While the wind picked up even more, one had to imagine that the weather was playing right into the hands of one of our next subjects. As we mentioned before, Virginia Tech is known for their zone defense. So we expected big things going into Burn’s matchup against Brownian Motion, especially considering Burn’s results from 8s and the team’s thrashing of Middlebury in round one.
However, Brown had other things in mind. Brownian Motion exhibited a patience and reserve of a Nationals level team and found the holes in VT’s zone, earning a 15-13 victory.
To start off though, the game was all Virginia Tech, Brown had some serious problems dealing with Burn’s zone defense for the first five points. Burn started on defense and didn’t get a chance to go on offense until they held a 2-1 lead. VT then broke Brown to take a 4-1 lead. At that point, Brown’s leadership took the reins, taking a timeout to talk things over.
“We traditionally have problems with our zone offense,” Brown captain Greg Olsen said. “We wanted to move the disc more and we knew we could play and so we just went and played our game.”
Play their game they did, Brown scored the next three points consecutively to tie the game up at 4-4 with Aaron Roberts layout grab in the endzone.
After that score, the teams traded points to half, which Virginia Tech took thanks to captain Scott Forrester ripping the disc away from a bidding defender to take the 8-7 lead.
Brown pulled out of half but managed to break Burn’s offense to stay tied at 8-8. The teams traded again to 9-9 before Lichtman showed up big again, catching the goal to give Brown its first lead of the game at 10-9. Forrester would hit his receiver in the endzone on the next point but VT would never regain its lead.
Brown broke Burn three more times, largely thanks to unforced errors by Burn and some excellent downwind pulls by Brownian Motion. B-Mo held a 13-10 lead and the two teams traded points for the rest of the game until Brown reached 15, winning by a final score of 15-13.
For Virginia Tech the game was clearly a case of momentum. While the zone defense was on at the beginning of the game, Burn looked like they belonged in a different league than Brownian Motion. However, as soon as Burn’s defense lost its effectiveness, it looked like Burn was the team that belonged in the minors while Brown was moving up to the big leagues.
“They just started figuring out how to break (our zone),” Forrester said. “We lost focus and when you lose your focus its hard to get those passes off that you usually get automatically.”
One of the keys to Virginia Tech losing that focus was the play of Brown’s Noel Fetting-Smith. Fetting-Smith played a crucial role in cracking Burn’s zone defense. According to Olsen, Fetting-Smith is “indispensable” when it comes to running Brown’s offense. It was clear, as Brown earned a victory, that whatever role any players on Brown’s team play, those roles are working.