2015 D-III College Championships - Women's Day Two Recap

Posted: May 17, 2015 06:37 PM
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Rice University Torque wins a second consecutive title at the 2015 USA Ultimate D-III College Championships. Nick Povalitis recaps the women's division action from Rockford, Ill.

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No. 1 Rice Outlasts No. 10 Bowdoin to Capture Back-to-Back USA Ultimate Division III Women’s College Championships in Rockford, Ill.

Top-ranked Rice University made USA Ultimate Division III women’s college history, upending 10th-ranked Bowdoin College, 8-6, to win its second-straight national championship this weekend in Rockford, Ill. With their back-to-back titles, Rice is the first women’s team to repeat as champions since USA Ultimate added Division III in 2010.

The championship game went well beyond hard cap, as neither team was able to muster a break until championship point. Wind speeds consistently registered 30-plus mph, leading to nearly 30 consecutive minutes of back-and-forth action. Rice was finally able to work their way upwind on that point, when junior Angela Yang found senior Maya Stokes for the game winner.

"We kept inching our way up the field," said Stokes, a Rice co-captain. "It seemed like we kept taking five steps forward but four steps back. When I caught it (the winning score), I was elated. I just looked for an observer and was relieved it counted."

Bowdoin, who knocked off second-ranked Truman State University, 9-8, in the semifinals, kept pace with Rice throughout the final, highlighted by a pair of scores from senior Elizabeth Carew. Rice was able to counter each time, as 6’0" senior Erika Danckers scored four straight times for Torque. Senior co-captain Nichole Kwee assisted on each of Danckers’ scores, and she also accounted for the championship point assist to Stokes.

"Our group had very strong determination throughout the season," Kwee said. "I’m just so proud. We kept our focus and never gave up."

Rice advanced to the championship by defeating Carleton College, 12-10. In the semfinal, Torque never trailed and secured the victory before the hard cap when Stokes found Danckers for the win.

In the other semifinal, Bowdoin seemed to be cruising to victory as Carew scored for a 7-2 advantage against Truman State. TSUnami then reeled off six of the next seven points, culminating in senior Lauren Kells’ diving catch to tie the game at 8-8. Bowdoin responded on double-game point when junior Ana Leon broke free to make the final score 9-8.

Williams College and St. Olaf College finished the weekend tied for fifth place. Claremont College and Lehigh University tied for ninth place, and Hamilton College and College of St. Benedict shared 13th.

The 2016 USA Ultimate Division III College Championships are slated for May 21-22, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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