A pair of upsets highlight the action on a largely chalky day one that almost wasn’t.
May 27, 2023 by Jenna Weiner and Bridget Mizener in Recap with 0 comments
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Hard to believe we’re in the postseason, but the first day of the 2023 D-I College Championships is in the books! There were plenty of surprises, with two pool one seeds suffering losses and no pool going to seed. We’re here to break down the day’s major storylines, as well as checking in with the tournament’s goal and assist leaders.
Then follow along on the D-I College Championships event page for updates and livestreams throughout the weekend!
Binghamton Breakthrough; Georgia Goes Gangbusters
Out of 20 games in the women’s division on day one, only two resulted in upsets, though both have significant implications for what teams will make prequarters at the end of day two. In the first round of games in Pool A, Metro East champions and no.13 SUNY-Binghamton Big Bear rode an all-time performance from Jolie Krebs to beat no.12 Colorado State Hell’s Belles 14-11, and in the last round of the day, no.18 Georgia Athena pulled away from the 11-seed Northeastern Valkyries in the second half 14-9.
Since her debut on the national stage with Big Bear at the fall 2021 Nationals, Jolie Krebs has been a name to know in the D-I women’s division. Imagine where her profile might skyrocket from here, then, after scoring or assisting on all of SUNY-Binghamton’s goals in the first half against Colorado State, and finishing with an astounding 2G/9A/4B stat line. In addition to Krebs’ phenomenal outing, Big Bear’s win over the Hell’s Belles was also the first non-consolation victory for the Metro East in the women’s division since Ottawa in 2011. It sets up a potential prequarters appearance for SUNY-Binghamton as they displace Colorado State for third in the pool after falling just short to Washington Element in their second game of the day, 11-9.
— Ultiworld (@Ultiworld) May 26, 2023
It was a similar masterclass performance that drove Georgia to victory against Northeastern, as rookie Quincy Booth threw all but three of Athena’s assists in a rare single-game double digit statistical outing. Alongside fellow up-and-coming superstar Fiona Cashin who had a clean 4G/2A/3B line of her own, Booth was nigh-unstoppable at times, and forced the Valkyries to respond with a box-and-one zone defense in an attempt to slow her down. That approach didn’t have its fully intended effect, and with Northeastern not helping themselves either with a bundle of dropped passes, Georgia emerged as the clear winners. After Northeastern’s early afternoon win over Virginia, Pool B is about as jumbled as can be behind Colorado and Stanford, and it feels like any of Georgia, Northeastern, and Virginia could be the ones playing in prequarters as day two comes to a close.
Colorado Survives Stanford Scare; Washington Withstands Big Bear
No.2 Colorado Quandary climbed out of an 10-13 hole against no.7 Stanford Superfly in a high-octane slugfest, and no.9 Washington Element bounced back from a sluggish 3-0 start against red-hot no.17 SUNY Binghamton Big Bear, as the favorites avoided upsets that would have been major news — had they stuck.
Just eight weeks ago, the distance between Colorado and Stanford sat at four goals. The gap is now down to just one in Colorado’s favor — and Stanford very nearly swung the differential all the way in their direction. Pool B two-seed Stanford came out firing on a lackluster Colorado and opened up a four-goal lead before Quandary dug their heels in, three goals down on Stanford’s game point. Clil Phillips (1G/2A/6D) and Bailey Shigley (2/6/3) were heroic for Colorado, particularly Shigley, who seemingly hasn’t missed a step after being out with an ACL injury for well over a year. She threw the game-winning assist, a perfectly weighted high-stall flick blade, to a spot where only Stacy Gaskill could pull it down.
That was the end of a stunning sequence; with Stanford on game point, the kids from Boulder had to rattle off a downwind hold, a downwind break, and two upwind breaks to claw their way out of a quarters date with North Carolina, a potentially disastrous turn of events for Quandary’s title hopes. Now, that’s Stanford’s burden to bear – assuming these two teams hold seed through the pool. Esther Filipek was instrumental in running up the lead for Superfly, notching 7A/4D, but when Quandary buckled down and decided to exercise patience on D-line offense, they couldn’t be denied.
We talked to Bailey Shigley following Colorado’s dramatic universe point win over Stanford! ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/0ee0qLUXP0
— Ultiworld (@Ultiworld) May 26, 2023
In stark contrast to that barnburner, SUNY Binghamton vs Washington was a much more low-key affair. Even as Bing opened up a 3-0 lead, the emotional momentum never felt like it tipped too heavily in their favor — perhaps Big Bear was a little drained after emptying the emotional tank in their first round upset of Colorado State. Element evened things back up quickly, tying it at 5-5, and pulled away just enough in the second half. By the end of the game, Washington’s offense was humming along comfortably, nearly untouchable downwind, and the hold that put the game away took just a handful of throws. Sophia Palmer’s game-ending assist was the finishing touch on her 5A/1D outing.
UNC, UBC, Vermont All Cruise
Colorado was the odd one out today — no.1 North Carolina Pleiades, no.3 UBC Thunderbirds, and no.4 Vermont Ruckus only trailed on two of the combined 127 points they played today.1 All pool one-seeds played the pool two-seeds today, so the toughest (ostensibly, at least) pool play games for all four one-seeds are out of the way on day one. Pleiades took care of Washington 13-8, UBC handled Carleton 15-12, and Vermont absolutely demolished Tufts in the 4-5 game, 15-8.
Oregon, UCSB Undefeated (For Now)
Pool three-seeds aren’t so lucky. They face the pool one-seeds tomorrow. But through today, playing the pool four and five teams, no.10 Oregon Fugue and no.11 UCSB Burning Skirts have emerged with a clean 2-0 record, holding seed in decisive fashion. Of particular note is Oregon’s 14-11 win over Victoria, who took them to universe at Cascadia Conferences just over a month ago.
Julia Hasbrook (UCSB) – 15
Jolie Krebs (SUNY-Binghamton) – 15
Quincy Booth (Georgia) – 14
Grace Brown (Colorado State) – 10
Esther Filipek (Stanford) – 9
Hazel Ostrowski (Tufts) – 9
Clara Stewart (Northeastern) – 9
Faith Summers (SUNY-Binghamton) – 9
Naomi Fina (Carleton) – 8
Devin Quinn (UCSB) – 8
Julia Berard (Oregon) – 7
Arabella Brudney (Victoria) – 6
Britney DeRoehn (Northeastern) – 6
Ella Juengst (North Carolina) – 6
Kiera Schreiber (Colorado State) – 6
Aviva Kosto (Virginia) – 8
Jolie Krebs (SUNY-Binghamton) – 8
Clara Stewart (Northeastern) – 7
Esther Filipek (Stanford) – 7
Clil Phillips (Colorado) – 7
Charlotte Bokhof (Colorado State) – 7
Kira Flores (Virginia) – 7
Julia Hasbrook (UCSB) – 7
Mae Browning (Vermont) – 7