Atlantic Coast Regionals – Women’s Division by Grant
May 29, 2010, 12:49 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

On a hot weekend in May, teams to do battle in Athens, GA for the 2010 edition of Women’s AC Regionals. Two bids to Nationals are on the line and a handful of teams are left after Sunday.

Finals

UNC-Wilmington Seaweed v. UNC-Chapel Hill Pleiades

In a rematch of last year’s Regional final, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Chapel Hill do battle to take a higher seed into Madison and guarantee a berth. A quick talk with Coach Lindsay Hack before the game revealed their strategy for victory:

1. Always converting red zone offense
2. Tight aggressive marks
3. Always make them go 70 yards.

Wilmington really is UCSB-East with their “Yea Black!” cheers. Let’s see if they play like Santa Barbara as well. Chapel Hill put their braintrust in a clever sign for the players that says, “Smoke that weed. Go Pleiades.” At a regional final years ago, that could very well be taken literally.

The Pleiades receive to start the game and immediately go deep but the option can’t hang on. They get the disc back though and Leila Tunnell goes breakside to Lindsay D’Ambrosio for the breakside score, 1-0 Chapel Hill. Leila winds up a big pull and the field can’t contain it. It goes out the back of the end zone on the fly. Starting from the brick, Wilmington starts out on offense for the first time today but it isn’t clicking yet. Pleiades Disc. Ashley Barfield gets it and continues to Whitney Morgan for the early break, 2-0 Pleiades. An up the gut pass has too much wind under it which might lead to a second consecutive Tarheel break but they turn it over for the first time today. Kelly Tidwell catches a long huck and gets help immediately to settle the point, 2-1 Chapel Hill.

The wind is at the back on the southeast side of the field, so both teams are getting big pulls to push the O lines into their own end zones. Chapel Hill tries to get a lot of yardage but the wind pushes the disc past Barfield’s hands. Wilmington has a long way to go with the turnover and they give it back to the Tarheels with a miscue on the dump. Janna Coulter goes liveside all day for the Chapel Hill goal, 3-1. Wilmington finds a rhythm against the Chapel Hill cup and decide to run zone themselves. The four man person cup option gets the job done and Sara Casey goes I/O to Jessica Patrick to get the game back level, 3-3. When the Chapel Hill offense comes out too fast and Wilmington goes on the offensive. The first huck is no good but they cause their own fortune with a big D and Casey goes to Patrick again, 4-3 Wilmington. Chapel Hill calls TO.

The Tarheels are lacking the poise they showed earlier in the game and Wilmington gets another with a huck to Tidwell, 5-3 Wilmington. It takes the Pleiades one more point to calm down, and they chillax in the Wilmington zone so Lindsay Lang has no problem getting the disc to Barfield for the goal, 5-4 Wilmington.

The wind is picking up a little bit to a constant blow. It feels great on the sidelines in otherwise terminal heat, but I’m sure its torture for the players. Wilmington tempts the wind but the huck goes harmlessly out of bounds. A short Chapel Hill turnover gives good yardage to Wilmington. Casey finds Jessica Makowski, 6-4 Wilmington. Back and forth the teams go with Wilmington maintaining a comfortable margin. Both teams convert on O to make it 7-6 Wilmington, so Seaweed can take half on offense. Chapel Hill has some crafty dump marks so Lia English has to punt it, almost converting the goal but baby blue jerseys swallow up the disc. Chapel Hill gets close to tying the game but Michaela Dudley throws towards the shade tent which is out of bounds and not a receiver. Their defense is working for them though and they continue to beat the Seaweed marks underneath. Lang gets it a millimeter from the outstretched arms of a black jersey then cuts back across the field to Barfield, 7-7. Wilmington calls TO this time.

The two teams go back onto the playing field and immediately butt heads with great play from both teams. Heather Zimmerman gets a great D and then so does Claire Chastain. Jockeying back and forth Tidwell gets the disc near the brick and hits Chastain who raises her triumphant fist in the air for the Seaweed, 8-7 Wilmington.

After a short break, both teams start the half with guns blazing. The first half was a feeler for both teams and now they are letting loose. Big throws, big marks and Chapel Hill gets the last laugh on this point. A zipper opens up the seam for Zimmerman, 8-8. Leila Tunnell’s pull skips past the Wilmington back line amping the Pleiades sideline for a potential Callahan… and then it comes. Leila ends the point without any need for offense, 9-8 Tarheels. Wilmington stops the Chapel Hill mini-run with Tidwell gaining excellent position when a disc seemed certain to be a D. She switches from cutter to throw and hits Chastain to tie it, 9-9.

It’s a battle of attrition as both teams are struggling to be the last ones standing. One D leads to another which leads to a turn in the wind and the point drags on, draining all energy on the field. Chapel Hill finally gets close enough to remove a lot of doubt. Morgan gets it to Barfield, letting the gassed players take a deserved breather, 10-9 Chapel Hill. The fresh Tarheels follow this with a break to bring the energy level back up, so Wilmington calls another time out.

