss the Marquette/Dayton match-up in Pool F. Dayton, not logging results since February, will be competing with Marquette to win the pool.
Games to Watch
-Northwestern vs. Illinois (Pool A, 9:00 am): A likely preview of the Illinois Division-1 Conference Finals, will Illinois be able to contain Gung Ho’s Lien Hoffmann?
-St. Olaf vs. North Park (Pool E, 12:30 pm): Division-3 showdown between two teams near the top of their respective region.
-Truman State vs. St. Ben’s (Pool C, 2:15 pm): Another Division-3 showdown that could help to secure the North Central’s 4th bid to the Division-3 Championships.
-Minnesota vs. Valparaiso (Pool B, 2:15 pm): What proves to be the most exciting game of Saturday’s rounds, a rematch from Throwdown. Can the Ninjas edge out Valpo again?