Stanford 15 – Minnesota 9
The key to this game for Stanford was containing All-American Sarah Meckstroth. Stanford opened with a force-middle man defense that Minnesota shredded, going up two breaks. But Stanford came firing back with a four-woman cup and their back wall kept a close eye on Meckstroth. With fellow All-American Michela Meister patrolling the deep space, Stanford forced Minnesota’s throwers to try to go through or over the cup, which they failed at again and again.
Both DePalma sisters were unable to consistently work the disc, throwing multiple turnovers as they tried to find Emily Regan popping. Anne Sleeth and Andrea Crumrine were doing better, but often times content with going side to side and backwards. Their best chances were when Natalie DePalma bended throws down the sideline to Meckstroth, but Meckstroth’s throws to the endzone were frequently gobbled up by Meister or just dumped back to the ineffective handlers.
Minnesota managed to keep it close in the first half, despite Stanford going up 6-4 after getting three breaks in a row thanks to their zone. But Minnesota broke back and Stanford took half on-serve, 8-7. Right out of half Stanford broke, with Monisha White hitting Hilary Vance deep. They kept playing their zone except for one point when they came out with a clam – Minnesota’s only offensive score of the second half. Meckstroth started to sit as Stanford opened up a 12-9 lead, and they closed it out with relentless attacking after their zone forced turnover after turnover.
Stanford’s cutters were being fronted by the Ninja defenders, and Meister, Jennifer Thompson, and White kept putting it deep with great success. Halsey Hoster in particular had a great game offensively, often matched up with Meckstroth. In the end, Stanford was able to solve the problem of containing Meckstroth by switching to zone, and Minnesota never found the answer – a similar story to their pool play matchup at Centex, which Stanford won 15-5.