College Update: Presidents’ Day Qualifier Takes Center Stage

Lots of D-III news as we get ready for a big weekend in all divisions.

Cal Poly SLO B gets hyped at Stanford Open 2019. Photo: Kristina Geddert —

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Throughout the spring season, we will publish a bite-sized weekly recap of all the action across the college division. This will serve as a supplement to our standard tournament reporting and will offer a high-level look at the latest happenings and the biggest stories of the week.

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D-I Women’s

Around the Division

  • No. 2 seed Southern California was the biggest brand name in the field at Presidents’ Day Qualifier and will join the Invite after their undefeated performance in Los Angeles. After a narrow opening victory over UCLA B, the Hellions ran the table for a 6-0 weekend. It ended with an 11-8 score in the final versus Chico State.
  • Castle Classic wound up as a three-round set of matchups between UNC Asheville, Wake Forest, and Miami. Hometown Wake took wins over both visitors. Curiously, every game was decided by a three-goal margin, as Asheville defeated Miami 9-6 in the other matchup.

D-III Women’s

Around the Division

  • #20 Occidental roared out of the gate at Presidents’ Day Qualifier, winning their pool and their quarterfinal, including upsetting no. 1 seed Cal State-Long Beach, to begin the 2020 campaign 5-0. After losing to Chico State in semifinals, they proceeded to drop their two consolation games for a sixth-place finish, disappointing considering their start.
  • UNC Asheville only got in two games at Castle Classic, splitting the pair: a 9-6 loss to Wake Forest and a 9-6 win over Miami.

D-I Men’s

Around the Division

  • UC Santa Cruz started their season off with a mostly-dominant undefeated win at Presidents’ Day Qualifier. They topped no. 1 seed Santa Clara in the final 9-7 after blowing by their other competition. Shout out to Sonoma State, who made the semifinals from no. 17 seed.
  • No. 8 seed Arkansas was on a tear at Big D in lil D, winning their pool, beating no. 1 Texas Tech on both days, and edging Oklahoma 11-10 in semifinals. But then they ran into no. 9 seed D-III Sul Ross State, who avenged a pool play loss with a win in the final.

D-III Men’s

Surprise South Central Results At Big D in Lil D

In a field with solid D-I competition and South Central representatives from D-III Nationals past, John Brown and Colorado College, it was overlooked Sul Ross State that won Big D in lil d. The club lost two of their first three games before coming to life in the bracket. They capped the weekend off with head-to-heads over John Brown and Rice, and a 15-13 victory against Arkansas, who they lost to by eight goals in pool play.

The region feels chaotic after the first round of battling. Some of the other D-III SC competitors finished, in order: John Brown, Rice, Colorado College, Abilene Christian, Dallas-Baptist. Meanwhile, Air Force got off to a rocky start two weekends ago, while Missouri S&T still projects to be very strong. There’s plenty left to be decided here.

Around the Division

  • Occidental lost just a single game — their semifinal against Santa Clara, 11-7 — in their debut at Presidents’ Day Qualifier. Detox finished third, a confident start to the season. Meanwhile, Caltech went 3-4 for a middling performance against the diverse field.

Looking Ahead

The upcoming weekend is headlined by Queen City Tune-Up, with a very strong women’s division and pretty competitive men’s division. Meanwhile, Stanford Open features quality teams, particularly from D-III.

  • QCTU’s women’s division features the top three ranked teams in the division: #1 Carleton, #2 North Carolina, and #3 Ohio State. And there are plenty of quality teams in the field for one of the key events in the D-I women’s calendar. The men’s division has all of the top Atlantic Coast teams except #22 South Carolina, but also brings in #9 Ohio State and #12 Georgia, as well as some interesting visitors.
  • Stanford Open’s men division is led by D-III #3 Carleton GoP as the top seed, with Lewis & Clark, Puget Sound, and #15 Claremont also in the field. They’ll have to contend with teams like UC Davis, Arizona, Western Washington, Wash U, and UCSC. The women’s division also includes Carleton’s D-III reps, #9 Carleton Eclipse, and the impressive D-III teams from the Northwest, including #2 Puget Sound. But the favorite is either #22 UC Davis or the Seattle youth squad from Seven Hills.
  • Other Events: Antifreeze (Women’s), Batch Bash (Men’s), Chattanooga Classic (Men’s), Towsontown Throwdown (Women’s)
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