Stanford has been red hot all weekend long.
May 24, 2015 by Liz Gates in Preview with 0 comments
Two very different teams will be lining up across from each other in the second women’s semifinal. Stanford and Carleton have had very different roads to get to this game, and they employ near opposite playing styles. Superfly hasn’t been tested since Northwest Challenge, and they have been unstoppable this weekend. On the other hand, Carleton has slowly been taking down teams and rising in the rankings throughout the regular season, rising to the top of their pool by Saturday. This game will pit them against each other, and we’ll find out whether Carleton can defy the odds and take down the ladies of Superfly.
Carleton has a steady playing style, with experienced seniors Lucia Childs-Walker and Emily Buckner facilitating movement whenever play stagnates. They run a traditional vert stack, with both break and deep looks to active cutters like Ahna Weeks and Claire Thallon who can make continue looks downfield. Buckner is also a presence on defense, coming out of nowhere for the interception to boost the disc. Their person defense stays tight and doesn’t let up, and has earned them chances to get breaks and beat talented teams.
Carleton is good, and they know how to win games. But all the fundamentals and composure in the world may not be enough to survive Stanford’s height, aggressive defense, and talent.
Stanford also runs a vert stack, but most of their big throws will come from Stephanie Lim or Monisha White, and expect them to be floaty and seem contestable. Superfly’s receivers will come down with the majority of these 50/50s; covering them is an intimidating task. Stanford’s numerous zone looks stifle even the most experienced handlers. Michela Meister fills any role needed of her on the field, from being a menace on defense to throwing bombs downfield, and shutting her down is difficult to say the least.
For Carleton to survive, they will have to stop Stanford’s deep hucks, particularly from star handler White to any of the imposingly tall cutters downfield. Stanford’s zone could force Syzygy out of their stack and make them work it against one of the best defenses in the nation. Superfly’s aggressive play will dictate how the game goes, and so far no team has been able to shake them from their comfortable set. Syzygy could adjust to how Stanford wants them to play, but they will also have to throw Superfly off their game if they want a chance to move on.