On Day 2 of the 2013 College Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, some games gained a desperate sense of urgency as teams fought to extend their seasons for another game or two. Other games fell by the wayside, as guaranteed pool winners played already eliminated teams or prequarters-bound teams tried not to expend too much energy before the most important games of their season. Still, there were plenty of incredibly exciting games and big plays made by teams all across the Reddan Sports Complex. Here’s our pool by pool recap for Day 2 pool play.
#1 Oregon (15) – #12 Stanford (4)
Oregon took a 3-1 lead to open the game behind the pressure of their man defense and hucks from Sophie Darch, Bethany Kaylor, and Bailey Zahniser. Fugue then switched to their junk defense and rolled off a string of breaks to take half 8-1. Stanford pulled their starters as Oregon rolled to a 15-4 victory. –AL
#8 Wisconsin (13) – #17 Northeastern (10)
Leading 7-6, Wisconsin broke to take half thanks to two big D’s by Lorraine Guerin, who also caught the goal from Sara Scott. Scott and Anna Shanedling were on the throwing end of seven of Wisconsin’s eight first half goals.
Northeastern fought back to take a 10-9 lead as a second chance layout by Melissa Ellis set up a big backhand huck from Rebecca Marx to Jenni Ladutko. Ladutko quickly found Jackie Phillips with a short dish for the go-ahead goal. From there it was all Wisconsin, as Northeastern miscues gave Wisconsin repeated break opportunities. Hucks from Shanedling to Amelia Cuarenta and Biz Cook converted two breaks for Wisconsin, giving them a 12-10 lead with the game capped at 13. After a a few turnovers, Cook found Guerin open in the endzone for the 13-10 win. –AL
#1 Oregon (15) – #13 Minnesota (9)
Minnesota raced out to a 5-2 lead, with the play of Natalie DePalma behind the disc and Sarah Meckstroth downfield allowing the Ninjas to convert break opportunities. Oregon fought back to get back on serve, taking an 8-7 lead into halftime. After Minnesota scored their offensive point to open the half, Oregon was issued their third Team Misconduct Foul, this one for inappropriate language (previous TMF’s were for a spike and language). After missing on a huck, a point block from Bailey Zahniser led to a huck from Sophie Darch to Ashley Young for the 9-8 lead.
In the following point, Darch skied for a D and immediately launched a pinpoint huck to Jesse Shofner in the endzone. However, the thrower of the pass that Darch had D’d had called a foul. Though the foul was overruled by the observer, the continuation rule meant that possession reverted to Darch. Darch sat down at midfield and verbally expressed her displeasure with the call. The observers issued Oregon with a fourth TMF, again backing them up deep in their own endzone. Oregon was not fazed, and on their third pass, Darch bombed a huck to Andrea Fontenot for the break and the 10-8 lead. Oregon fed off the energy, rolling off a series of breaks to win 15-9. –AL
#8 Wisconsin (10) – #12 Stanford (8)
In the lowest-scoring game of the tournament so far, Wisconsin and Stanford met for the third time this season as each tried to eliminate the other and take a spot in prequarters. The crosswind was the dominant player in this game, a zone-filled turnover-fest between two teams battling hard and giving their all, but unfortunately unable to string together enough passes to go 70 yards without turning the disc over. Stanford’s zone was giving Wisconsin fits, with Rebecca Enders, Anna Shanedling, and Al Ellis all getting point-blocked in the cup by Monisha White, Steph Lim, or Jennie Lummis. But Michela Meister kept punting the disc back to Wisconsin, only connecting on three of her field position puts.
For Wisconsin, the difference was Lorraine Guerin and Biz Cook. With Wisconsin only sometimes getting it past the ferocious cup, it was key that their poppers and deeps be able to move the disc and make plays. Guerin skied Meister in the endzone for one goal, and Cook was able to continue the offense once she got it beyond the cup. For Stanford, their poppers all had to dump back to Meister in order to make progess forward, slowing their race to the endzone and allowing Wisconsin to reset their defense. Stanford was likely hampered by the loss of Hilary Vance early in the first half, who plays one of the wing positions in Stanford’s zone, to a pulled left hamstring. She tried to wrap it and soldier on, but she was unable to continue. After Stanford broke twice out of half to tie the game at 8s, Wisconsin scored on offense with no turnovers before Ellis point-blocked Jennifer Thompson and Wisconsin scored the final goal. 10-8, Bella Donna. –RT
#13 Minnesota (15) – #17 Northeastern (14)
This Pool A game was big because it would determine which of these two teams would advance to prequarters to match up with Washington Element. This was a hard-fought game between two scrappy squads that obviously wanted it. For the early stages of the game, Minnesota looked as if they had things well in hand. They were moving the disc easily on any defense that Northeastern threw– whether man or zone– and there were many points where the disc rarely rested in the hands of a Ninja for more than a second before it was in flight to the next open receiver. And All-American Sarah Meckstroth was huge both literally and figuratively for the Ninjas, coming down with everything deep.
