College Championships: Round 2 Recap (Women’s), Presented by Ultimate Central

Read about some of the Round 2 action in the women's division at the College Championships

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Ultimate Central. All opinions are those of Ultiworld. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Ultiworld possible!

Pool A

(1) Oregon 15 – 10 (8) Notre Dame

One of the more anticipated matchups was the debut of the undefeated Notre Dame Womb against top seeded Oregon Fugue, and an exciting first half gave way to a more lopsided second half on the way to a 15-10 Oregon victory.

Oregon’s fast paced offense sputtered a bit with silly turns in the early going and Notre Dame’s ability to navigate Fugue’s zone and generate good huck looks kept them in it. Handler Kelsey Fink, one of Notre Dame’s captains, was consistently able to power downfield bombs to her athletic receivers and tallied five assists in the losing effort. Womb nearly took the first half on a Fink huck to Anderson, who bobbled the disc extensively before finally relinquishing possession in the end zone.

The star of the game, however, was Notre Dame sophomore Julia Butterfield. Her size was a nightmare for Oregon, who could not overcome her in the air. But she did more than just win jump balls, keeping the disc moving underneath and coming up with some great Ds. She scored four goals, dished out two assists, and collected three blocks, including a great under D against Oregon’s Jesse Shofner.

Oregon took control in the second half after a fairly listless defensive first half. Their zone made adjustments in the deep space — patrolled primarily by freshman Ella Hanson — to make Notre Dame’s huck looks more difficult. Their transition offense remained aggressive, lead by seniors Shofner and Ashley Young. Shofner registered three goals and assist while Young had three goals and two assists.

The game should prove a good starting point for both teams. Oregon settled in and controlled the pace in the second half, and ultimately claimed the W. For Notre Dame, they’ll be confident moving forward that they are not out of their depth at their first Nationals since 2003.

Florida State (12) 14 – 13 Central Florida (13)

Florida State won an agonizing double game point over rivals Central Florida, 14-13.

These regional rivals began their pool match as many rivals do: trading blows, feeling each other out. The teams know each other well, and the question became which team wanted it more? At first, the answer seemed to be neither team. Both teams looked sloppy in the light wind, taking first looks when the second would have kept possession, or releasing high throws too casually into the gusts. While Shayna Brock and Stephanie “Eli” Williams were massive for Central Florida – together they accounted for 9 assists and 3 goals – they were also the triggers shooting Central Florida in the foot with impatient deep decisions. Florida State took one crucial break in the first half, 5-4, but they weren’t able to gain a bigger edge.

The question of the second half became who could rally out of this holding pattern. Florida State answered by breaking out of half 9-8, and then finding a nice look from Skylar Taggert to Lauren Brunner for a 10-8 lead. They broke again, and the game seemed to be theirs. They were loud, cheering, pumped up. Central Florida seemed dejected, quiet, internalizing the breaks.

At 13-9, the game looked like it would be Florida State’s. Their mistake came when they started believing it. Handlers had a few focus drops, and UCF converted, closing the gap through a 4-point streak of breaks. At 13-13, both teams locked down.

The double game point dragged on, with poster-worthy plays from Alleigh Grover and Lauren Brunner for Florida State, and huge blocks from Shayna Brock and Janina Freystatter in the endzone. Finally, Florida State closed the game they had earned so many points ago; Taggert found Schwarz toeing the line to take the regional game, 14-13.

This win, while going to seed for Florida State, gives them the boost they need for the rest of their pool. They deserve to be here, and starting with a regional win is a good way to show it.

Pool C

(6) Carleton College 15 – 6 (15) Pittsburgh

After a very close first half, Carleton completely shut out Pittsburgh and did not allow them to score at all, ending the game at 15 to 6.

Both teams kept within 2 until Carleton took half; Pittsburgh even looked stronger, with their turns coming from slightly overthrown puts that would connect eventually. Carleton’s turns were a little more worrisome, as most of them were simply drops on what should have been easy catches. The game was characterized by long points, but Carleton got their game together when Pittsburgh could not, and squashed any hopes for an upset.

Lucia Childs-Walker had a great game for Carleton, with 6 assists. The scoring side was more spread out, with numerous players catching 2 or 3 goals. Carolyn Normille was more dominant for Pittsburgh, with 4 D’s and 2 assists for their 6 points. Linda Morse was also huge for Danger, with one assist and 2 goals.

The final score doesn’t show how close this game actually was. Pittsburgh worked it down the entire field and had so many chances to score that just didn’t connect, as well as some great defense. Dartmouth was running a cup on the handlers for most of the game, with man to man downfield, but this never seemed to phase Pittsburgh. The stat that best translates how the game went is the number of turnovers. Carleton had 36 turnovers total, and Pittsburgh had 44. If either team wants to make an appearance in bracket play, they are going to have to start making all these connections.

(10) British Columbia 15 – 4 (19) Texas

British Columbia came out strong in their first game against Texas, crushing them 15-4. Texas only scored 2 points per half.

  1. Katie Raynolds

    Katie Raynolds took a break from Seattle ultimate to test out the Midwestern scene, but now she's back in the Northwest to investigate this "bubble" she keeps hearing about. She played for Northwestern Gungho, two seasons with Chicago Nemesis, and now plays for Seattle Underground. Katie serves as Ultiworld's Women's D1 College Editor, and is damn proud to cover women's ultimate. You can reach her by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@kraynolds90).

  2. Liz Gates

    Liz Gates has been playing sports her whole life, and finally found ultimate in highschool in Cincinnati. She played for Ohio State Fever and won the national championship. She has also played three seasons of club mixed in Ohio, and most recently joined a mixed team in Iowa.

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