D-III College Championships 2022: St. Olaf Rolls Past Mount Holyoke into Semis (Women’s Quarterfinals Recap)

St. Olaf's defense was suffocating

St. Olaf at 2022 D-III College Championships. Photo: William “Brody” Brotman — UltiPhotos.com

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MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — Mount Holyoke Daisy Chain and St. Olaf Vortex burst out of the gate into their quarterfinal matchup on Sunday. Mount Holyoke came in with the energy that only a team who won their pre-quarter game on universe point could have. Meanwhile, St. Olaf came in fresh from an undefeated day one of pool play. Vortex opened up an early lead, scoring a hold and then two straight breaks. Although St. Olaf’s initial strategy was to score a few breaks right off the bat and ride things out for the remainder of the game, they kept their foot on the gas and ultimately scored more breaks than holds, going on a 6-point goal spree to close out the win.

Neither team displayed a formal O or D line. For Holyoke, this meant that their three key players–Gigi Downey, Sydney Zobel, and Jamie Eldridge–were on the field more times than not. It paid off, as they made most of the big moves for Daisy Chain. Vortex, on the other hand, centered their line-calling around upwind/downwind points. Their coaches determined who could bring the most success in the conditions. However, we saw a lot of several key Olaf players: Anna Mulhern, Anna Clements, and Grette Schmidt, all of whom were crucial to their performance. Clements’s big hucks and massive defensive plays intensified the energy brought out by the team as a whole. Mulhern was their center handler who was always trusted when she had the disc, and Schmidt became a massive threat in whatever position she was in. St. Olaf’s Caroline McKnight and Leina Gotto also played great games, though in a more understated fashion.

Mount Holyoke kept up the fight, throwing a four-person cup as a zone, flustering St. Olaf’s offense enough to create multiple points full of turns. However, it did not slow Vortex down too much as they only allowed one of those points to convert into a Daisy Chain break. “No matter the zone, we always try to go back to keeping the stall count low, always switching the field position, and really spreading out,” said St. Olaf coach Biz Cook.

St. Olaf won 14-5 and takes on Middlebury in the semifinal.

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