At one point Minnesota was up 9-5, but Northeastern battled back to make this a tight one. Minnesota’s stack began to look stagnant and cluttered, and with some ill-advised throws they began to open the door for Northeastern. Behind the assertive cutting of Kate Flood, the take charge handling of Becca Ginsburg, and the smooth play of Mei Bruist, Northeastern battled back to force a universe point at 14s. But, Minnesota went back to their bread and butter, sending Meckstroth deep. Once she secured it, she threw an easy forehand to Mindi DePaolo for the 15-14 victory and a spot in Prequarters. –KG
#7 British Columbia (15) – #18 Northwestern (6)
Coming off an upset victory against Georgia, Northwestern Gung Ho was looking to secure another win and launch themselves into a prequarters position. Standing in their way was the two seed in the pool, UBC Thunderbirds, who had lost a close one yesterday to Carleton. There were a number of exciting individual matchups to watch in this game– particularly the one between Rena Kawabata from UBC and Lien Hoffmann from Northwestern. The game started off close with both teams playing tight, tough defense and forcing plenty of turnovers. UBC, however, seemed to have more overall athleticism and refinement, and the game came down to the team who could best take care of the possessions given to them.
After a halftime score of 8-5 in favor of UBC, Northwestern would only score one more point in the second half. The Gung Ho handlers struggled to make consistent throws, while the handlers for UBC were calmer, more confident, and more accurate with their throws. Catherine Hui was relatively quiet for UBC in this game, but Kawabata and Carolyn Churchland were clutch on both sides of the disc. The game ended up being a blowout with UBC topping Northwestern by a score of 15-6. With the win, UBC held seed in the pool and Northwestern would have one more chance to make Prequarters by beating UCSB in the following round. –KG
#14 California-Santa Barbara (11) – #18 Northwestern (12)
This game between the four seed in the pool, UCSB, and the five seed in the pool, Northwestern, was a game with prequarters implications since both squads had upset Georgia in earlier pool play rounds. The game was close throughout–the difference in score rarely exceeding one point–with both teams having their fair share of turns. There was a lot of zone played by both teams in this game, but UCSB seemed to struggle much more with Northwestern’s zone than Northwestern did with UCSB’s, especially in the early stages of the game. They had an uncharacteristic number of throwaways, and Northwestern was able to contain Lisa Picaithley (in so far as that is possible) and shut down Alicia Thompson. Even when Gung Ho fell into man, they made sure to shut down the force side, forcing some ill-advised throws and making life difficult for UCSB’s more dominant players. On the offensive side of the disc, Northwestern played calm, patient offense, taking the easy throws and working it up the field. Lien Hoffmann was once again phenomenal for Gung Ho in every aspect of the game.
UCSB was able to take half at 8-7, but the second half was a near equal battle with the score going back and forth between the teams. In the end, behind team defense chilly offense, and an array of contributions from nearly every single player, Northwestern was able to grab the victory on universe, winning the game 12-11 and securing themselves a ticket to prequarters where they would face Virginia. –KG
#15 Central Florida (12) – #19 Whitman (13)
Sunny Harris continued her dominant play, with her ninth assist of the game giving Central Florida a 12-11 lead in a game to 13. On the ensuing Whitman possession, Harris D’d a huck, but Central Florida was unable to connect on a deep look. A blade from Julia Bladin cut through the Central Florida zone, then Kelley Hall found Rachel Reiter to bring the game to universe point.
Harris got a D on a jump ball and Central Florida worked the disc down until they were 10 yards from the endzone. A throw to an under cut hung in the air long enough for Whitman’s Lillian Bailey to get the D. Whitman worked the disc to midfield before Harris got the disc back for Central Florida with a run-through D. A strong mark from Bailey forced a Central Florida throwaway on a swing pass, giving Whitman another opportunity. Bailey found herself open deep, but dropped what would have been the game-winning goal in the endzone. After another Central Florida miscue, Corinne Pingul hit Beth Daviess for winning goal in a game that extended almost 15 minutes past the hard cap horn. –AL
#3 Iowa State (13) – #10 Virginia (15)
After dropping their first game of the weekend to Ohio State on Friday, Iowa State Woman Scorned was looking for a strong win against a solid Virginia team to right the ship and hold second in Pool C. They started off strong, going up several breaks early as Virginia tried various defensive strategies that failed to contain Iowa State’s strong cutters Magon Liu, Becca Miller, and Cami Nelson. Iowa State led 6-3 but Virginia eventually settled on a hybrid 1-3-2-1/4-woman cup zone defense that pressured on the sidelines and contained well in the middle of the field. On offense, Virginia played great possession offense running through sophomore Alika Johnston, who is soon going to become a household name. With Iowa State’s Callahan nominee Becca Miller guarding her, Johnston repeatedly got open upline and threw great inside out forehand breaks for goals, helping Virginia easily convert on their O points. With their zone, Virginia got one break back in the first half and went into halftime down 6-8.
