2013 College Championships - Sunday Women's Recap

Posted: May 27, 2013 12:51 AM


Washington v. Carleton

Carleton’s big 15-9 win over Washington was to be expected, due in part to Syzygy’s experience playing in the wind. When asked if playing in blustery weather was out of the ordinary for the Minnesotans, a Carleton player laughed and responded, "This isn’t wind!" Carleton knew just how to contain Washington’s game in the wind; they played a tight cup on Washington, correctly anticipating that Element would get antsy and force risky up-line throws, and took half 8-3. Washington’s handlers stepped it up in the second half, however, despite the fact that star handler Lucy Williams was often trailed by a man defender, even in zone defenses. Element assumed a more patient attitude and worked it between their handlers, before pulling the trigger on their deep throws. But the cup Washington threw on Carleton in return was no match for Julia Snyder who found holes in the cup and won yards for Syzygy like no other player. Carleton came away with a clean 15-9 win.

Tufts v. Ohio State

In what was by far the most tightly contested quarterfinal game in the women’s division, Ohio State pulled out a narrow 15-13 win over EWO. Ohio immediately placed a tight cup on Tufts, making it difficult for leading handlers Claudia Tajima and Hailey Alm to get the disc to cutters and forcing turnovers up-field. Although Fever had an early 2-0 lead, Tufts’ offensive patience allowed them to complete well-placed throws to cutters who promptly dumped the disc back to Tajima or Alm, so they could execute big plays. Tufts’ defense worked to slow down Ohio State’s offensive flow by playing especially tight man defense on Paige Soper’s dump cuts, with Hannah Garfield working hard to stop Soper’s motion. While Fever’s handlers were being challenged, their cutters stepped up to the plate. Lauren Franke made tireless in-cuts and looked to make continue throws every time. It seemed as if every Fever player on the field touched and threw the disc. Tufts’ defense was also helpless in the face of Ohio State’s Kelly Wild. The small yet speedy receiver shot by her defender like a bullet train when cutting deep, connecting well with Soper’s deep throws. Ohio State’s Nina Finley finally put an end to Tufts’ late-game breaks by finding a wide-open Emmy Schroeder in the end zone for the 15-13 win.

Oregon v. British Columbia

Oregon’s 15-4 win over UBC started out extremely messy. Both teams, perhaps unused to playing in such windy conditions, attempted to complete throws that the weather simply wasn’t having. Darch’s high-release backhands and Crystal Koo’s cross-field flicks were often either being prematurely driven into the ground or carried out of bounds. Oregon soon learned to work with the blustery crosswind while UBC struggled to do the same. Playmaker Koo had 10 turnovers, many forced by Oregon’s junk zone defense, and only one goal in the first half. With Catherine Hui out with a pulled hamstring, UBC struggled to take hold of their own offense and seemed demoralized by Oregon’s clear dominance. Fugue’s Angela Tocchi found Amanda Parranto in the end zone to close out the quick quarterfinal game.

Iowa v. UVA

The game started with the teams trading points. Hydra slowing down Iowa’s offense with their four-person cup. Although Hydra initially slowed down Iowa’s offense with their four-person cup, as it had in Saturday’s game against Northwestern, it soon became clear that the UVA women were mentally and emotionally drained from their harrowing pre-quarterfinal win. Alika Johnston, Hydra’s playmaker and intense mark in the cup, looked particularly exhausted. Apparently she was unintentionally tackled multiple times by other players on Saturday, and she described her physical condition as feeling like she had been hit by a truck. Although Johnston was still able to hit receivers deep at times, she wasn’t able to lead her team defensively, and Virginia’s game relies on a top-notch defense to generate the turns they need to score on offense. Iowa broke Virginia’s zone easily using their patiently aggressive movement from handlers Chelsea Twohig, Anna Pritchard and Bekah Hickernell. The well-rested team clinched a clean 15-6 win.


Oregon v. Iowa

The first semifinal game began with a long, drawn-out point as both teams struggled to work with the wind. Iowa’s handlers were leading their cutters a little too much causing drops, while Oregon’s deep throws were flying out of the back of the end zone. In a tense moment for Saucy Nancy, Chelsea Twohig (10), collided with a teammate and an Oregon player on the first point when leaping up to catch the disc and had to be helped off of the field, limping with an apparent ankle injury. Despite losing their star handler for the remainder of the point, Iowa was able to score first, with some help from Fugue. In an attempted D on the end zone line, Oregon’s Jesse Shofner (2) tipped the disc into JoJo Petersen’s (32) hands.

Due to their quick, confident offensive lines and energized defensive lines, neither Oregon nor Iowa was able to claim a break before half time. As the teams gained confidence in the wind, the points were delivered hard and fast. Oregon’s offensive flow was so speedy that Saucy Nancy barely had time to set up marks on their defenders. Meanwhile, when the wind died down, Sophie Darch’s huge cross-field hammers were brilliantly received. Luckily for Saucy Nancy, Twohig returned to the field with a taped ankle and fire in her belly. Her puts were on point, finding Petersen and Jen Nowak (49) repeatedly in the red zone. Iowa’s handlers did an especially good job working the disc around Oregon’s junk zone, finding wide open cutters up field and waiting until just the right moment to put the disc deep.  Even though the teams were trading points, they weren’t without their huge plays.

