2011 D-I College Championships - Saturday Open Recap
Posted: May 28, 2011 01:16 AM
2011 College Championships
Open Division - Saturday
Twenty teams entered the College Championships in contention for the national title. After today, only eight remain. Here’s a look at how pool play turned out, as well as what we have to look forward to tomorrow.
Top seeds struggle.
Florida finished at the bottom of Pool C with a 1-3 record, making this the first year since 2006 that the previous winner of the College Championships has failed to qualify for the quarterfinal round (that year, it was Brown). After falling to Wisconsin and Luther yesterday, the Gators beat California- Santa Cruz before losing to Washington, 15-12. Throughout the tournament, Florida had trouble with overthrowing hucks as well as getting the disc back after the turn.
Overall four seed British Columbia is also out of contention after a pre-quarterfinal loss to Pittsburgh. The Thunderbirds struggled in the morning game against Carleton, where they were unable to force CUT to turn the disc over at all on offense, and their game against Whitman was closer than many expected. Against Pittsburgh, UBC had trouble getting open downfield.
Conference rematches in quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals featured Oregon v. Washington and Harvard v. Tufts, two sets of familiar foes from the Northwest and New England regions, respectively. Each game featured players that were accustomed to their given match ups, meaning that neither team was lacking in confidence. Oregon trailed throughout the first half but came back to beat Washington, 14-12. Harvard and Tufts was also neck and neck throughout, with Harvard’s Devon Williams turning in a huge performance down the stretch that included a poach block and catching the score to close the game out, 11-9.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Leclaire [Ultiphotos.com]
Carleton v. Stanford
Stanford has been the epitome of a peak-at-the-right time team at the Championships, going from 18th overall seed to taking down Virginia and Luther en route to the quarters. Unfortunately, they are up against a Carleton team that is also playing its best ultimate in quite a while. After a third-place regional finish, Carleton has righted the ship and is looking like one of the best teams at the tournament. CUT’s offense was turnover free in a 15-7 win over British Columbia (the defense did not turn the disc over after the ninth point of the game), and its handler defense will pose problems for Stanford’s possession-oriented attack.
Colorado v. Pittsburgh
This is certainly the Open Division’s quarterfinal game to watch, as both Colorado and Pittsburgh have been two of 2011’s top teams and have played close games against one another at big tournaments. Pittsburgh is 2-0, having mounted a huge comeback at Stanford Invite to win, 14-13, and winning 15-13 at College Easterns. Colorado got a bit unlucky with this draw, as a pool winner typically doesn’t expect to face Pittsburgh in quarters, but in previous meetings, Colorado’s offense was its undoing; and so far this weekend, Mamabird has scored efficiently.