Donaldson Injury Sends UBC to Prequarters: Saturday Afternoon Recap (Women’s), Presented by Ultimate Central

Pool A

Florida State (12) 15 – 7 Notre Dame (8) 

Florida State powered past an exhausted Notre Dame to secure their spot in the championship bracket in a game that ended 15-7.

It was a story of a tired top line. Notre Dame kept up in the beginning and traded points after their first pull. But by the time the score was 5-4 with FSU up, they ran out of gas. Florida State got the first break, and then another, and then took half 8-5. Still, Notre Dame never just gave up or handed the game over. FSU had to work for each turnover, and Lisa Fitton took the brunt of this responsibility, with 6 D’s to gain possession for the Seminole Ladies. She was equally if not more valuable on the offensive side of the disc, throwing the score for their first three points and gaining 2 goals and an additional assist by the end of the game. Every time she looked to the endzone Larissa Ferreira was there — all of her goals were thrown by Fitton. Skylar Taggart and Alleigh Grover played their parts well, getting 4 assists each to various receivers.

Notre Dame was just tired. It’s a long tournament, on a hot day, and they aren’t known as a deep team for a reason. Kelsey Fink, Julia Butterfield, and Mary Andersen still carried the team and had the majority of goals and assists. Fink and Butterfield were both visibly slower than this morning, with Butterfield giving up early and not running down some hucks and Fink losing accuracy as the game went on. Heather Fredrickson and Amalia Carmona picked up some of the slack near the end of the game, with two assists for Fredrickson and one of each for Carmona.

Despite the plain exhaustion shown by Florida State and Notre Dame, their sidelines stayed loud and players were spirited, especially between those people who were out for a point. Both teams are clearly enjoying their time at the biggest college tournament of the year.

Oregon (1) 15 – 3 Central Florida (13)

The once anticipated 2014 semifinals rematch was much more subdued with very little on the line and Oregon cruised to a 15-3 victory. Both teams opened up rosters, trying to get additional experience and looking forward – Oregon to their quarterfinal game, and Central Florida to 2016, as they fall to consolations this year.

Central Florida (12) 14 – 9 Victoria (17)

In a game with no bracket implications, Victoria fell to Central Florida, 14-9.

Pool B

Dartmouth (7) 15 – 5 Middlebury (15)

A rematch of the New England Regional final played out about the same as in Milwaukee, heavily in favor of Dartmouth, 15-5. Princess Layout was one of the few teams that knew what to expect from Middlebury and handled them easily.

Dartmouth (7) 14 – 13 Washington (11)

Dartmouth ended Washington’s championship dreams with a double game point win 14-13. This win went to seed, with Dartmouth hustling to win to hold seed while Washington fought to make the bracket.

Dartmouth came out hot with a 3-0 lead and two breaks. Washington gathered their bearings to break back to tie the game 5-5. The teams traded points downwind quickly with motivated looks from Emma Kahle and Eva Petzinger. Dartmouth broke for half 8-6 on a big outside in flick from Angela Zhu to Sophia Siu upwind.

Washington came out of half fired up, but Princess Layout had different plans, breaking upwind with a Zhu put to Petzinger who toed the line to score, 9-6. Washington answered with an upwind score of and a break, 8-9. Washington consistently executed their offense, with Grace Noah and Nora Landri scoring a majority of their goals off longer looks.

But they weren’t able to stop Petzinger and Zhu. Wherever she was on the field, Petzinger got what she wanted, whether it was stalling Sarah Edwards, throwing the game winning assist, or waiting on the wing as a reset for Dartmouth. For her part, Angela Zhu threw 6 assists, and she added a measure of composure to Dartmouth’s game. When Washington wanted to win fast, Dartmouth slowed the game down.

Dartmouth maintained their two break lead for most of the second half. Washington began to rally back at 12-10, closing the margin to 12-11 when the game was capped. They needed a pair of breaks, upwind and down, to continue their season. They earned the upwind break, but Dartmouth responded with infuriating patience, throwing thousands of passes until Zhu found Susman upwind to nullify Washington’s break. Despite Washington working to bring the match to double game point, Dartmouth’s talent was undeniable. Petzinger found Rebecca Leong with a soul-crushing crossfield backhand upwind to win the game, 14-13.

Pool C

Carleton (6) 11 – 9 British Columbia (10)

Carleton came through in the clutch with some patient offense to take advantage of UBC’s mistakes and claim Pool A with an 11-9 win.

The game’s key moment came with the teams tied at 5-5, each with a break. After catching the pull, UBC floated the hitch pass over their handler’s headed. Mira Donaldson — who had assisted on 3 of UBC’s first 5 goals and caught another — charged in for a layout to attempt to save possession, but was unable to catch the disc and remained on the ground. She was forced the leave the game with a shoulder injury severe enough to send her to the hospital and send British Columbia spiraling. Carleton immediately broke once play resumed, taking a 6-5 lead. Syzygy scored two more consecutive breaks to take an 8-5 lead into the half.

Donaldson’s absence created three issues. The first was that it took away their best upwind thrower, allowing Carleton to lock down on handler cuts and more aggressively defend upwind unders. The second was that it allowed Syzygy to move Emily Buckner onto other key cutters on the Canadian’s roster. The third, and arguably most important, was that it yanked the energy straight out of them.

