2012 D-III College Championships -- Women's Saturday Recap

Posted: May 19, 2012 10:05 PM

Pool Play

Aside from the overall 1, 2, 3, and 16-seeds, no other teams held seed in pool play. Wind played a huge factor in separating the teams who were fundamentally strong from those lacking experience.

Teams that performed strongly relied heavily on standout handlers to advance the disc upwind. Bowdoin’s Julie Bender led the competition in assists, and played a huge role in Chaos Theory taking the top seed out of Pool B. Amanda Walker from Lehigh, also an overall assist leader, led Gravity to breaking seed and taking the second seed out of Pool B to advance to the championship bracket.

Most of the teams in Pool B used man-to-man defensive schemes throughout pool play. Lehigh upset Elon in the first round of the day, and lost by one to Bowdoin. Bowdoin and Lehigh have squared off four times this season—Gravity clearly made adjustments in today’s game to give Chaos Theory their closest game of the tournament. Lehigh’s second place finish in the pool propelled them into pre-quarters for a shot at finals.

Pool A featured the closest matchups, with 2nd through 4th seeds decided by point differential. After Grinnell led for most of the game, Haverford’s handlers annihilated the Grinnell defense. Sara Taggart found Julie Singer in the endzone to squeak out a universe point win over Grinnell. Grinnell, able to pull the biggest win over Princeton, secured the second seed. Misha Ghadiri, Cory Keeler, and Paige Hill have built solid offensive chemistry and led the Sticky Tongue Frog’s offensive charge throughout the day.

Stonehill, missing several impact players from their roster this weekend, struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Truman State and St. Olaf were able to create mismatches on turns and quickly score downwind against the Turtledoves. Since TSUnami and Durga were accustomed to playing in the wind, the teams put together solid upwind offense all day.

Carleton Eclipse controlled the tempo in a highly anticipated matchup in Pool D against the overall 4th seed, Pacific Lutheran. The wind clearly played a factor, as PLU struggled to move the disc upwind. Despite completing multiple layout grabs, PLU’s Darrien Dorr had few upfield continuation options offensively. Eclipse, on the other hand, had fewer problems with the conditions and showcased a fast-paced offense that used the entire field. Eclipse’s upwind line, led by handler Mia Borden, threw goals to Nikki Tomita and Jill Merkle in the upwind endzone for multiple scores.


In a tight game between Haverford and Pacific Lutheran University, both teams exchanged points with patient offense and tight man defense. The game featured some physical matchups. Increased defensive pressure led to many turns by both teams, though PLU took an early lead. Haverford, led by Aly Lieberman and Elinor Hickey, ran hard and managed to score three consecutive times to tie the score 7-7. Haverford closed the game after a long point with an upwind goal from Lieberman to Siena Mann.

Truman State matched up against Elon for a close-fought first half. The teams traded to 2’s, but TSUnami converted the first upwind point. TSUnami’s offense was driven by quick handler strike cuts and short gains by the cutters. Elon answered the upwind point, tying it at 6’s. Truman State, made several downwind adjustments to score more quickly out of half and answer with three consecutive breaks. Truman State pulled out the win, 12-7.

Grinnell avenged a regular season loss to Mary Washington. The game was close through the first half, with the teams trading points to 6’s. Grinnell demonstrated all season long that they prefer windier conditions and pulled away to win 11-7 over Mary Massacre.

Lehigh scored the first upwind break in their matchup against St. Olaf. St. Olaf struggled to score as quickly as they did throughout the rest of the day as Lehigh turned up the defensive pressure. Gravity was able to secure another upwind break to take the game 10-8 over Durga.

2012DIII Sat W 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.