Play today was awesome. All teams were spirited and the competition was the most even and overall highest level we’ve ever been a part of. Below is the day recap without photos. Our photographer has a life to live and therefore will not be able to edit photos for a little bit, which we’re fine with, we just don’t want people to get antsy. Photos will be up later this evening. with photos included!
The Gators started off their day on a tear. No team came any closer than eight points of the No. 1 overall seed. Senior captain Brodie Smith acknowledged that his team played well and that the competition, just wasn’t up to par.
“We didn’t really have much competition the first couple of games,” Smith said. “It wasn’t bad.”
However, it was no secret that Florida’s entire day was leading up to a singular point. The rubber match of the season with No. 3 seeded Jojah. UF wasn’t able to hold onto its top seed and lost to Georgia 14-13.
Georgia showed that they meant business by coming out with a break to go up 1-0 but Florida showed the boys from Athens what determination meant by scoring 3 straight to take a 3-1 lead. UF would take one more break but that 4-1 lead would be Florida’s biggest and last lead of the day. The Bulldogs rattled off four straight points to take a lead that they would not relinquish.
Between skies from Smith and brilliant downfield play from Georgia’s lead cutter junior Tom Morris, UGA’s lead would never get higher than three for the rest of the game. Finally, with the score at 13-10 in favor of the Bulldogs, the Gators decided to make a run. Smith went downfield and smart cuts and throws from the Gators saw a three point UF comeback.
In the middle of the next point, with the score tied 13-13 the hard cap came on. Smith would send a huck to a Florida receiver downfield with the chance to win but the Gator would not be able to toe the line and UGA took possession. One layout grab from UGA’s senior captain Peter Dempsey later, Georgia had stolen the No. 1 seed going into Sunday’s play, although, to hear it from Smith, the loss was less of a theft and more of a gift.
“We beat ourselves pretty badly,” Smth said. “We had about four turns, I think, within twenty yards of the goaline. We beat ourselves totally that game, it was a bad performance overall.”
Smith acknowledged that while the loss affected the Gators schedule for Sunday, it didn’t much affect their mentality.
“We just add another big game tomorrow,” Smith said. “(It doesn’t) really affect our confidence because everyone knows they played pretty horrible.”
Of all the teams at Regionals, Virginia is perhaps the only whose day unraveled exactly as most people expected it to. Night Train rolled through its first three rounds over Virginia Tech, Emory and UCF by a combined 45-22.
“We came out fired up in the first part of each game which was kind of important,” senior captain Robert Runner said. “After that we just cruised with our second players.”
Then Night Train had to face off against NC State. The Wolfpack had just stolen the No. 1 seed from Pool D from UNC-Wilmington but UVA was a little bit too much for NCSU.
Night Train came out on fire leading by as many as five going into halftime. The Wolfpack would fight back though. But sophomore Jesse Macadangdang would not allow his team to fall behind. Macadangdang put together a string of plays that brought his team back to life and lead them to victory. The string began with a footblock followed by Macadangdang catching the score and then, on the next possession, he got another block in the field and, again, caught the succeeding score.
“He was on fire and he really turned us around,” Runner said. “Especially with some of our other guys cramping up.”
Runner was encouraged to see the tournament No. 1 seed lose, as it reminded him that anyone is beatable at this level, but he expects UVA to continue to play its game and not worry about what is going on around the tournament.
“It is nice to see that (Florida) is beatable,” Runner said. “It doesn’t change our mentality though, we still are going to come out hard every point.”
UGA started out its day in hot water. Both Florida State and Clemson had leads on the Dawgs. FSU came out hot and gave Jojah all it wanted and a little bit more, taking a 10-7 lead after half and finally taking Georgia to universe point before the Bulldogs pulled away, 16-14. The Joint Chiefs of Clemson had a 7-6 lead just before halftime but UGA pulled away to a 15-11 victory. After those two games, UNC loomed in the distance. Darkside had played well up until that point and they were coming with the intent to take the No. 1 spot of the pool. UNC came out with 2 straight breaks but Georgia composed themselves and won 15-10.
“Sometimes it just takes us a little while to get in gear,” Senior captain Peter Dempsey said. “We didn’t really change anything it was just an attitude kind of deal. I think we called timeout (early in the UNC game.) Then our guys came out and made plays.”
However, much the same as the Gators, the Bulldogs were waiting all day for their last game. Dempsey himself would make a layout catch on the goaline and assist on the final score of the game. Needless to say, he was proud of his team’s efforts and outcomes after everything was said and done.
