Round One Recap: 2013 D-I College Championships

Here’s a roundup of the day’s first round:

OPEN

In the 1 v. 5 matchup in Pool B, Wisconsin took down Cornell 15-9 in a sloppy game from both teams. The teams traded points with one break each to 5-5, with each team playing aggressively and fast. That high energy translated into multiple turnover points on every point in the first half.

“We want to come out aggressive in the start of all our games,” said Wisconsin coach Hector Valdivia, who wasn’t worried about the turnovers.

Jordan O’Neill had three goals and Colin Camp added three assists to help the Hodags pull away on a 10-4 run to close out the game.

Captain Dayu Liu also had a big game, carving up any Cornell zone or junk looks with crossfield hammers and blades. He had three assists and really helped to stretch the field.

***

In the Carleton/Florida State rematch (they had a tight battle at Warm Up early this season), a sharper Cut team prevailed with a comfortable 15-10 victory.

Carleton jumped ahead early and got a critical first half break after a goal line hand block from Sophomore James Adams that led to the break that put them up 6-3.

They went on to take half 8-5 and had no trouble keeping FSU at bay in the second half.

Florida State coach Peter van de Burgt attributed a lot of his team’s mistakes to early game jitters. “The main thing is we just came out nervous,” he said, a typical problem for a first time Nationals team. They had five drops on offense.

Phil Bowen, Carleton’s coach, said his team hit on every aspect of the game that he wanted to focus on and called it a successful first round game.

Carleton had a lot of success by putting an extra defender in the lane, a strategy FSU didn’t adjust to. That forced the DUF handlers into a lot of high stall situations and finished the game.

***

In pool D on the showcase field, UNC-Wilmington took on Illinois, a game that lived up to its chippy expectations. There were four Team Misconduct Fouls handed out during the game — two on each team. Illinois got one for rushing the field and intentional fouling in the stack. Wilmington was tagged with encroaching on the sideline and intentional fouling in the stack.

UNC-Wilmington was sloppy during the middle of the game, allowing Illinois to take the lead with four straight breaks, but rallied back to win 15-12. It was a game of runs, with each team having swings of momentum and scoring.

Illinois attributed Wilmington’s win to their physicality, which got into their heads.

***

In a highly anticipated rematch of their Stanford Invite game, Texas took on Arizona in the 2/4 matchup in Pool D. Arizona took down Texas at Stanford in a tight game — this time Texas brought their A game. TUFF won it 15-11 after pulling away late in the second half with a pair of back-to-back breaks.

Texas captain and Callahan nominee Will Driscoll was excellent both in the backfield with the disc and downfield cutting. He easily got separation on defenders and caught five 50+ yard hucks in the game, many of them for scores.

Arizona’s defense couldn’t generate turnovers on Texas, and when Texas made mistakes, Sunburn couldn’t capitalize.

Arizona’s coach Juan Castro told Ultiworld at halftime that they needed to just get their legs underneath them and stop being intimidated by the Texas defense. That didn’t really change in the second half — Texas simply looked faster and smarter with the disc.

Arizona’s offense, when it was clicking, looked good, moving the disc smoothly with break throws and good chemistry. But they took too many dangerous chances and Texas converted most of their opportunities.

WOMEN’S 

The first round was not one of surprises. Often, as teams are getting their legs underneath them, settling their nerves, and feeling out new opponents, they play tight first halves. In the second half, the more talented or deeper team is usually able to pull away. That theme was common in the first round — and the star players were also on display.

Carleton (Pool B #1) played Northwestern (Pool B #5), and while Northwestern kept it close in the first half, Syzygy felt in control, closing it out 15-8. Even without Flannery McArdle, who was on the sidelines, their team is very tall, able to win lots of battles in the air. Carleton senior handler Taylor Want had a big first half, making lots of plays.

Lien Hoffman was everywhere for Northwestern, delivering a great performance as a receiver, but they weren’t quite able to slow Carleton’s relentless attack. “We settled in and found our stride,” commented senior Carleton Captain Julia Snyder after the game, while fellow senior Captain Anna Reed credited their poachy junk and zone looks for slowing down the Northwestern offense.

***

British Columbia (Pool B #2) and UC-Santa Barbara (Pool B #4) played a big play slugfest the field over. Both teams put the disc up early and often, trusting their team speed to do a lot of the work for them, but UBC’s depth helped them pull away to the 15-11 win. That lead both teams to showing new looks – the Skirts went to a zone with Katie Pollart defending the deep lane while UBC chose more of a junk set – to slow down the deep game.

UBC was able to display more depth, keeping their star players from playing as much as UCSB had to use theirs. Pitcaithley rarely sat for the Burning Skirts, and when she did, they struggled. Between her and sophomore cutter Noelle Neason, they powered the offense, with one or both of them involved in nine of UCSB’s 11 scores.

Rena Kawabata was fantastic for UBC in the first half, while handler Crystal Koo took over the second with her hammers, reset cutting, and crossfield looks. Pitcaithley is a matchup nightmare, but UCSB will need Thompson and their role players to step up and soon.

***

In Pool D’s first round, Tufts (Pool D #2) was tested by Texas (Pool D #4), but pulled out a 15-12 late. Tufts’ Callahan nominee senior Claudia “Zilla” Tajima brought the hucks out, but Texas’s feisty defense and some nice hucks of their own kept the first half close. Tufts took the half 8-6. The second half was even tighter, with the Melee offense findings way to keep scoring. At 12-11, however, Tufts turned it on, grabbing a two point lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Tufts wins 15-12, but as expected, Texas will not be an easy out.

***

Washington (Pool D #3) saw a similar game from Ottawa (Pool D #5) to start the day. Senior handler Amanda Kostic had a big first half for Element, finding a variety of targets in the endzone to help Washington make a run to half, 8-5. Ottawa started the second half well, scoring a pair before Kostic and Element were able to push back. They’d roll out to a 15-10 victory.

Check out photos of all of the action at the 2013 USA Ultimate D-I College Championships on UltiPhotos.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

  2. Michael Aguilar
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    Michael Aguilar is a reporter for Ultiworld. He began playing ultimate in the summer of 2008 at the urging of a few University of South Carolina players. He played for USC in the spring of 2009 and for LSU in the spring of 2011. In his spare time during those years, he ran one of the first ever ultimate news blogs, Movin' On Up. He was the head coach of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, LA, from 2011-2016 and the assistant coach in 2017. He owes all his success to his loving wife Kendall.

  3. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email (keith@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).

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