Washington and Michigan impress to open Pool C.
May 27, 2016 by Daniel Prentice and Katie Raynolds in Coverage, Recap with 0 comments
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Virginia 14-12 California
Virginia pulled off the upset they needed, besting California in the final moments of a tight game.
This game was always going to close; Cal was the 12th seed and Virginia was the 13th, and these teams had already played a one-point game at Centex where the Pie Queens came out on top.
As expected, these teams were well-matched: they traded for most of the first half, testing their zones on each other. Virginia showcased their depth working against California’s zone; they could work through every player on their line to reach the red zone and score. Conversely, California’s offense was at its best when it moved fast; they wanted three to four quick passes until Marisa Rafter could find Jackelyne Nguyen or Ali Griffith deep.
Virginia took half 8-6, and late in the second half they pulled ahead 11-8. California was good, but Virginia was maddeningly consistent.
Then Rafter turned it on, and the Pie Queens perked up. They broke back to tie the game at 11s, then broke again to take the lead. Virginia’s answer? Two breaks of their own to win the game through excellent play from Rebecca Meeker, Janie Mockrish, Tess Warner, and Keila Strick.
Oregon 15-11 Colorado
Their first game of the tournament may not have been their finest performance, but Fugue still grabbed the win 15-11 over the pool 2-seed Colorado Kali.
Oregon seemed impatient to finish the first half: they broke early to build a lead, but their offense got hasty and their big shots weren’t connecting. Colorado was ready to capitalize with their signature high energy and a few poachy defensive looks; they kept the score close until Oregon called a timeout at 5-5.
Oregon tightened the screws, and pulled their offense together into what we can expect from them for the rest of the weekend: pull plays featuring Jesse Shofner, fast goals from Bartruff, and close defense from everyone. They held easily and broke twice to take half 8-5.
Colorado never gave up in the second half, with great plays from Hillary Egan, Kirstin Johnson, and a nice handblock from Katiana Hutchinson. Both teams managed some second half breaks, but Oregon was in control, and they marched to a four-point win to start their Nationals title defense.
Washington 15-7 Ohio State
Washington jumped all over Ohio State early and never let off the gas. Execution errors from Fever gave UW an abundance of break opportunities that they took advantage of without mercy. Element had five on the board before Fever was able to score even one and from there the Washington ladies cruised to an 8-2 halftime lead.
The simple drops and miscues on handler resets continued to plague Ohio State in the second half, while Washington’s D-line offense patiently punched in break opportunities. Ohio State finally managed to right the ship a bit at 12-4 to score three of the final five points, but the effort was far from enough to get the 2014 National champs back in it.
Nora Landri was very solid as a handler for Element, but Nicole Cramer and Jenna Lynne led the team with three points apiece. Ohio State struggled across the board to find much flow or rhythm on offense, but Mary Turner was probably the standout of the bunch for Fever.
Michigan 15-9 USC
Flywheel outclassed the Hellions of Troy from the beginning of the game to the end. Michigan was very clean on offense and took advantage of USC mistakes when they were able in the first half. Michigan was not especially dominant, but USC was unable to generate much in the way of break chances in the first half and fell off the pace to the tune of an 8-4 deficit.
USC ramped up the pressure a bit in the second half and behind the electrifying throws of Julia Johnson managed to hang around in the second half. But again, they were unable to generate enough in the way of break opportunities and were never able to reduce the Michigan lead to anything less than two. Flywheel went on a run to put the game away late, scoring the final four points of the game for the 15-9 final.
Michigan’s entire offense played pretty well, but Brittany Wright lit up the stat sheet with her four goals, including the game winner. Nina Janicic led Flywheel with three assists. In the losing effort, Catherine Chung led USC with four goals, while Alyssa Perez paced the team with four assists.