Antwerp QC, Much of Belgian Core, Leaves Competitive Quidditch

The University of Maryland is one of the most storied college programs in the history of the sport. Over the past decade, they’ve produced more regional championships than any other program and their graduates have been club champions, USNT players, a USQ Executive Director and a USQ Referee of the Year. The Terrapins have done just about everything but win a national title.

Until today.

In a tense, low-scoring affair, Maryland defeated Northeast Regional Champion New York University, 120*-30, to win US Quarantine Cup 13 and claim their first-ever national title.

It was the Terrapins first trip to the championship game of a national tournament and just their second trip to a Final Four, alongside their run at World Cup VIII. It was also an opportunity to get revenge against a New York side who pulled a shocking upset of Maryland in the quarterfinals of USQ Cup 12, coming back from an out-of-range deficit in regulation to eventually win in overtime.

Maryland set the tone of the match early, with New York chaser Frank Minson winning the race to brooms up only to be met by a crushing open-field tackle from John Sheridan. But New York’s two-male beater set of Antoine Giron and Jimmy Banta was able to establish bludger control early and maintain parity through it. Maryland created havoc in the bludger game on offense to put together a pair of goals from Sheridan and Mack Morgan, while New York used it’s bludger control to easily create a pair of no-bludger goals from Minson and Seamus Slade.

But as the Terrapin beating pair of Zain Bhalia and Heather Farnan began to get more comfortable in the flow of the match, they were able to turn the tides. Farnan gained the pair control with a diving grab of a deflected bludger, and an extended period of control was enough to stop the New York offense in its tracks. Meanwhile, on the offensive end, Sheridan added two more goals, Jerrick Knippel got a pair, while Noah Rindock got one of his own and added two more on dishes to Abby Potter.

A 14-minute timeout from New York helped to stem the bleeding, but it was too little too late, and the match entered snitch-on-pitch play 80-30 after a goal from Kate Martinez. Learning from their mistakes a year ago, the Terrapins controlled the pace of play from the 18-minute mark on, though they did not have to wait long. T.J. Generette, still in his first semester of quidditch, secured the grab to vault himself and his team to the highest heights of American quidditch.

“It’s so great to have the real champ and the people’s champ aligned,” Morgan said. “So proud of this team and that all the hard work has finally paid off. Shoutout to Mike Madonna for always backing us up in the forums where we know it matters most.”

For New York, it was a disappointing end to an incredible 365-day run for the program. They followed up a Cinderella run to the Final Four of USQ Cup 12 with their first-ever Northeast Regional Championship. After losing Slade and seeker Kellan Cupid for the spring semester and going 0-3 at Atlantic Challenge, many questioned what the team could accomplish at nationals. But with Slade and Cupid back, the team not only repeated its Final Four run, but went all the way to the final game.

“We knew Maryland was going to be coming out for revenge, considering how last year went down,” Minson said. “I’m extremely proud of how our team fought this game, this past weekend and all season. We tip our caps to Maryland on winning the whole thing, and we’ll see you next year.”

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