Written by Kelsey Petersen
Bracket play started off strong on Day 2 with a rematch of this season’s Great Lakes Regional Championship between #21 Ball State University and #12 Bowling Green State University (BGSU). At this point, fans and players familiar with the Great Lakes region shouldn’t be surprised to see this matchup. Ball State and BGSU are well-established powerhouses in their region and both teams finished Day 1 strong with 3-1 records.
Going into the game, BGSU already had an advantage over Ball State in terms of size, reputation, and veteran experience. Both beater corps are strong, but while BGSU has refined its beating game, Ball State’s beaters seem to lack its spark without Tyler Walker.
The game proved to be a battle of pacing, BGSU favoring its usual slow approach, while Ball State relied on its speed. After several goal attempts and trading possessions frequently, Bowling Green scored its first goal over seven and a half minutes in. BGSU then continued to rack up points while keeping Ball State at zero. Ball State’s chasers were in sync, utilizing good passing options on most plays. But time and time again, they were unable to muscle past BGSU’s brute defense to secure a finish at the hoops. On the other half of the pitch, Ball State keeper Nick Kaufman proved adept at deflecting Daugherty’s floating passes.
Ball State made it onto the board around the seventeen minute mark, and found more success when seekers entered play. Ball State started to match goal-for-goal against BGSU, its seeker Jason Bowling effortlessly slipping between protecting and attacking the snitch as the game continually floated in and out of snitch range for Ball State. Both teams sent their beaters into overdrive against the seekers, evidenced by the increased frequency of bludgers flying wildly out of the pitch boundaries. It was clear that Ball State took advantage of BG’s distracted beaters to find scoring opportunities. However, BGSU soon began to pull away and Samuel Roitblat clinched its victory with a snitch grab at 25 minutes for a final score of 120*-50.
With this victory under its belt, Bowling Green stands to face Texas in the next round.