Mount Holyoke reaches quarterfinals of Division III College Ultimate Championships

For the Gazette
Sunday, May 20, 2018

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Mount Holyoke’s run at the Division III College Ultimate Championships started off strong with an upset win against fourth-ranked Oberlin on Saturday.

“We have an athletic squad,” Mount Holyoke coach Evan Johnson said. “I think our players can match up against any team out here.”

They proved it all weekend. The team called Daisy Chain reached the championship field. Their tournament run ended with a 15-6 loss to Bates in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

“We also brought a young team to nationals,” Senior captain Katrina Meserve said. “We were missing seven seniors due to graduation today.”

In pool play Saturday, Daisy Chain lost to Vicious Circles from Wesleyan to fall to 1-1. Daisy Chain beat Catholic, 14-7, to finish in a three-way tie for first. Mount Holyoke placed third out of the tie based on point differential.

Against Georgia College in the prequarters on Saturday, a strong throwing performance by Meserve and downfield cutting by 2016 Northampton High graduates Sarah Bloomgarden and Hannah Finn-Erb helped Daisy Chain to a 15-10 victory.

“Against Georgia we maintained our focus in the second half and did not let up,” Bloomgarden said.

That win put Daisy Chain in the quarterfinals.

“It was really exciting to make the top eight,” Finn-Erb said. “We focused on running hard and having fun.”

In the quarterfinal Sunday, Mount Holyoke matched up against No. 2 seed and New England rival Bates College. A strong Bates squad beat Daisy Chain, 15-6, leaving them in a four-way tie for fifth.

“It was so fun to be at nationals,” Amherst High School graduate and first-year player Madison Flueckiger said. “We just tried to play one game at a time.”

Finn-Erb finished the tournament with eight goals. Bloomgarden and Flueckiger each had three goals. Meserve tied with Mahmuda Alam with a team-high 11 goals.

“I am so proud of our team,” Meserve said. “We finished today higher than ever before, and it is a tribute to hard work we put in all season.”

Wesleyan also reached the quarterfinals, where it lost 8-7 to Puget Sound.

Amherst Regional graduate Lily Gould had three goals in the tournament.

Amherst College fell to eventual champion St. Olaf, 15-12, in the prequarters.

Kyra Wortley led the team with 11 goals.

Tulsa Douglas, of Amherst, had 11 goals for St. Olaf.

In the men’s tournament, Zach Levitt, of Northampton, finished with nine goals over five games for Middlebury. The Pranksters fell to Air Force, 15-11, in the semifinals on Sunday.

Noah Zobel, of Amherst, led Oberlin with 16 goals over six games. Oberlin finished with a 14-13 win over Puget Sound in the consolation bracket.