This article was written by Charlie Enders, a player for St. Johns, with a few contributions from myself and Nick Bravos, the captain of Saint Mary’s. Thanks for your help Charlie!
This weekend, 10 teams will converge in the bluffs of Winona, MN to square off in a battle for DIII Northwoods Conference superiority. 3 teams in the conference rank in USAU’s top 16 DIII team, as well as Skyd’s DIII top 10. Saint John’s, Saint Olaf, and Carleton GoP will fight to the death to see if their high rankings (and the order of those rankings) are vindicated. Sadly the world of College DIII Ultimate is still overshadowed by its Division One big brother, and quality coverage and information on DIII teams (while improving) is still hard to find. Thus, for those who are uneducated as to who these teams are and how their seasons have gone, I’ll do a brief team profile for each. You’re welcome.
Saint John’s BAM
Key Wins: Vermont, Yale, North Park
Key Losses: Michigan, Shippensburg
Summary:After a second place finish at DIII Nationals last year, BAM is back with a vengeance and has proved a majority of the season as if they have something to prove. A 2nd place finish at High Tide and an 8th place finish at Chicago Invite give the Monks the one seed coming into conference. Sophomore phenom Ryan Mord leads the o-line with his massive skies and monster personality.
Saint Olaf Berserkers
Key Wins: UNI, Indiana
Key Losses: Wash U
Summary:The Berserkers have had one of their most successful regular seasons in recent memory, with a solid 2nd place finish at Huck Finn. Led by the play of junior Charlie Whitmore and freshman Ben “Tarasmith” Liska, Olaf hopes to make some Ultimate-related noise in Winona.
Carleton College GoP
Key Wins:East Carolina, Princeton
Key Losses: Appalachian State, Middlebury
Summary:GoP really tested themselves this season, attending a premier tournament in the Queen City Tune-Up. Despite less than stellar results, the tough competition gave needed experience to a team that is rich in freshman, and GoP may be peaking at the right time. Look for Junior Rhys Lindmark and freshman Matt Godfrey to make big plays in Winona.
Saint Mary’s MUTs
Key Wins/Losses: All games decided at universe (Drake, Gustavus, Anderson, Wisconsin T.I.E.)
Summary: Despite losing nine seniors last year and in the midst of a development year, the MUTs are looking to be the dark-horse team that slides into that fourth place spot behind the three powerhouse teams to make their first regional appearance to date. It’ll be a nail-biter for sure.
And there you have it. Look for the first three teams profiled to finish in the top 3. The order of those finishes, on the other hand, is both hard to predict and vitally important for seeding at regionals. Finally, we’ll see teams like Saint Mary’s, Gustavus Adolphus and Macalester battle it out for the last bid to regionals. If you are going to pay attention to one DIII conference in the next two weeks, make it this one!
Feature photo by Matt Berthiaume.