Pool Play - Day Two
Virginia surprised everyone today, coming out on top of Pool A with a win over the dominant Oregon Fugue. Hydra came out strong, capitalizing on every turn they generated in order to lead Oregon 3-0. They played tight, man defense on the handlers and a zone defense in the back in order to stop some of Oregon’s big hucks. Oregon eventually began to break back, but Virginia’s careful offense kept the game alive as the two teams traded points back and forth. Although Oregon fought until the end, there was not much else they could do as Virginia took the game 16-14. Colorado barely snagged the last spot in the championship bracket due to a tight game with Colorado College. After coming back from a three-point deficit, Colorado’s handlers worked the disc up the field using their breaks and swings to generate space and the opportunity to put the game away at 14-13.
UCLA barely beat out Dartmouth today for the top spot in Pool B during a tight game this morning. BLU started out with a couple of quick breaks which were soon reciprocated by Dartmouth, making for neck-and-neck competition. Dartmouth struggled with BLU’s zone, but they were able to make up for it by using their top athletes to make big plays. Unfortunately for Dartmouth, UCLA’s offensive movement was too quick, and they took the game 13-11. British Columbia stepped it up today, winning both of their games to advance to the pre-quarters. Mira Donaldson was key in this comeback, making for an offensive flow that led them to wins against Chaos 10-7 and Pittsburgh 15-9.
While Stanford held their lead in Pool C as expected, beating both Ohio State and Southern California handedly. Michigan proved themselves today by beating Washington for the number two spot in the pool, giving themselves a chance to advance on to quarters. Unfortunately, Ohio State suffered yet another hard-fought loss today to Stanford, knocking them out of bracket play. Southern California also continued to be dominated in pool play and are also knocked off the path to the championship.
Although Central Florida was looking strong yesterday, they paid the price for having such a small team. They played a competitive game against Texas, but UCF began to slow down by the end of their second-half comeback as their top players got tired. Texas immediately took advantage of it, using their patient offense to work to a 13-9 win. Central Florida went on to the next round only to lose on double-game point to Wisconsin, putting them out of the competition for good. Texas also struggled through their next game against Whitman where they had a hard time completing passes and stopping the Sweets’ offensive flow. Whitman took control of the game and finished quickly 15-6. Overall, Texas still finished second in the pool, giving them hope for the pre-quarters.
Texas vs. Colorado
The familiar regional rivals met again in pre-quarters, which made for an energetic, competitive game. Texas played very aggressive defense, which kept the game close for the first few points. However, Colorado showed themselves to be the more athletic and energetic team, which gave them the momentum to win 15-9.
British Columbia vs. Michigan
UBC came out in the pre-quarters ready to prove themselves. Using their defensive game to create opportunities for themselves, they racked up a few breaks before half. Their quick offense, headed by Mira Donaldson, led them to the win 15-9.
Dartmouth vs. Washington
Dartmouth and Washington appeared to be fairly equal to begin with, though with completely different playing styles. Washington preferred to work the disc up the field as quickly as possible, using smooth throws and give and goes to find the next connection, while Dartmouth took their time walking through Washington’s zone. There were not many turns on either side, however, Dartmouth took the lead toward the end of the game by tightening their defense and using cross-field throws to open up the field on offense, eventually winning 15-11.
Oregon vs. Wisconsin
While Oregon was bumped down to number two in their pool, they seemed to have no trouble taking out Wisconsin 15-4 in pre-quarters. Oregon’s intense offense tore through Wisconsin, who had no chance of stopping their fast movement and huge hucks.
Dartmouth vs. Virginia
Both Dartmouth and Virginia will face their biggest challenge yet. Virginia will be forced to make big defensive plays to stop the steady flow of the Dartmouth offense, and Dartmouth will have to maintain a near perfect offense if they don’t want Virginia to take advantage of every turn they commit.
British Columbia vs. Whitman
British Columbia will need to step up their game even more on the third day of the College Championships if they want a chance at stopping the undefeated Whitman. Whitman is known to fight to the end, and they have the athleticism coupled with handler-cutter movement to give the Thunderbirds a challenge.
Colorado vs. Stanford
Stanford, the second undefeated team from pool play will be coming out strong and ready to challenge whatever Colorado can throw at them. They have proven they are not afraid to play through a zone, and they will match up on defense just as aggressively. Colorado cannot afford to begin the game slowly and/or with a messy offense.
Oregon vs. UCLA
Both UCLA and Oregon, for the most part, dominated pool play. Oregon will be looking to prove to themselves and to everyone else that they are seeded number one for a reason and that they can and will come back from their tough loss to Virginia. UCLA will be looking to generate some turnovers from their zone, and Oregon will most certainly be looking to use their athleticism and hucks to gain the upper hand.