Note: Brandeis couldn’t make the trip across the country due to the blizzard in New England. In response, three pools of four were turned into one pool of five and one pool of six.
Lots of exciting action out in Riverside, California, as top DIII teams faced off in pool play yesterday at the DIII Warmup. Here’s a look at what happened.
The day started off with two expected results: St. John’s (#3) handled their business against Occidental and Puget Sound (#2) beat RPI (#25), 13-3 a piece. When I spoke with Puget Sound coach, Adam Lerman, he emphasized using the first few games in preparation for a meeting with St. John’s at the end of the day. “We’re trying to work on the flow of our offense and perfecting a high possession game,” he said.
In the next round, St. John’s faced off against Rice (#4) in a highly anticipated matchup. St. John’s made clear who the better team was, besting Rice 13-5. BAM cutter Mike Rubel on the win: “It was really good to get revenge after our loss to Rice at Nationals last season. Mike Heinen really stepped up at handler when we were running short.” Rice Coach Drew Wendler took the loss and looked forward to the rest of the tournament. He reflected on the teams’ 2012 Regionals loss to Harding before upsetting the top ranked team later on in the day.
In the third round, Rice came back strong, beating RPI handedly 13-4. Puget Sound also did their job against Occidental, winning 13-5.
In the final game of Saturday’s Pool A, St. John’s faced off against Puget Sound for a 3-0 day. Puget Sound proved their dominance, upsetting the tournament’s top seed and setting themselves up for a bracket play bye if they can hold up against Rice tomorrow morning.
Pool B provided a number of exciting games on Saturday. The day started up with a near huge upset, with Carleton GOP (#1) barely pulling out a universe win against 5th seeded Amherst. Amherst captain Lock Whitney on the loss: “We knew as the underdog that we had to come out ready to play the one seed. They have a strong system and we messed with it.” At 10-10, Army of Darkness pulled and got a huge layout D. After GOP D’ed a long huck, they worked it up the field and finished with patient end-zone offense. Connecticut College handled Westmont 11-5.
Carleton regrouped in round two and beat a strong Pacific Lutheran (#17) team, 10-8. According to Pacific Lutheran’s coach, the team came out weak after their first round bye and couldn’t make up the deficit late. In another near-upset, Claremont pulled out a universe win against fourth seeded Connecticut College. On the final point, Devin Drewry made two key blocks before punching it in for win.
In the third round Carleton again showed their weaknesses, losing to Claremont (#13) 11-7. GOP tried throwing a zone early in the second half, but patient offense prevailed and Braineaters came away with the win. Claremont handler Zach Purdy described it as the best he’s seen the team look in the past two seasons.
Claremont continued their strong play against Amherst, winning 11-7 while Connecticut College lost another close one to Pacific Lutheran. Pacific Lutheran’s deep game was strong all day, scoring as many as 8 of their 11 points against Dasein on lofty hucks.
Pacific Lutheran continued this style in one of the day’s highlight games. Claremont played well in the first half, but slipped in the second with Pacific Lutheran’s athletes winning 50/50 hucks. At 10-10 and Claremont knocking on the doorstep of a win, a floaty throw was tossed up into the endzone. After a contentious simultaneous foul/injury/pick call, observers sorted out the mess and placed the disk with Claremont on the goal-line. A Pacific Lutheran handblock earned them the disc back and two incomplete hucks later, they were finally able to get it into the endzone on a Mark Herzfeldt-Kamprath deep-ball. Pacific Lutheran, Claremont, and GOP all find themselves 3-1 out of Pool B.
Final pool play games will take place at 9:00 AM tomorrow to decide bracket play seeding.