The Eighth Man

Countdown to Kissimmee: Marquette University

Credit: Allie Tyler

Credit: Allie Tyler

Marquette University has made quite the splash onto the quidditch scene this season, winning the Midwest Regional Championship and placing second at both the Albus Dumbledore Memorial and the Collegiate Cup. They’ve not only seen the best of their own region, but have games on their resume against Texas A&M and Baylor University as well, even beating the Southwest Regional champions.

Best Wins: vs. Baylor University (140*^-120, Nov. 18), vs. Bowling Green State University (170*-90, Nov. 11), vs. Ball State University (200*-120, Nov. 11)

Worst Losses: vs. Ball State University (140*-80, Oct. 16)

Key Players: Chaser Bobby Roth is a powerhouse. Not only does he have size and speed, but he also has a great shot, good agility, and great trucking ability. He is able to hold onto the ball, and maintain composure, through even the toughest of hits. Roth is an all-around extraordinary chaser. His combination of size, strength, shooting, and defense makes him a coach’s dream.

Additionally, chaser Joe Simonelli is incredibly fast and agile. Paired with Roth, the two make up a one-two punch that’s almost impossible to stop. Roth brings the power, and Simonelli brings the speed. Simonelli is fast enough to burn any defender, and has the balance and core strength to be able to stay on his feet and shed tacklers, despite his small size.

Players to Watch: Chaser Cecelia Ware is one of the best female players in the game, and has a great knack for positioning, with the perfect amount of aggression. Ware always seems to be in position to come up big for Marquette, both offensively and defensively.

Keeper Pat Doyle is one of the most imposing players on Marquette’s roster. He possesses the size to run through just about anyone, and has great awareness of the field while defending his hoops. Doyle always seems to be in position to make a key save. His ability to drive through defenders and score is also an incredibly valuable asset to Marquette’s offense. Having both Doyle and Roth who can power through most tacklers, and Simonelli who can run past any defender, is enough to give Marquette’s offense a ton of firepower.

Strategy: Marquette plays a very aggressive game, often pushing the quaffle down the field, looking for fast break opportunities. On these fast breaks, they look to move the quaffle away from the beaters and give their playmakers space to work. Oftentimes, the quaffle carrier is used to draw the beater before making a pass to an open teammate in scoring position. Usually, Marquette will bring a bludger on offense in order to both attempt to win bludger control and to clear space for their chasers.

Defensively, Marquette is physical and aggressive. They will always get in your face and try to force a bad pass or turnover. They largely use their beaters as secondary defenders who support the chasers, or finish off a ball carrier when one of their chasers has him wrapped up.

Strengths: Marquette’s size and sheer athleticism is their biggest strength. When they’re at full strength, they’re almost impossible to stop. They love physicality, and are always looking to give a hit, and are never afraid to receive one.

Weaknesses: Marquette brings everything they have on offense frequently, leaving them somewhat vulnerable to fast breaks. If you have a fast chaser who can break a few tackles, you may be able to put up a significant number of points on Marquette.

Prediction: Marquette has all the tools necessary to make a deep run at World Cup. Expect to see them in the Elite 8, with plenty of room to go further.

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