  • Oregon’s Jesse Shofner (2) and Iowa’s Twohig made spectacular, neck-and-neck bids for a Fugue disc eventually brought in by Shofner.
  • Oregon’s Morgan Zajonc (14) dropped the disc only to get an immediate redemption in-cut.
  • Iowa’s Alison Vandegrift (5) snatched the disc out of the air in the end zone by a fingertip.
  • Iowa’s Anne Sleeth (12) had a massive, resounding hand block in the middle of the cup.

Oregon finally got a break at 9-9 and quickly clinched the game by getting four additional breaks in a row at lightning speed. Darch capitalized on an Iowa turnover by throwing a backhand break down the line to Bethany Kaylor (11) raising the score to 10-9. Darch then proceeded to hit Alex Ode (7) deep with an arcing, outside-in forehand in the end zone. Iowa was clearly rattled, and had some drops upon which Oregon immediately capitalized. At this point, nothing could stop a confident Fugue. Although Iowa rallied and was able to score two more points, Oregon clinched the win 14-11 with Darch hitting Zajonc in the end zone.

This is the third straight year Oregon Fugue has made it to the championship game. Congratulations, Fugue!

Ohio State vs. Carleton

Carleton College couldn’t have asked for a more fitting weather forecast for their game: blustery and beginning to rain, perfectly comfortable weather for the Minnesotans. Many of Carleton’s top players come from the notoriously rainy Seattle area, and the flat Midwest is known for its serious wind.

Perhaps in part due to the familiar weather, Carleton came out especially confident and amped to be in the semifinals. Syzygy executed many of the same strategies they had been successfully employing all weekend. On defense, Carleton began with a box and one, choosing to isolate Ohio playmaker Cassie Swafford (14) to slow down Fever’s offensive flow. Carleton also played tight man defense on Ohio State’s star handler line-up with Tayler Want (44) and Emily Buckner (5) putting tons of pressure on Paige Soper (5) and denying her easy dump cuts.

Ohio State also had some tricks up their sleeves, making this semifinal game highly contested. Their own tight, man defense significantly slowed down Carleton’s offensive flow, and their four-person cup slowed Anna Reed’s (3) normally dynamic offense to a walking pace. By faking hard, Fever was able to break Carleton’s cup down the middle; Caitlin Harley (18) did an especially good job of opening up downfield options in this way. Syzygy was also able to complete lofty throws over the top of the cup in less windy moments, allowing them to run away with the score. Freshman Nina Finley (4) was especially unstoppable this game: she wasn’t afraid to put it deep or book it down the field as a receiver.

Although the game was truly close, what seemed to clinch the Carleton win was their players’ ability to slow down Ohio State’s handler flow. Once Paige Soper’s dump cuts were denied, Ohio State’s offensive flow was seriously stymied; it was much more difficult for Fever to make effective deep cuts and hit them well with little to no momentum. Certain Carleton players really stepped up to the plate in the semifinals, especially cutter Flannery McArdle (8). The senior scored eight goals, over half of all goals scored by Carleton in the game, while Julia Snyder led the team in assists.

After getting three quick breaks in a row with Ohio State’s defense lagging, Carleton came away with a 15-11 win and a spot in the finals. Congratulations, Syzygy!


Players to Watch:

Watch out for these star players in tomorrow’s Oregon-Carleton Championship Final. They are sure to bring big things!

Carleton Syzygy:

Anna Reed, #3: This aggressive handler isn’t afraid to put her body on the line on defense and can consistently make big accurate puts on offense.

Julia Snyder, #27: She is the keystone of Carleton’s handler flow and leads the team in assists.

Flannery McArdle, #8: This 6-foot receiver is constantly booking it deep and scores more points for Carleton than anyone else. It’s certainly difficult to miss McArdle on the field.

Laura Karson, #13: This quick cutter is having a breakout tournament. Watch for her reliable cuts and intense defense.

Oregon Fugue:

Bailey Zahniser, #4: This captain is the ultimate threat on offense with her tireless handler cuts and also books it deep to receive the disc from teammate Sophie Darch.

Sophie Darch, #10: Her deep throws are powerful and well-placed, she leads her team’s offensive flow, and the entire game often seems to be in her control.

Jesse Shofner, #2: Although her deep throws and handler cuts are certainly impressive, Shofner’s ability to play all-out defense is stunning. She doesn’t hold anything back on the field.

Morgan Zajonc, #14: She is tall and knows how to get open from a stack in the end zone or by booking it deep. Watch out, Carleton.

Day 3 - highlights - Images by ultimatefrisbeephotos.com

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