2012 D-III College Championships -- Open Saturday Recap

Posted: May 19, 2012 10:05 PM

Pool(s) of Death

In an extremely sunny and windy first day of D-3 College Open Nationals, none of the top four seeds at the tournament finished the day as winners of their pools to earn a bye to the first round of the championship bracket. Instead, they found themselves with one more game to play on Saturday and an even longer road to the Sunday’s finals. Out of the four, St. John’s finished the best in 2nd, but Kenyon, Bentley, and Bowdoin all finished the day as the last team from their pools into the round of pre-quarters late in the day in 3rd. Things got even more surprising when only Bentley and St. John’s made it into the Sunday championship bracket. It shouldn’t be a surprise that each team was challenged in pool play- seeding was extremely close.  However, the overall underachievement of the #1 seeds brought drama to the final round of pre-quarters.


  • Defending champions Claremont will not be defending their title tomorrow. Watching them play, it seemed like the little things all added up. Star player Tommy Li was certainly amazing at times, but had a surprising number of drops. When opponents capitalized on the Claremont mistakes, it was often too much for the Brain Eaters to work their way out of.
  • Look at all of the North Central teams, making it into meaningful Sunday play. They all fall on the same side of the bracket, but
    it’s no surprise to see them all here. On a very gusty day, those teams had some of the best throws and that made a huge difference in going for up-wind breaks.
  • Rice’s hot streak continued today. Michael Drewry, a freshman for Cloud 9, had 11 goals and only 3 turns on the day. Combine
    that with junior Wally Lang and his 13 goals, and it explains their finish atop Pool A.
  • Georgia College & State’s Charles Morris – with 11 goals – and Christopher Hannah – with 13 assists – helped bring Disconnected to a close battle to get into the quarters with St. Olaf. While eventually falling short, both Morris and Hannah put them in a position to spoil someone’s day.

Day 2 Preview

Championship Sunday in Appleton, WI features some interesting matchups. On the top half of the bracket, Rice vs Bentley meet the winner of Puget Sound vs Lewis & Clark. Look for Rice to try and continue their hot streak against Bentley, who will be looking to cure their slow starts that plagued their Saturday play. Lewis & Clark came from the bottom of Pool D to win it, led by the play of two seniors: Bon Lohre with 15 assists, and Kelly Van Arsdale with 10 goals. With the majority of their team being underclassmen, they were the rocks needed by Bacchus to win their games. But aside from their one loss, Puget Sound looked unstoppable on both sides of the disc and will pose problems for the young Lewis & Clark team. 

On the bottom half of the bracket, we have four teams who are used to the wind that was present today and forecasted for tomorrow – three being from the North Central and the other, the Great Lakes region. St. Olaf vs North Park should play like a game of tug-of-war. At times St. Olaf, led by senior Cole Stiegler, would look dangerous during up-wind and down-wind points with their patient play. When that escaped from them they let other teams easily back into games. North Park’s conditioning and team-focused play put them ahead of other teams easily. Carleton College-GOP doesn’t plan on stopping their streak, as their captains told me at the end of the day, but St. Johns improbable comeback against Bowdoin from 7-12 to a 13-12 win shows they have the grit which could take them through bracket play.

2012DIII Sat O Wu
PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, Ultiphotos.com 

Day 1 Photos by UltiPhotos.com

This preview was developed in conjunction with Skyd Magazine's coverage of the 2012 Division III College Championships.