May 25, 2013 by Keith Raynor in Recap with 1 comments
The first round of Saturday was a dramatic affair that hosted three close games, including at the top of the card, Iowa (Pool D #1) v. Washington (Pool D #3). Chelsea Twohig, Liza Minor, and the rest of Saucy Nancy were in top form against the Element defense.
Amanda Kostic, with the help of Shira Stern, was able to steer the UW offensive unit through the pitfalls of Saucy Nancy’s varied defensive looks, but Iowa would comfortably take the first half 8-5. Washington would make a run in the second half, with Lucy Williams doing exceptional work both on defense and after the turn, tightening the game up to 11-10. The teams would go back and forth, including an exchange of a pair of scores and breaks, followed by Kostic boosting a huck to Stern to tie it at 14s. Minor, however, would not allow Element to finish the comeback and would toss in the final score to keep Iowa undefeated and in control of Pool D, 15-14.
One of the biggest stories of the round came out of the Central Florida (Pool C #4) and Whitman (Pool C #5) matchup. Central Florida had a good day on Friday, but Whitman came into Saturday still searching for their first ever win at their first ever D-1 Championships. The Sirens, playing without star cutter Mariel Hammond (who came into the day second in the Women’s Division in goals), was out with a leg injury.
Central Florida’s zone defense/transition offense combination shocked Whitman, unable to get much going as they fell behind early. UCF took half 8-4. The Lady Sweets and their coaching staff took halftime to make adjustments and came out swinging, scoring their offensive point and scoring three breaks to tie it at 8-8. Whitman went up at 12-11 and was able to hold off, despite the continued dominance of UCF’s Sunny Harris. Whitman solved the Central Florida zone and that allowed them to win 13-12 in the upset.
Wisconsin (Pool A #2) and Northeastern (Pool A #5) played a very tight game as well. The teams went back and forth, utilizing some zones to slow each other down. Wisconsin’s superior athletes helped them on both sides, but Northeastern was patient and scrappy. The largest lead in the first portion of the game was three, a 9-6 Wisconsin lead. Northeastern put together a nice run to take the lead at 10-9, catching some high stall punts and floaty trash. Wisconsin was playing great defense and Northeastern’s luck ran out. They wouldn’t score again against Bella’s pressure, and Wisconsin would stave off the upset 13-10.
In less exciting games, Oregon (Pool A #1) remained a force against Stanford (Pool A #3). Superfly’s cutters spent the game frustrated, and no amount of Michela Meister resets could help them keep up with the Fugue defense or their transitions. Bethany Kaylor was uncontainable, making crisp cuts to space and nice continuation throws. Oregon rolled to an 8-1 half and 15-4 victory. They are confident and in great spirits as they continue to play their brand of ultimate and dictate their opponents offensive decisions through their strong D.
Texas (Pool D #4) and Ottawa (Pool D #5) played a close but sloppy game. That’s not unlike Texas’s modus operandi and Ottawa wouldn’t be able to hold on in the first half, going down 7-4. While the Lady Gee Gees, led by Kaylee Sparks, would make it closer, Texas’s Diane Charrier and company would prove too tough and get their first win, 13-10.
See more photos of the College Championships on UltiPhotos.