In the second half, Virginia started to increase the pressure from their zone. Kristen Mazur and Katrien Hinderdael both marked extremely well, forcing Sarah Pesch, Cassie Sakai, and Kaira Carter into multiple turnovers. To add to the frustration, when Iowa State did break into the second layer with Cami Nelson and Magon Liu, they frequently missed each other on continuation throws – either the throw going into space while the cutter stood still, or vice versa. When Iowa State did score, it was from Liu and Miller working the disc among themselves or with Pesch, throwing high backhands into space. Virginia kept the pressure on, however, and broke several times to take the lead at 11-10, and then again at 14-12.
Every time they had the disc on offense, Virginia was a threat to score – a marked difference from their performance on Friday. Alika Johnston, Melanie Chastka, Michele DeRieux, and Kristen Mazur admirably dumped and swung the disc while the Iowa State defenders gave them slightly too much space on the dump or made break throws just a little too easy. Mary Kelly, Sarah Hansen, and Theresa Hackett patiently kept cutting while their handlers worked it, waiting for the opportunity to provide a bailout or opportunistically strike deep for a Johnston huck. With coaches Manu Argilli and David Allison encouraging them from the sidelines, they never panicked and continued to patiently throw breaks, hit Johnston upline, and take what Iowa State gave them. Iowa State’s defenders failed to exert pressure on the handlers or dictate to the cutters, trailing instead of forcing them in one direction. Virginia closed the game out with a fantastic Johnston put into space for Sarah Hansen, who beat Nelson deep in a situation where Nelson should never have let her get that far away. Virginia secured their spot in the prequarters with the 15-13 win. –RT
#3 Iowa State (16) – #15 Central Florida (15)
Central Florida kept pace with Iowa State for the game, trading momentum changes with Woman Scorned. Sunny Harris and Katie Fox facilitated lateral movement until a deep window opened for the Sirens. Mariel Hammond stepped up making great grabs deep on offense, throwing to space, and generating turns.
Iowa State spread the disc and utilized their large roster to their advantage in the first half. Cami Nelson’s numerous puts deep to space gave Iowa State the controlled aggressive looks their offense needs to stay firing on all cylinders.
The Sirens’ 4-2-1 zone gave Iowa State trouble in the second half, allowing for the scrappy Central Florida team to claw back into the game. Iowa State did not effectively use the whole width of the field to gain yards on the sides, choosing to attack up the middle. When Woman Scorned finally got in the groove, Cami Nelson and Becca Miller found holes for Sarah Pesch and Magon Liu to attack, and continued the flow quickly forcing UCF to transition to man.
In the end Woman Scorned won on universe with Nelson finding freshman Linda Behrer for the win to qualify for prequarters and stay alive. –RF
#4 Iowa (15) – #9 Washington (14)
In the first round on Saturday, Washington squared off with Iowa in a game that could secure the pool victory for Iowa or keep the pool win and quarterfinal berth in play for Element. In the first half Washington played a variety of transition zone and clam defenses, but Iowa’s offense moved around the zone comfortably and exploited the various mismatches that arose in transition, targeting Liza Minor and Jen Nowak going deep. In turn, Iowa’s defense did not do much to pressure Washington’s horizontal stack, and Amanda Kostic and Shira Stern threw a lot of breaks to Barbara Hoover and Alysia Letourneau. With Iowa forcing backhand the entire game, a common look for Washington was an around forehand break from Kostic to Hoover, who would throw a crossfield backhand huck to streaking receivers like Letourneau.
In the second half, both teams picked up the defensive intensity, which contributed to offensive sloppiness. Washington gave up their second break right out of half, and Iowa looked poised to comfortably trade out. But sloppiness from Minor and Chelsea Twohig gave Washington the opportunity to tie it back up. Hoover got a big D on a swing to Nowak and Lucy Williams hit her immediately for the bookends and a tie game at 13-13. Twohig played great D on Claudia Tajima of Tufts yesterday, but she was less effective against UW’s confident break throwers like Kostic, who has a variety of great release points to get off those breaks. At the end of the game, tied 14-14, Beckah Hickernell layed out to save possession after a throw flew by Twohig, then popped up and continued the disc out to Minor, who immediately found Alison Vandegrift streaking for the endzone. Iowa eked out the win, 15-14, and locked up first place in Pool D and a bye into quarterfinals. –RT
Recaps written by Ryan Thompson, Adam Lerman, Kami Groom, and Robyn Fennig.
Feature photo of Iowa by Alex Fraser (Ultiphotos).