Dartmouth vs. Virginia
As if the rainy weather wasn’t enough to make completions difficult, Dartmouth came out right away with a strong zone defense. However, Virginia did not seem to have many problems on offense as they ran right through Dartmouth’s zone and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Virginia’s careful offense was a deciding factor throughout the game while Dartmouth struggled to maintain possession. Despite their early struggles, Dartmouth pulled themselves together and generated turns with intense defense, making for a very close game. Keila Strick was essential in fueling Virginia’s push at the end of the game, catching multiple scores and making big defensive plays to help bring the team to a victory at 15-13.
British Columbia vs. Whitman
Whitman began by generating turns and immediately capitalizing on them, taking a quick lead at 5-1. British Columbia struggled to complete passes against Whitman’s aggressive man defense, limiting their chances for a comeback. Whitman continued to lead by a wide margin the entire game, taking half 8-3, and then the game 15-8.
Colorado vs. Stanford
After losing one of their top players to an injury early in the game, Colorado’s spirits lowered considerably. They seemed to be playing nervously the rest of the game, afraid to take chances on offense. Stanford took advantage of the change in dynamic right away, using their speedy offensive movement to put the game away at 15-5.
Oregon vs. UCLA
Oregon asserted themselves right away, moving the disc quickly and making UCLA work for every throw on offense. UCLA responded with their aggressive defense, however, Oregon always seemed to find the space they needed to throw to. The teams traded points until after half, when UCLA was left behind due to Oregon’s quick defensive offense conversions. Oregon ended up taking the win 15-8.
Virginia vs. Whitman
From the beginning, Virginia had a hard time competing with Whitman’s aggressive defense, causing their careful offense to be disrupted. Whitman’s style of quick-flowing offense left Virginia without enough time to react on defense, allowing the Sweets to tally a few breaks right away. Virginia also seemed to be playing with more nerves than before, hesitating on throws, which gave Whitman some easy Ds. While both teams put up some risky throws, Whitman had the athleticism to back them up, almost always coming down with the disc. Towards the end of the game, Virginia stepped up their defensive game, but it was not enough to close the gap. Whitman won the game 15-9 and advanced to tomorrow’s championship game.
Oregon vs. Stanford
One way or another, all of Oregon’s competitors have struggled with their intense and physical defensive style. Stanford had their fair share of opposition, but they took advantage of every hole they could find, moving the disc laterally to create more opportunities. Stanford found particular success in throwing cross-field to score on break-side cuts in the end zone. Superfly had the ability to throw just out of reach of the Oregon defenders, making for a more efficient offense than previous opponents. Oregon also moved their offense with some ease, using fakes to move the defense and create opportunities, rather than just taking what they could get. The two teams were neck and neck the entire game until a break by Stanford late in the second half sealed Oregon’s fate, allowing Superfly to pull ahead and win 15-13.
Looking Ahead: Finals
Whitman vs. Stanford
Whitman and Stanford will face off tomorrow in the championship game at 12:00 p.m. Both teams will enter the finals without a loss at Nationals – Whitman as a first-time finals team and Stanford as the winningest team in women’s division history with seven national championships. These teams have met twice already this season, and each has a win and a loss, making finals the ultimate tiebreaker. The determining factor in this game will be defense. Both teams pride themselves on quick, smooth offensive movement that leaves the defense lagging behind. Whichever team can shut down the other’s offensive flow will give themselves the best chance at the championship.
This match up will not be one you want to miss, so be sure to come out to support Whitman and Stanford as they battle it out for the 2016 women’s division title!