2011 D-I College Championships - Sunday Women's Recap

Posted: May 30, 2011 11:14 AM



North Carolina
Colorado College


Stanford Superfly vs UNC-Wilmington Seaweed

Superfly and Seaweed began the game off testing their respective clam defenses on their opponents. Superfly seemed to have the one-up this time, outscoring a tired-looking Seaweed 8-4 in the first half. Seaweed refused to believe that this was how the rest
of the game would go. Down 10-4 and with the effective combination of Claire Chastain (#7), Kelly Tidwell (#11) and Jessica "Patti" Patrick (#14), UNC-Wilmington went on a 3-point run to bring it within three. Stanford seemed shaken, but Wilmington could not capitalize on any of Superfly’s mistakes. The women in red win 13-10.

2011 DI College D3Q Davis (1)
PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Davis [freeheelimages.com/usau]

UCSB Burning Skirts vs UNC-Chapel Hill Pleaides

UNC came out fired up using a 3-person cup, but Santa Barbara was able to use quick handler dishes to break through and put in a long throws to the endzone. Alicia Thomson (#26) and Alina Warner (#8) took care of business both cutting and behind the disc
(along with the usual suspects) giving the an 8-3 lead at half. UNC seemed to struggle early with the wind, otherthrowing cutters deep and misreading floaty discs, but they weren’t ready to give up. In the second half they seemed to score two goals for every one
of SB’s, suddenly finding themselves down only 14-12, using the talents of Leila Tunnell (#18) and Lindsay Lang (#51). Unfortunately for the Pleaides, Santa Barbara put in their last goal, clinching SB a semis berth against Stanford Superfly.

Colorado College Lysistrata’s Tools vs Michigan Flywheel

Colorado College began their game against Michigan intensely eager, hoping to continue their unexpected winning streak. Strata danced on the sidelines before the first pull, riding off of the excitement created by their previous wins. "They play this in Invictus
before they win," smiled a Colorado player. Michigan, however, certainly knew what they were up against and planned to shut it down. The first point was a long one, with many hasty throws, Ds, and turnovers made by both squads: player Colorado player
Claire Jenks (#34) jumped high to get a massive D in the endzone against Callahan nominee Becky Malinowsky (#11), while Flywheel’s Annie Fisher (#89) returned the favor, skying a Colorado player in the endzone for the turn. Michigan was able to collect themselves after scoring the first point, however: Strata’s cup was no match for Michigan’s practiced offense, as Michigan swung the disc across the field with assurance and accuracy: most of Flywheel’s offensive points were scored quickly and without turns. Michigan also dominated on defense: Kim Kulpan (#13), Paula Seville (#22), and Malinowsky shut down Strata’s main scoring mechanism--Sophie Herscu’s backhand breaks to Hannah Sohl (#22) in the end zone--easily, taking away their deep game and half, 8-4. In the last quarter of the game, however, Lysistrata made a comeback, scoring some quick points by looking deep and working the disc down the field by way of
Herscu, Sohl, and Jenks; Michigan’s confidence waned, and Colorado College began do dominate once more. Unfortunately for CC, their comeback came too late: Michigan won the game on hard cap 12-10, advancing to the semifinals.

Oregon Fugue vs Iowa Saucy Nancy

Iowa vs. Oregon--"the Christmas game," as a spectator called it, noting the intermingling of the teams’ respective red and green uniforms--started off and ended up in Oregon’s favor, Fugue winning the game 15-9. It seemed that Iowa couldn’t quite stick with
the speed of Oregon’s classic offensive move, a quick dump and an immediate, well-received put deep; therefore, Oregon was able to stay on top of Iowa the whole way through. Iowa didn’t go without a fight, however: Callahan nominee and primary handler Robin Fennig (#44) was the driving force behind Iowa’s offense, catching the disc nearly every other throw and helped Saucy Nancy achieve a minor comeback at the end of the game, but not one that made much of a dent. Oregon easily advanced to the semi-final game with a six-point point differential on Iowa.




