By: Patrick Kelly
Rain showers the day and night before a tournament have the calming effect of softening the fields nicely. Those same showers, however, make for some slippery surfaces for cutting. More than a few 9:00 a.m. round players found themselves scrambling back to their feet.
In Pool B, Bowdoin and Air Force went at it right away, with Afterburn trying their zone/switch-to-man defense on the first point. Bowdoin was ready as Kobayashi (Bison) went to Jones for the game’s first goal. Both teams then showed some nerves with a variety of unforced turns before Bowdoin scored again. Trading points took hold as each squad settled down and got into their flow. Trevor Browning had a hot D followed by a hammer score from Noa Chun-Moy to Chris Delgado for Air Force. Tom Jones was open repeatedly and capitalized on the space, scoring or assisting on three of Clown’s first four goals.
Trailing by two, Afterburn’s Alan Villanueva found Delgado with a super sweet flick huck. They followed it up by clamping on Bowdoin with a successful zone, resulting in a couple turns, which they cashed in as Chun-Moy connected with Browning to tie it 4-4. Zone again, but Bowdoin solved it, then broke to take back their two-point cushion. Afterburn held, then had a chance to tie it again, but an ill-advised flick huck into a circus of Clowns ended with Conor Belfield going up over everybody to pull it down. Jones then scored two more goals before half, which Bowdoin took, 8-6. Air Force responded in a big way with three in a row, as Villanueva threw two scores and Michael Delatte another to surge to a 9-8 lead aided by a short pull by Bowdoin to open the second half. Get used to three in a row. Bowdoin does the same in return when Phil Galonsky started running the Clown offense and Belfield got another huge D. Soft cap went on during Clown’s turn enjoying the three-point run. They went up 11-9 in a – now – games to 12. Air Force’s back was against the wall, but they kept their heads, scoring after Bowdoin’s goal-line stand and immediate give back. Afterburn then broke, scoring on a flick huck from Theodore Jantscher to a line-toeing Chun-Moy; Bison had a great shot at the D, but missed. The score was 11-11 in a game to 12. A final break ended this fantastic opening game as Browning found Matthew Moshea for the winner. Clown captain Phil Galonsky commented afterwards that Bowdoin had their chance but could not close it out, making way too many unforced turnovers.
Air Force had a much easier time the rest of the day to keep the top spot in Pool B.
The 10:45 a.m. round had Mary Washington facing Missouri S&T Miner Threat in Pool D. Joseph Richards, Zach Norrbom and Tony Clark were too tough for the Miners to handle as Mother of George took an early 5-1 lead on the way to an easy five-point victory.
In Pool A, Bryant’s zone was a mystery for Georgia College, and Craze led the whole game.
Moving over to the Richmond v. Oberlin game turned out to be an excellent choice; Oberlin led 8-7 at half. The first point after halftime resulted in an injury timeout for an unfortunate Oberlin player, but the sideline trash receptacle bore the brunt of the player’s sorrow. The game, however, was an absolute barn burner with Oberlin holding the edge. On one score, about five players went up for a floaty Horsecow huck, but they all misread it. Everyone landed and then watched Lucien Fitzpatrick catch it flat-footed for the Oberlin goal. Oberlin then broke to make it 11-9 with a beauty of a cross-field flick from Noam Fisherman to Julian Bregstone. Bregstone had a great game and seemed to be involved in most of the big plays in the second half. Oberlin tried using their zone defense, but after a long point, Richmond held with a Justin Keller to Patrick Murray score. The next point was a long one too, as Oberlin used zone again. Richmond broke it with a perfect hammer, then turned the disc on a not-so-perfect blade in the end zone. At 12-10, with Oberlin in the lead, the Spidermonkeys moved downfield easily to cut the lead to 12-11, in a game capped at 13. Bregstone uncorked a big backhand to Jacob Arons for the apparent winning score. Richmond’s marker called travel, but after the observer-assisted discussion, the throw counted. Captain Noam Fisherman talked a bit about the talented sophomore Bregstone after the game, saying he has shown great things since arriving last year and will no doubt continue to contribute.
As the 1:00 p.m. round began, skies were cloudy, but there was no rain in sight, giving the players pretty comfortable conditions.
Bryant bolted out of the gate against Oberlin, breaking four consecutive times for a 4-0 lead en route to an easy win.
Mary Washington and Occidental were in a close contest until MOG’s Zack Richardson scored and displayed one of the most unsuccessful spikes ever attempted. It somehow got them on track, capitalizing on some bad drops by Detox. Mary Washington cruised to a 13-8 victory.
Carleton College-GOP was certainly having fun, and winning while doing so. Finishing off Missouri S&T got them whipped into a frenzy going into the final pool play game against Mary Washington. GOP’s offensive sets and raucous sideline rattled Mary Washington into submission. A balanced attack kept GOP ahead the whole game and allowed the use of their entire roster, which could pay dividends come Sunday morning. Mary Washington’s Zach Norrbom said after the game that they were caught watching the disc way too much on defense and just were not seeing the field.
Knowing they’d already clinched the top spot in Pool A, Bryant dropped their final pool game to Richmond. Air Force won out in Pool B, Middlebury had no trouble in Pool C, and Carleton College saw the same in Pool D.
The crossover yielded a great match up between Bowdoin and John Brown. Ironfist played with only nine players all day, but it was still a close game the entire way, using a zone defense and staying patient on offense. Bowdoin never trailed and only led by three once. When Ironfist cut the lead to one at 12-11, there may have been a few nervous players on the Bowdoin side, but they closed it out for the win. Grant Bruner was terrific for Ironfist, as was Garrit Headley.
Whitman had a big lead on North Park in their pre-quarterfinal match up, but had to hold on late to stay alive in bracket play.
Georgia College triumphed in a close one over Occidental, and Mary Washington cruised to advance over Oberlin.
Bright and early, Sunday morning, 8:00 a.m. – see ya for the quarterfinals!