Stanford is challenged by Washington but continues rolling through competition at the College Championships, while UBC upsets UCLA.
May 23, 2015 by Keith Raynor, Liz Gates and Katie Raynolds in Coverage
Stanford (2) 15 – 11 Washington (11)
Washington laced up to run today, but their big plays weren’t enough against the indomitable Stanford defense, who won the game 15-11. Washington capitalized on their roster’s depth and chemistry, producing the most exciting game of the day.
Washington took an early lead 3-0, but Stanford fought back to tie the game. Washington held their break throughout most of the first half, but Stanford seemed in control throughout. They broke from 6-6 to take over the score with a connection from Michela Meister to Stephanie Lim, 7-6. Their tall, physical defense dictated the rhythm of the game, even as Washington rallied back with huge plays from Emma Kahle and Lauren Sadler.
Stanford took half 8-7 and sealed quickly out of half 9-7. They would keep hold over the game for the rest of the half. Both teams approached their offense the same way in the blustery wind: huck deep, set a big zone, and hope to gain position. The problem for Washington was that Stanford was born into this strategy. Monisha White’s powerful hucks gave Stanford’s tall zone ample opportunities to capitalize in cup defense.
Washington attempted the same, with truly spectacular backhand breaks from Emma Kahle and great saves from Sadler. But Washington struggled to contain Stanford’s speed when they got rolling, and Stanford earned two crucial breaks through quick play from White, Shayla Harris, and Anne Rempel. These breaks would ultimately determine the game’s fate, as Stanford carried out their win 15-11.
British Columbia (10) 13 – 10 UCLA (3)
The rubber match between UBC and UCLA had a lot on the line and a late run for UBC helped tilt the scales in their favor in a 13-10 victory.
The first half was back and forth. UCLA grabbed an early 4-2 lead with some clean offensive possessions. But Mira Donaldson — who was dominant in the game — helped lead UBC back to tie the game at 5-5. Trading ensued as the teams found some deep space and short fields, and UCLA broke to take half with a huck to Han Chen.
The late game, however, belonged to the T-Birds. They scored twice out of half with the help of great play on both sides by Victoria McCann. From 10-10, British Columbia put together a 3-0 run, capitalizing on two short fields given by BLU. Donaldson dropped in the game’s final assist, 1 of her 10 in the game.
Much is undecided going into the final games of Pool C. The winner of UBC and Carleton will win the pool, and while chances are Carleton is safe to advance, there is a possibility they do not. UCLA and Texas are both in it depending on various contingencies and point differential.
Carleton (6) 12 – 8 Texas (19)
Texas kept it close with Carleton throughout the entire first half, but Syzygy pulled away at the end, finishing it 12- 8 in soft cap. The first half of the game was hard fought, with teams trading points and plenty of turnovers making anything possible. Lengthy points drove some poor decisions, and good defense caused changes of possession nearly as frequently as unchallenged drops.
Kelly LaVine was everywhere for Melee, getting repeated touches each point and continually putting up hucks to move the disc down the field. However, she was sometimes too fast on the trigger, and many of her long shots ended up sailing past her receivers. Andrea Esparza and LaVine collaborated for 3 scores, with Esparza adding an additional 2 assists and a goal without LaVine. Nikki Gilbert was again a force on defense, and a catalyst for movement downfield though her stats don’t reflect it.
Texas made Syzygy work for their first few points, but later on in the game Carleton’s offense looked smooth and unrushed. Emily Buckner seemed to be behind every play, making herself available for resets and in cuts and bump passes alike, then turning and shooting the disc up the field. She ended with only 2 assists and 1 goal in her stat line, but her influence contributed to many more of the points. Lucia Childs-Walker was more visible, finishing with 6 assists as well as a few D’s.
Half time was the turning point of this game, and Carleton just kept going after Buckner had a spectacular point and created some great momentum. The final score of this game makes next game for both of these teams even more important. Texas’ loss by exactly 4 points creates a tie among the most of the teams in their pool, so now, more than ever, every single point played counts.
Virginia (5) 15 – 5 Princeton (20)
No surprises as this one, with the favorite Virginia pounding a spirited but overmatched Princeton team, 15-5. UVA jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Princeton found pay dirt. The half closed with an 8-1 Virginia lead. It never got much closer than that and Virginia remained undefeated at this year’s Nationals.