Whatever was said in the time out should be bottled up and sold because Seaweed comes out rolling afterwards. Wilmington gets it on O with English taking in a perfectly led pass to the red zone. She quickly follows with a goal to Patrick on the same side, 11-10 Wilmington. Seaweed encores with a break, and then another and they don’t stop! 11-11, then Wilmington takes the lead at 12-11. Makowski steps off the dump and reads the eyes of the Chapel Hill handler to get the D. She picks up and immediately foes for Tidwell to get within two, 13-11. Tidwell also gets in the throwing game and fires a long flat huck to Patrick for a goal, 14-11. Chapel Hill is firing hucks in hopes of getting anything at all, but like most get rich quick schemes, they just end of worse off than when they started. Liz Dressler saves an arrant pass for Wilmington and then sees Tidwell making an S cut at the back of the end zone. Her mind is made up and she puts a disc to the back left corner. Tidwell’s all along as silence falls over the field in anticipation and then eruption from the Seaweed sideline as she secures the disc. UNC-Wilmington wins 15-11.

The Game to Go

UNC-Chapel Hill Pleiades v. Emory Luna

After working hard to break the UNC cup, Emory starts the game with a break themselves 1-0. Leila is terrorizing the deep area for Chapel Hill, eating up multiple Emory hucks. After pressing their luck, Leila gets a D and calls time out. Lindsay finally gets the Tarheels on board looking surprised that scored as if to say, “Is this point really over?”. 1-1. In a tantalizing moment, Chelsea Murphy and Savannah Haas get tangled by the shoe laces and struggle to get free with the sideline giggling. The Callahan momentum has subsided but UNC is not done. Janna Coulter rips a huck that hangs so Morgan uses all of her speed to run down the disc for a goal. Chapel Hill is back on serve, 2-1.

With the Heels back on serve, the game sticks to this with neither side getting far out of line. Leila is doing a lot of the hucking for the Pleiades and Maggie Fisher is doing the same for Emory. At 4 all Chapel Hill turns the disc amongst their handlers. Chelsea Murphy fakes on her cut catching her defender off guard and she’s open upline all day for the break. 5-4 Emory. UNC tries the hucking game to Barfield but Abby Schuster is there for the D. The only thing is, she D’s it back into the air giving Barfield a second chance at the disc. A perfect second chance indeed as it becomes a Chapel Hill goal, 5-5.

Atlee Tyree makes a huge grab to save goal for Emory and stay on top but the Tar Heels answer right back. A huck to Barfield pushes the game to 6-6. Both teams are stepping up the speed of play. Emily Mitchell gets a lucky pass after two other Emory receivers miss. With a flat mark she completes a goal to Dani Kaplan with little room to spare. 7-6 Emory. Luna has a chance to take half when a Pleiades huck is too long. Murphy finds Schuster at the goal line and Golsa Yazdy gets separation from her defender to open in the corner for half. 8-6 Emory

Emory is receiving to start the half but its UNC which is positioned for a break but overthrows Haas. Luna goes back the other way, clearing the disc of any danger and getting a goal to Esta Denton who sacrifices herself to leg cramping in the process. 9-6 Emory. Another Chapel Hill huck falls short leaving Emory to work harder. Fisher completes a masterful crossfield huck to the only available spot on the field. Schuster is waiting patiently to find an open receiver. Murphy in the dump bodies her way up the line and makes the grab 10-6.

Even though Emory is holding the upper ground, their energy level is deteriorating as the same core of players have been working on offense and defense for the past two games as well as this one. Lindsay Lang stops the bleeding going up the middle to Morgan on the deadside of the stack, 10-7. UNC takes over on D but at the expense of several players who take an injury during the point. Leila gets one just inside the goal line, 10-8. The humidity is making cramps more and more likely so pickles and Gatorade are being consumed at a furious rate. Emory and UNC are rushing their offenses to try and get quick scores but nothing is working. Possessions are becoming a dime a dozen. Emory turns it short one too many times and Haas hits Barfield on the live side 10-9. Emory suffers from an unforced drop but the wind doesn’t play favorites, pushing the disc away for UNC as well. The luckier team might be the winner of this point. The Pleiades tie it up with the horn denoting a game to 12.

UNC is on a roll now and it’s just a matter if Emory can hang on for a few more points. The point goes for the Tar Heels though as they get the completed huck they came for to take their first lead of the half, 11-10. Emory can’t stay consistent enough to make the necessary completions. Leila tries to win it with one throw but it’s too long. Maggie goes the length of the pitch pas all defenders to Chelsea Murphy but she hasn’t scored yet. A dump to Emily Mitchell and back to Chelsea is too far. Both teams are generating chances which adds to the tension. The Tar Heels then catch gold by getting an opportunity five yards out of the end zone. Ashley Barfield, one of the big downfield threats all day for UNC works hard enough to get open and score the winner 12-10 UNC.

It is interesting to note that both winners today, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Chapel Hill both went on unanswered six point runs to win their games and go to Nationals. Best of luck to both teams in Madison.


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