Carleton’s intelligent disc movement allowed them to fight off any comebacks the T-Birds had planned. Lucia Childs-Walker (4A) was again their offensive pillar, consistently breaking the mark. Claire Rostov was also vital to Carleton’s success, particularly with their skilled teammate Katie Ciaglo out for the tournament. Emily Buckner (3G, 3A, 1D, 0T) and Megan Chavez came up with big plays offensively. Chavez and Childs-Walker each had monster handblocks during crucial UBC attacks.

Carleton’s victory vaults them in the quarterfinals and sends British Columbia to the prequarters. The domino effect is that it puts UCLA into a tie with Texas, who advances to prequarters with their head to head upset over the pool’s top seed. UBC plays reigning National Champion Ohio State in quarterfinals, while Texas plays Dartmouth. Carleton matches up with the winner of Whitman and Florida State.

UCLA (3) 14 – 10 Pittsburgh (15)

UCLA recovered in this game and confidently beat Pittsburgh 14-10.

The first point had plenty of turnovers from both teams before Pitt found the endzone. They followed up with a break, then UCLA rattled off 5 straight points. Pitt gradually caught up and tied it at 6, but UCLA took half and slowly pulled away.

Like every other game so far this tournament, long points made for a long game, but in this instance neither team looked particularly tired. The first half was full of great defensive plays, with skies and diving blocks commonplace. Unforced turns became more frequent as the game went on, possibly as both teams opened up their lines to combat the long points.

Carolyn Normile kept Danger in the game, with 6 assists and a handful of blocks on defense. She connected with Marla Jacobs multiple times to contribute to Jacobs’ 3 goals, including the break that tied the game at 6. Katelyn Loughery helped out on defense, getting credit for 3 blocks as well as one assist.

UCLA came out to play this game, perhaps in retaliation from a disappointing loss to UBC this morning. Pitt attempted a zone cup on UCLA’s handlers but kept playing man downfield, which did not seem to phase them at all. When they did turn it, it was due to an overthrow on their part. BLU clearly had some players who were more comfortable with the disc, like Han Chen, Julia Tang, and Mel Kan, and Margot Stert. Chen was unstoppable around the disc, snatching it out of the air or throwing for a point. She ended the game with 5 assists and 3 goals. Camille Wilson was the most common receiver found with the disc in her hands in the endzone; she had 5 goals on the stat sheet.

Pitt seemed to realize the game was over around when soft cap sounded. They reached double digits before UCLA cruised to victory, and didn’t seem too unhappy with their last game of the season.

Pool D

Colorado (4) 14 – 9 Kansas (16)

Colorado ended Kansas’ run toward the bracket with a decisive 14-9 win. Both teams had reason to be confident going into their final round: Colorado knew they were facing the top heavy Kansas team in the last round when their starters would be tired. Kansas came in knowing they had already bested Colorado twice this season. The teams know each other well, and they knew what was on the line.

Kansas threw the first punch, taking a 3-1 lead with confident play from Kate Eshelman and Jenni Corcoran. They seemed poised to carry the game away, continuing to send receivers deep for fast scores. It wouldn’t be clean, but it could work.

Colorado had other plans. They capitalized on every drop Kansas had, working the disc methodically up and down the field through Megan Cousins, Jean Russell, Dori Franklin, and Lisa Doan. Kansas relies on putting up big throws that they’ll either score on or win back. When Colorado started converting every opportunity, Kansas started drowning. Colorado scored five breaks in a row, executing in the endzone with low curling backhand breaks and endless handler resets.

Colorado took half 8-4, leaving a stunned Kansas to collect their wits. Out of half Kansas began to fight back with close zone defense and long quick hucks to end their points quickly. They broke back to keep the margin within two, 9-7.

Colorado broke twice in the second half to seal their spot in prequarters. An off throw from Jenni Corcoran gave Colorado their first chance, and a hammer from Kirstin Johnson to Alana Chen marked their first break to 11-7, and bookends from Megan Ives made it 12-7. With opportunities dwindling, Kansas’ chances to rally were fast disappearing.

Colorado’s final point was emblematic of the game, as they took a Kansas fumble and quickly worked the end zone, with Dori Franklin finding Megan Cousins for the final score 14-9.

Virginia (5) 15 – 7 Whitman (9)

In a game against Whitman that could have decided the pool, Virginia won the battle on both sides of the disc and their offense went unbroken on the way to a decisive 15-7 victory. UVA claimed Pool D to themselves in the win.

The first half was clinical by Virginia. Their offense gave the disc away just four times, three of which came on their first two O points. Nada Tramonte registered two goals and an assist, including the one that took half. Hydra’s ability to create advantageous resets or counter with inside breaks powered their offense. A halftime score of 8-4 created a big cushion for the 5th seed.

They opened the lead even further in the second half. Whitman fought back, but Virginia’s offense scored in a single possession at 10-7, when Whitman looked like they might climb back into the game. But even finding some offensive flow was not enough against UVA’s tireless O line. The last few points featured more turns each way, but Whitman’s cutteres were consistently stifled by Hydra – they demonstrated masterful defensive footwork – until they were too gassed to come back.

Both teams advance, with Virginia getting a bye to quarters and Whitman drawing a matchup with Florida State in prequarters.

  1. 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).

  2. Liz Gates
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    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.

  3. Katie Raynolds
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    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 (katie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@kraynolds90).

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