College Championships: Saturday Round 1 New & Notes (Women’s), Presented by Ultimate Central

Short game recaps from around the Women's division's early morning action

Pool A

Oregon (1) 15 – 5 Florida State (12)

Oregon put on another clinic with their strongest game yet against FSU. And with their stifling zone defense, Oregon claimed dominance of Pool A and clinched a bye to the quarterfinals.

Bethany Kaylor controlled the pace, coming up with some critical Ds to go with seven assists for Fugue. Their offense was much more adept in the wind than FSU’s, and once the top seed clamped down on the mark, the Seminole Ladies were essentially helpless. Meanwhile, even the aggressive Oregon offense tightened their efficiency, punching in the large majority of their red zone possessions. They also ate up every FSU gift, turning most short field turnovers into conversions. A 3-2 Oregon lead ballooned to an 8-4 half.

The second half was more of the same, especially once Oregon went to their trap zone. Florida State’s mistakes piled up and they registered a single second half goal on an admittedly pretty Alleigh Grover huck. Both team’s opened up the rosters and Oregon’s bench outperformed FSU’s.

Victoria (17) 15 – 10 Notre Dame (8)

The Notre Dame-Victoria matchup was much closer than the score shows, but small mistakes due to the wind and miscommunication from both teams created some long points before Victoria pulled away and finished the game, 15-10.

A steady crosswind forced a number of Notre Dame’s flick hucks out of bounds and it took until late in the first half for their handlers to choose other looks. Victoria faced the same problem, but quickly adjusted their flow to look for under cuts in the middle of the field. For the rest of the game, the frequent turnovers came from doinked discs on the Vixen’s side and overthrown looks from Notre Dame. Despite these correctable mistakes causing lengthy points and tiring out players, both teams continued to be sloppy until the end.

Notre Dame stepped up their defense and caused plenty of turns, especially by attacking discs in the air and contesting any throw near them. Kelsey Fink kept the disc moving on offense, and Mary “MK” Andersen saved possession after possession for Womb with her active cutting and disc awareness, scoring three goals. Heather Fredrickson and Amalia Carmona repeatedly found their women in the endzone; Fredrickson got three assists while Carmona got two and a goal. Sarah Lipscomb was the favorite receiver, and scored five of Womb’s ten points.

The real standout player of the game was Corinne Dunwoody of Victoria, who found the endzone 7 times, all by breaking her mark and easily sending the disc to her receiver. Dunwoody decided on this strategy early in the game and broke whoever was marking her, releasing deep shots and short throws alike and making it look easy. Kate Scarth and Naomi Redwood also connected a few times, and between those three they carried the game away from Notre Dame for the upset.

Pool C

Texas (19) 13 – 7 Pittsburgh (15)

Texas continued their run of upsets, taking down Pitt, the fourth seed in Pool C, 13-7. Melee recovered from an early deficit after Pittsburgh came through on a few big hucks and held a 6-4 lead. Showing their ability to fight through tough situations – a character trait of their program – the pool’s lowest seed clawed back by winning long points and controlling momentum, regaining a 7-6 lead.

From there, it was all Texas. They closed on a 9-1 run, keyed by Domenica Sutherland and Kelly LaVine, with well timed handler movement and a refusal to give up on plays. Pitt falls to 0-3 with the loss and will finish their season in consolation. Texas faces Carleton and British Columbia today and a win over either would get them into the elimination bracket.

Pool D

Whitman (9) 14 – 9 Colorado (4)

Upsetting the one seed Colorado 14-9, Whitman proved this morning that what matters at Nationals isn’t strategy or planning: it’s execution. Whitman effectively threw a grenade into the already chaotic Pool D, arguing their case to make prequarters.

Colorado started out dominant, breaking twice for a 3-0 lead. Nhi Nguyen, despite wearing a full-leg brace, was part of every play early for Kali. Whitman took a time out, regrouped, and broke back to tie the game at 3s. Colorado and Whitman began trading points, but Whitman was clearly building: their person defense locked down on Colorado’s downfield, and their handlers began to take smarter options to convert. Alissa Soo, despite her stature, made the plays of a much bigger player. On the turn, Bladin would then launch the disc deep for the Whitman score. They took half 8-6.

For Colorado, the problem seemed simple. They struggled to settle into their offense because handlers were either forced into late looks or their throws soared wildly in the wind. Their defense, a pillar of their success this season, failed to contain the Whitman handlers to the open side. Bladin and Margot Heffron’s backhands into the endzone accounted for nearly a third of their points.

Whitman ran away with the second half, maintaining a four break lead for the rest of the game. Colorado managed to grab three more points in the second half, but their attempts to rally energy didn’t translate to their throws. Colorado’s final point showed the defense they could play and the offense they had been missing, but it was too late. Whitman executed beautiful offense to win, 14-9.

Kansas (16) 15 – 12 Princeton (20)

Princeton gave Kansas a surprisingly close game this morning, with Kansas pulling out a 15-12 win. Kansas had held a solid lead early in the game, but they struggled to keep Clockwork Orange out of the game. They would take a lead 6-3, but Princeton would fight back to close the gap. Kansas ran up a 4 point lead in the second half to 10-7 off a nasty layout D from Kate Eshelman, and hard work from mainstays Jenni Corcoran and Kailee Karr brought the game to seed, 15-12.

  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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