UCSB Burning Skirts vs Stanford Superfly

In a rematch of Southwest Regionals finals, the UCSB Burning Skirts took on Stanford Superfly. A deep first pull from Caitlin Rugg (#18), and a team d lead to Stanford drawing first blood. Rugg pulled again and showed exactly why she is the team’s Callahan nominee by getting a handblock to bring Stanford to 2-0. The lethal combination of Carolyn Finney (#11), Marie Madaras (#14), Stephanie Karba (#1) and Arianne Johnson (#7) quickly answered back with two points of their own. After a few traded points, Stanford’s Jenny Wang (#2) caught the 6-3 goal. Again, the Skirts would not be left behind. A three point run tied the score at sixes and forced the Stanford coaches to take a timeout to try to refocus their girls. Stanford would only score once more in the second half, as the layout Ds came flying and Finney’s pinpoint hucks to Madaras began to connect. SB took half 8-7.

The second half was all Burning Skirts. As Superfly began to tighten up and misthrow both long and short throws, Madaras made jaw-dropping layout grab after layout grab. Santa Barbara would go on a five point run to pull ahead 14-8. The Marie Madaras -
Sam Law (#20) match up kept Stanford alive. After a Sam Law D, Michela Meister (#6) caught a long huck and put in in the endzone to Jenny Wang. Stanford’s cup would get the D and Meister would put a hammer in the endzone again to Wang, but in the end it
wouldn’t be enough. A familiar huck from Finney to a laying out Madaras sealed the deal for Santa Barbara.

Outscoring Superfly 7-3 in the second half, UCSB makes its 5th consecutive finals appearance with a final score of 15-10 leaving Stanford in tears.

2011 DI College D3S Roeder (1)
PHOTO CREDIT: Scott Roeder

Oregon Fugue vs Michigan Flywheel

Let's admit it: everyone expected Oregon, the reigning National champions, to come out with an easy win against Michigan. As one spectator said assuredly with the surrounding nods of her teammates, "Oh yeah. Oregon's gonna win this one easily." Oregon was seen as the more confident team, able to pull off big wins and turn on the heat in high-pressure situations--until today, when Michigan pulled out all the stops and played the game we all expected from Oregon, winning the semifinal by a landslide.

Michigan came out with an early lead against Oregon, playing uncharacteristically hard defense: handler Vicky Chang got an early handblock on the mark, while Annie Fisher (#89) amped up the intensity by getting a layout D. On offense Flywheel looked equally strong: the team worked the disc with an amazing amount of assurance, achieving especially quick across-the-field movement and well-timed deep looks from Paula Seville (#22) and Callahan nominee Becky Malinowsky (#11). Oregon fought back after they took a time-out at 1-3 Michigan, however, forcing their opponent to turn the disc over and began to trade points with them; it seemed like Fugue might finally be finding their fire when freshman Sophie Dartch (#10) got a handblock on Flywheel's Chang right by their endzone, allowing an easy Oregon score. A nice grab by Michigan's Kim Kulpan (#13) from Malinowsky in the endzone allowed Flywheel to take half, however, with Michigan up 8-5.

2011 DI College D3S Leclaire (13)
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Leclaire [ultiphotos.com]

After that point, Michigan was officially on fire: the team scored three more points in a row after some drawn-out moments on the field, as Oregon did their best to score by putting it down the line to cutters that weren't quite in position to receive. Michigan also got a little jittery, fumbling the disc and turfing it a few times. Michigan's ability to finally put those three points away, however, was crucial, as Oregon was never able to recover from the point difference or establish their own flow: after scoring a few points with Flywheel at the end of the game, Fugue ultimately lost the game 15-9. In an unexpected--yet totally deserved--win, Michigan Flywheel will move on to the finals against UCSB tomorrow.

Alumni Reactions

Rachel Habbert, formerly of Stanford Superfly on long throws:

"Every team seems to be overthrowing their cutters downwind because the disc flies
differently. That’s probably one advantage Colorado College has over teams."

Holly Greunke, formerly of Wisconsin Bella Donna, on UCSB after watching the
live semis stream:

"What impresses me the most about Santa Barbara is their ability to win big games
tournament after tournament, year after year. Their mental toughness is astounding and

Katie Barry, formerly of UCSB Burning Skirts, on Carolyn Finney’s elbow injury:

"She’s playing sick this weekend. [The injury] is not something that’s getting worse.
We’ll take care of her tonight and she’ll be ready for finals."

Carol Chen, formerly of Cal Pie Queens, on the growth of the program:

"I am so proud of the Berkeley program. They have exploded to having a C team. And
just like back in the day, the spirit, the fun is still there."

Kath Ratcliff, formerly of Northwestern, on the Great Lakes Region:

"I think this is the first time a Great Lakes team made it to the semis, let alone the finals. I
am so impressed to see how far our region has come in the last 10 years."s