Although most things had gone more or less to seed on Saturday, the only exception being Jojah not winning its pool, prequarters presented an opportunity for many quality teams to go home.
The matchups included: UGA vs. UNCW, San Diego State vs. Cornell, East Carolina vs. Virginia Tech and Ohio State vs. Brown. We only could watch three of these at a time so we can only report that Brown defeated Ohio State 15-11, we do not know the manner or method in which this transpired.
UGA vs. UNCW
After three double game point finishes in pool play on Saturday, Jojah was ready for a break. The team was already shorthanded, thanks to injuries, coming into Sunday but a day full of hotly contested games on Saturday made it all the worse.
Unfortunately for them, their first round matchup on Sunday was against the team least likely to give them any quarter. The Bulldogs were squaring off against Regional rival, UNCW.
The Seamen were fresh off a closer than some would have expected game against Wisconsin and were ready to show off that they belonged with the big boys at the tournament.
Jojah was ready to put the Seamen away fast and it showed. The Dawgs jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the home team and put UNCW in a must score situation. The Seamen answered, by not only scoring their next O point, but scoring a break to follow that and to close the gap to 3-2 in UGA’s favor.
Georgia would score the next point, couresty of a huck from senior PeterDempsey but the veterans of UNCW refused to give way. Senior Jarrett Bowen laid out for a grab to keep it close at 3-4 and though Jojah was keeping Wilmington at arm’s length, thanks to another goal from Dempsey to junior Matt Bailey and a break score from graduate student Taylor Nilan to Dempsey to extend the lead to 3-6, the Seamen held on.
Graduate student Rusty Ingold-Smith caught a huck on Wilmington’s next possession and senior captain Stephen Bender got a layout block on UGA’s next possession then found Ingold-Smith for the score to close to gap back to one goal. The teams traded back and forth, with the stars coming out for both teams, until UNCW shredded the Jojah zone to close the gap to 10-9 in UGA’s favor.
The next point gave Wilmington the break that it had been waiting for to tie the game up. The Seamen then rode the momentum to get another block and Bender hit Ingold-Smith on a huck to take the Seamen’s first lead of the game at 11-10.
Georgia wasn’t done yet, Dempsey made the play when his team needed it, catching the goal to tie things up and UGA’s defensive line got a block on the next point and Bailey found freshman Fletcher Hartline, toeing the back line of the endzone for the last break the Dawgs would need, to take a 12-11 lead.
UNCW would tie the game back up at 12-12 but senior Rob Herrig hit Dempsey with a breakmark throw for the score to take the crucial 13-12 lead as the softcap had already shortened the game to a game to 14. The Seamen tied it up, finding Ingold-Smith in the endzone but that would be the last score of UNCW’s time in the championship bracket, Georgia composed itself for the final score and sent the home team packing, 14-13.
SDSU Federalis vs. Cornell Buds
On the next field over, the Federalis were doing their best to make their trip east worthwhile and the Buds were doing their best to keep their hopes of making finals alive. The Buds would eventually come out on top, despite a score dispute around halftime that worked out in favor of the Feds, the Buds came out on top.
SDSU proved they had nothing to lose as sophomore Mark Leggio started the scoring off with a hammer throw to give the Feds a 1-0 lead. Cornell answered right back and followed that answer to take a lead at 2-1. SDSU was ready to make a run of its own and came from down 2-1 to leading 4-2.
Cornell’s senior Ethan Pollack wasn’t ready for his team to go down easy and launched every inch of his 6’6″ frame into the air to make a spectacular layout grab for a score to bring score to 4-3 in favor of the Feds.
The teams then traded points before Cornell earned another break to tie the game up at 5-5. SDSU sophomore Mike Sandy snagged a disc over his defender to preserve a SDSU lead at 6-5. The lead wouldn’t last for long as Cornell tied the game up and then senior Jon Hirschberger reeled in a goal to take the lead for Cornell at 7-6.
The Feds then took an 8-7 lead into halftime and extended it out of half by scoring to go up 9-7. The teams traded points back and forth until SDSU held onto a 11-9 lead. The wind was blowing hard and the softcap came on and Cornell knew that if it was going to make a move, it needed to make it now. Fortunately for the Buds, graduate student Andrew Ji answered the call. Ji caught the next two goals after two consecutive SDSU turnovers to bring the game to an 11-11 tie.
The Buds rode the momentum for the rest of the game, coming out on top of the Feds by a score of 13-11.
Virginia Tech Burn vs. East Carolina Irates
ECU struggled in a tough pool on Saturday, losing big to Wisconsin and by three to its archrival, UNCW. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech finished at the top of their pool following a three-way between Burn, Middlebury and Brown that came down to point differential.
However, Saturday is Saturday and the Irates were ready to make some noise in the Sunday bracket. After getting broken to start the game and give VT a 1-0 lead, ECU slowly crawled back into the game, taking a 3-2 lead. Burn would keep the game tied or within one for the next three possessions but after the Irates regained their one point lead at 5-4, they went on a tear.
By halftime, the Irates had a 8-4 lead and Burn was looking like they were in grave danger of making a much earlier than expected exit from the Championship bracket.
However, as the wind picked up during the round, so did the hopes of Burn advancing to the next round. Virginia Tech chipped away at the ECU lead bit by bit and held the Irates to three goals in the second half. Behind their zone defense’s strength, Burn moved on to quarterfinals, beating ECU by a count of 15-11.