Washington wins 2012 College Championship

Posted: May 28, 2012 03:51 PM
2012CollegeLogo Washington W
This year’s women’s final was a familiar rematch: University of Oregon Fugue would face off against University of Washington Element for the sixth time this season. Both teams had an interesting route to the finals, coming in seeded first in their pools (and 1 and 2 in the tournament) and ending up second, meaning they both played an extra prequarters game. Additionally, both teams had played tight games in the semis, with Washington pulling out a universe point win over Tufts, and Oregon in a windy huck and D 10-8 win over Michigan.
Coach Danny Karlinsky had kept an eye on Fugue’s semi; before the game, he noted that he would try different offensive strategies than Michigan had employed, notably not being afraid to play the position game the way Oregon had. Such long games would come to hurt the Oregon roster – with 14 health players, they went in to the game knowing they had to be mentally tough as nails to stay in it. On the other hand, Washington had players coming off the injured list to play key roles in this game. Most notably, Barbara Hoover, a deep cutter for Washington, made some fantastic and painful grabs with an injured rotator cuff, leaving it all out on the field for her team. With a slight wind mixing things up, we saw some different defenses and exciting plays from both teams. Eventually, Washington would take the game 15-7, but not without a hard fight from Oregon. 
The teams traded points to start – Element responding to a long first offensive point for Oregon with an almost perfect one themselves, trying the game. Washington then went on to score two consecutive breaks, bringing the score to 3-1. Fugue worked it up the break side getting Sophie Darch in position to put up a big huck to Ashley Young. Oregon called a timeout, reset their offense, and put one in for a score. Oregon came back with yet another break to tie the game 3-3, but this was the closest the game would be. Oregon was having a hard time on offense trying to play the deep game, and as the game wore on their receivers began having more and more trouble coming down with floaty discs in the air. On defense, Oregon seemed to not have the energy to keep up the pressure with man defense, and UW began shredding their zone with patient looks and frequent throws to break the mark. With excellent offensive flow and fresh legs to work with, Washington rattled off break after break to take half 8-3. 
2012College Mon W LeClaire
PHOTO CREDIT: Ultiphotos.com
At halftime, stats noted that every point for UW so far that Sarah Davis had been in were scores for UW (7 of 8). Davis stepped up big for Element in this game, making big plays on both sides of the disc. Leah Fury was also doing an excellent job with her dump defense, keeping the disc of Sophie Darch’s hands and limiting Oregon’s deep options. On offense, Lucy Williams was unstoppable for Element, throwing break after break. Kirstin Gruver and Sarah Benditt also had amazing plays on defense, making it almost impossible for Oregon to connect on easy throws. Washington effectively employed their deep roster in the first half, and going in to half they felt confident to do the same.
During halftime, Oregon regrouped and looked like they were mounting a significant response as play resumed. They rattled off a few breaks to bring the score to 8-6 until UW came down with a new defensive play; by putting a four woman trap cup in front of Oregon’s big throwers, Element was able to effectively cut off the majority of Oregon’s deep looks. Fugue looked tired as swing throws turned to turnovers. Washington took advantage of each turnover, scoring quickly and never looking back. Not to give up without a fight, Oregon tried switching up different offensive and defensive strategies, notably stepping up their marks and making break throws significantly more difficult. Bethany Kaylor, a big receiver for Fugue who had been out during the first half with a strained hip flexor, began warming up to play a few points. Still, Oregon was unable to stop the fired up Element team who showed off incredibly scrappy play, picking up tipped throws and getting up for floaty hucks. With a backhand put from Sarah Davis to the endzone, Kirstin Gruver was able to get in position behind the Oregon defense and snag the score.  By the end of the game, it was clear the difference between the two teams lie in their ability to come down with the deep shots. With excellent throwers on both rosters, it was the Washington receivers that won the game for Element, frequently getting in position to make big plays and taking advantage of what the Oregon defense was giving them. With a fired up Element defense also making big plays against Oregon’s best throwers, Washington showed off exactly why they had sat at the top of the rankings for most of the regular season.
Congratulations to the 2012 USA Ultimate Women’s Champions: the University of Washington Element!


PHOTO CREDITS: Ultiphotos.com
2012College Wash W LeClaire
2012College Oregon W LeClaire
2012College TeamSpirit W LeClaire
2012College IndSpirit W LeClaire
2012College Callahan W LeClaire


Final Standings:

1 - Washington
2 - Oregon
3T - Michigan
3T - Tufts
5T - Iowa
5T - North Carolina
5T - Ohio State
5T - Texas
9 - California
10 - Iowa State
11 - British Columbia
12 - UCLA
13T - Florida
13T - Stanford
15T - Sonoma State
15T - Wisconsin
17T - Humboldt State
17T - Virginia
19T - Delaware
19T - Ottawa

Full Results


2012DICollegeLogo 500x500


Team Spirit Scores:

4.67* - Florida
4.67 - Virginia
4.62 - Washington
4.57 - UCLA
4.50 - Tufts
4.50 - Ohio State
4.50 - North Carolina
4.50 - Delaware
4.43 - California
4.40 - Texas
4.38 - Oregon
4.33 - Michigan
4.30 - Iowa
4.29 - Iowa State
4.17 - Stanford
4.17 - Humboldt State
4.17 - Sonoma State
4.14 - British Columbia
3.50 - Ottawa
3.17 - Wisconsin

* denotes won tiebreaker

2012DICollegeLogo 500x500

Callahan Award:
Paula Seville, Michigan

Callahan Award Finalists:

2) Maggie Ruden, Sonoma State
3) Amber Sinicrope, Smith
4) Claire Desmond, California
5) Emelie McKain, Wisconsin


All-Region, FOTY, COTY Awards




Photos by Ultiphotos.com