The Eighth Man

Metro/Bae Cup Recap: The University of Miami blows away its competition

The University of Miami took first place in the tournament. Credit: Larry Ziff

The Florida Quidditch Conference (FQC) co-hosted its first ranked tournament of the season with No. 15 University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, FL where No. 5 University of Miami (UM) took home first place. It was the most physical and heavily contested tournament in the FQC, which featured eleven in-state teams, and Loyola- University of New Orleans.

 

The biggest match up in pool play was No. 15 University of South Florida versus the World Cup V runner ups University of Florida (UF). It was a hard fought low scoring match that was tied at 20 when the snitch came back to the field. UF managed to keep bludger control for most of the match but could not get their offense going versus USF’s very aggressive chaser core. In the end Austin Clooney, USF’s chaser and go to on pitch seeker, managed to grab the snitch with his immense reach and agility ending the game 50-20.

 

After pool play every team moved on to a 12-team single elimination bracket where the top four teams earned a first round bye. Bracket play was fairly modest until Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) played UF in the quarterfinals.

 

The score went back and forth numerous times until UF started making key defensive stops and began to pull ahead. Once the snitch came back to the field though, it became chaos. UF was up 20 points as both teams’ beaters expertly defended the snitch and each other.  Both teams cycled through at least one rotation of seekers until FGCU managed to knock out the UF beater guarding the snitch opening way for their own Christian Palermo to catch the snitch and secure their win 80-70.

 

The finals match featured UM versus USF for the first time this season. Both teams came in tired and injured after a long day but with tremendous drives. USF was looking for their first win in the series this year and UM was looking to redeem themselves after a pair of tough losses a week earlier versus No. 1 University of Southern California.

 

The game was a twenty-two minute affair where head referee Bridget Siegel managed to keep both teams in check and issued several cards. The lone red card of the match went to USF chaser Jody Louis late in the game after a legal tackle into the crowd gave him his second yellow of the game.  USF did a great job of containing UM’s high-powered offense to 20 points, Miami’s lowest scoring game since October 9, 2011.

 

Both teams came into the game with numerous injuries that forced them to use players outside of their regular line up. One player that stepped up was chaser Dennis Campbell who spent the majority of the game at beater and brought a high motor approach to the position taking down opposing beaters in the fight for bludger control.  With fantastic beater play from both sides, the snitch runner spent a significant amount of time on pitch. In the end, nothing was able to stop UM seeker David Moyer from making a fantastic in air grab while being flipped by the snitch. Final score UM 50-20.

 

 

Players to Watch

Jody Louis (USF)

Louis has become USF’s go to chaser after the tough losses of Team USA chaser Sean Pagoada and Team USA reserve chaser Sean Snipes from USF. Louis has more than filled those shoes, and he’s developed into a physical and fast chaser who can easily take even the biggest opponents down and lead a top tier offense.

 

Ebli De La Rosa #16 (FGCU)

Chaser De La Rosa, FGCU’s co-captain, is a compact player that knows how to shift his weight around for tackles and speed thanks to his varied sports background. In their semi-final match versus UM, he managed to win the quaffle on brooms up and expertly weave through their defense to put up the first points of the game.

 

 

Teams to Watch

Florida Gulf Coast University

FGCU has developed a very physical style of play that features a solid chaser core with one of the best tackling forms around. They have quickly evolved since placing eighth last March in Swamp Cup II to having placed fourth in their last two tournaments. With a couple of more games under their belt, expect this team to constantly compete with USF and UM.

 

Ringling College of Art and Design

They are Florida’s oldest team who has endured many ups and downs in their leadership and team structure but so far Captain Dan Miller has managed to recruit what can be arguably called Ringling’s best team. Thanks to their fantastic snitches Bryan Bae and Jacob Miller, Ringling has managed to also develop one of the deepest and best seeker rotations in the country.

 

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