2013 College Championships - Friday Women's Recap

Posted: May 25, 2013 12:08 AM


2013DICollegeNatsLogo 200x200  

20 teams remain with a shot at winning the 2013 College Championship.  Anna Levine breaks down Friday's Women's Division action.

Day One Photo Highlights - by CBMT Creative

Related Links:

The first day of pool play at the 2013 College Championships was characterized by fairly predictable pool upsets and closely-contested games. Such disturbances were slow to occur and generally didn’t affect the top four teams in each pool. Only one first-seeded team, Iowa State, came away with a loss. Once the mid-pool upsets started in the afternoon, they kept on coming. In the third round, every game resulted in an upset. "Upsets" might not be the best word to describe the day’s events because none of the seeding disruptions were particularly shocking. Pool A’s two seed, Wisconsin, losing to fourth-seeded Minnesota was less of an "upset" and more the playing out of evenly matched regional rivals. Bella Donna lost to the Ninjas by a wide margin during the regular season, and the teams came in fourth and fifth at North Central Regionals, respectively. California-Santa Barbara has a long history of performing better at Nationals than during the regular season, and their win today over Georgia reflects that trend. 

Every one of today’s games was close in score, with over half won by a margin of four points or less, and almost every game played to 15. This undoubtedly reflects the parity and high skill level of every women’s team in attendance. The favorable weather conditions – cool temperatures, cloudless skies and mild wind – allowed for teams to play at their most confident and competitive levels with minimal adjustments.

Pool A

  Oregon   Wisconsin   Stanford   Minnesota   undefined  


The seemingly untouchable Oregon women came out unscathed and on top at the end of the day. The rest of Pool A’s teams emerged with mixed results. Wisconsin suffered two tough losses, plummeting them to the bottom of the pool. Bella Donna played an especially brutal game against Minnesota to close out their day. The two sides traded points until the hometown team picked up a three-point lead around halftime. Wisconsin’s Sara Scott (31) and Allison Ellis (16) led the way in goals and assists, with Scott frequently looking to make big throws deep. The Ninjas, however, chose to fight back – they racked up breaks using their calm and accurate offensive movement and brought the score to 13-12 in their favor. After breaking Wisconsin’s cup through the middle, Minnesota’s Sarah Mecksroth (44) chased down a well-put disc and assisted the final goal to win 15-13.

Interestingly, Minnesota solidly lost to Stanford in the first round of play, but Stanford later lost to fifth-seeded Northeastern on universe point in a highly contested and exhausting game. The Minnesota-Northeastern and Stanford-Wisconsin match ups tomorrow will be crucial in determining the final pool play results.

Pool B

  College13 Carleton Syzygy W 500x500   UBC   UGA   UCSB   Northwestern  
  Carleton College
  British Columbia
  California-Santa Barbara


Lots of incredibly close games were played in Pool B today, which was made more exciting by the fact that most of the teams had not competed against each other this season. Many spectators were eager to witness the results of the Carleton v. British Columbia match up, given the hype surrounding both teams throughout the regular season, and both squads certainly delivered. Carleton chose to engulf UBC’s petite squad in an enormously tall three-person cup which frequently consisted of Brianna Rick (43), Flannery McArdle (8) and Emily Buckner (5), who are all just about 6’0" tall. In an attempt to shut down UBC’s super-speedy star playmaker, Carleton added man defense on Catherine Hui. Syzygy’s strategy didn’t always work. UBC got extremely creative in breaking the towering cup, frequently and successfully throwing hammers and arcing cross-field flicks. The teams traded points until Julia Snyder (27) punched it in to McArdle for a close 15-13 Carleton win.

Both UCSB and Northwestern were able to take down third-seeded Georgia in pool play today. Despite the best efforts of tough Georgia defenders Margie Quinn (16) and Courtney Farrell (5), Georgia wasn’t able to slow down UCSB’s offense led by Lisa Pitcaithley (92). Santa Barbara also gave UBC a run for their money in the first round of the day, losing to the Canadian team by only three points.

Pool C

  ISU   OSU   Oregon   UCF   Whitman  
  Iowa State
  Ohio State
  Central Florida


The biggest and most exciting upset of this pool was certainly Ohio State’s tight victory over first-seeded Iowa State. The game was defined by accurate short games and a dramatic, spectator-friendly deep game on both sides. The two teams traded points at the beginning, until the patiently aggressive handling skills of Cassie Swafford (14) and Paige Soper (5) opened up new scoring opportunities for Fever, and the team went up a few breaks. However, Iowa’s Magon Liu (8) was not ready to give up without a fight, and her extremely powerful deep throws allowed teammates like Camille Nelson (16) to make fantastic layouts in the end zone again and again. A flick huck from Soper to Katie Backus (9) clinched the Ohio State victory. Their skill, energy and large roster proved too much for Woman Scorned to overcome.

Central Florida was able to overcome Virginia with their amazingly successful four-person cup, winning 15-10. Hydra initially seemed a little tired, and UCF’s wide cup, which both denied Hydra the swing and cut off any midfield looks due to the slight wind, forced Virginia errors. Watch to see whether Central Florida will be able to take down Iowa State in pool play tomorrow or whether Woman Scorned will refuse to lose a second time. 

Pool D

  Iowa   Tufts   Washington   Texas   Ottawa  


The infamous "pool of death" didn’t kill anyone on day one, but it certainly left every team exhausted at the end of the day. Although Texas and Ottawa both went 0-2, they played close, competitive games with the top three seeds. Texas wasn’t afraid of playing long points, exhausting their competitors while passing the disc dozens of times between their handlers.

The final round Iowa v. Tufts match up was certainly the most exciting and high-stakes game of the day. Tufts came into the round seeming vaguely rattled at the prospect of facing their pool’s number one seed, and Iowa’s immediate and obvious confidence on offense made it easy for them to get a quick break. Moreover, Iowa placed superstar cutter Chelsea Twohig (10) on Claudia Tajima, exhausting Tufts’ primary handler and making it exceedingly difficult for her to get open. Once Tufts got their bearings and confidence back, they were able to work the disc accurately and smoothly between a wide range of skilled handlers, including Hailey Alm (23), Hannah Garfield (80) and Michaela Fallon (32). The two teams traded points until the very end, with players on both sides making huge bids on D and scrappy catches in traffic. After going down 14-12, Tufts looked more defeated than their competitors, allowing Iowa’s handlers to calmly work the disc out of a timeout, with Anna Pritchard (33) finding Jen Nowak (49) in the end zone to finish the game.


Memorable Moments

  • The most believable fake ever may have been executed today by Virginia handler Bethany Turner against Whitman. The fifth-year Hydra veteran’s backhand huck fake was realistic enough that every player on the field turned around and started to run. Unfortunately, a Whitman player hurt her ankle in the process and had to call an injury.
  • Seeing the disc fly over her head and towards the end zone, Iowa State’s Camille Nelson chased the disc down with lightning speed and achieved a perfect, completely airborne layout in the end zone with no Ohio State defender in sight.
  • Stanford’s Monisha White pounced on the disc to get a short layout D during their universe point against Northeastern.
  • One of ultimate’s biggest fans, Sherri Rose, drove 28 hours from Alberta with her husband and took time off of work to watch the College Championships in person. What compels her to travel so far to watch good ultimate? "The disc flying through the air," she explained. "It’s beautiful, and I just love it."
  • Qxhna Titcomb’s backhand hucks were on fire today in Tufts’ game against Iowa. She was able to get the disc close to the back of Iowa’s end zone on the pull. 3And she’s only a sophomore!

Day 1 - highlights - Images by Ultimate Photos