“It’s huge for our confidence,” Dempsey said. “This is the first day that we’ve gone through undefeated in quite some time. Of course, it’s always nice to beat Florida. They’re a great team and really fun to play against but if you can pick one team to beat, it’s probably going to be them.”
The Wolfpack came into the tournament as the highest No. 2 seed and lived up to their upset potential by stealing the No. 1 seed of the pool from UNC-W.
NC State began the day with big and easy victories over Charleston and Tennessee and followed those up with a close, hard fought game against UNC-W. Graduate student and captain Evan Bowres told us that the Seamen were the team that the Wolfpack were aiming for and he was confident in his team’s abilities to win the game.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game,” Bowres said. “I felt good about the conditions because I think we have a much deeper team than most teams out here. We play a lot of rookies and things like that.”
The game went back and forth for the entire first half until NC State got a break to take half 8-7. The Wolfpack then came out of halftime on fire, scoring several points in a row and creating distance between themselves and the Seamen. The Wolfpack would finally win by a count of 15-12.
“I really do feel like they were more tired than we were,” Bowres said. “It guaranteed Sunday play and we were excited about playing Virginia.”
However, that excitement, according to Bowres possibly faded to apathy once the Wolfpack got on the field as Virginia took a big first half lead that was insurmountable for NCSU.
Bowres told us that he was happy with his team’s play and they needed to worry about only one thing going into Sunday’s play.
“Always be hungry,” Bowres said. “That’s the biggest thing to work on, is not to take any points off. If we can do that I think we have to legs, we have the talent and we have the determination to get there.”
We’re going to just give you notes on the rest of the teams, seeing as we are tired and were not able to talk to every team captain.
Loss to Florida: 15-7
Win over William and Mary: 15-13
Loss to James Madison: 15-14
Eliminated in crossover by North Carolina. 15-11.
William and Mary
Win over James Madison: 15-10
Loss to Georgia Tech: 15-13
Loss to Florida: 15-6
Eliminated Clemson in crossover. 15-10.
Loss to William and Mary: 15-10
Loss to Florida: 15-9
Win over Georgia Tech: 15-14
Eliminated in pool play.
Loss to Virginia: 15-10
Loss to UCF: 15-14
Win over Emory: 15-14
Eliminated in crossover by UNC-W. 15-8. If you ever have the misfortune of facing this team’s force middle zone. We pity your soul and the soul of your firstborn because it is evil and it will force you back into that bottomless black pit from whence you came.
Win over UCF: 15-12
Loss to Virginia: 15-8
Loss to Virginia Tech: 15-14
Eliminated by Tennessee in crossover. 15-12. We decided that if we had to play with one other team in our Region other than our current one. It would be Juice. Although we were sad to see them go, we do want to point out that we did pick them as a cinderella to break seed. Which they did.
Loss to Emory: 15-12
Win over Virginia Tech: 15-14
Loss to Virginia: 15-5
Eliminated in pool play.
Loss to Georgia: 16-14
Loss to UNC: 15-7
Loss to Clemson: 15-12
Eliminated in pool play. DUF put all its heart and soul into beating Georgia to start the day off. Sadly, there was nothing left for the rest of the day. However, they came as close as Florida did to beating the Bulldogs, no reason to go home without some pride after a game like that.
Loss to UNC: 15-10
Loss to Georgia: 15-11
Win over Florida State: 15-12
Eliminated in crossover by William and Mary.
Win over Clemson: 15-10
Win over Florida State: 15-7
Loss to Georgia: 15-10
Eliminated Georgia Tech in crossover. 15-11. Captain Rob Sayre-McCord told us that UNC’s offense is in sync. He claims that the defense needs to get on board. We feel that if this happens we pity the teams that stand in Darkside’s way tomorrow.
Win over Tennessee: 15-8
Win over Charleston: 15-9
Loss to NC State: 15-11
Eliminated Virginia Tech in crossover. 15-8. The Seamen have the displeasure of facing Florida tomorrow morning. However, if there is one team that has the discipline to be ready for the Gators at the crack of dawn. It is the Seamen.
Loss to NC State: 15-10
Loss to UNC-W: 15-9
Loss to Tennessee: 13-12
Eliminated in pool play.
Loss to UNC-W: 15-8
Loss to NC State: 15-8
Win over Charleston: 13-12
Eliminated Emory in crossover. 15-12.