Texas Cavalry wins US Quidditch Cup 10

Photo by Isabella Gong

Texas Cavalry went undefeated on day one of US Quidditch Cup 10. They were the second seed coming out of pool play, and beat Mizzou Quidditch in the semi-finals on day two, 120*-50, to advance to the championship match. Texas Cavalry ultimately defeated the number four ranked team Texas State University – San Marcos 80*-60 in a game that lasted 30 minutes and 30 seconds.

The snitch for the championship match was Gabe Garcez, who was also presented with the “Most Fly Snitch Award” at the closing ceremonies. Head referee was USQ 2016-17 Referee of the Year Alex Amodol.

Read the full game recap here.

Sixty teams participated in the national championship, which took place at Austin-Tindall Regional Park in Kissimmee, Florida on April 8-9, 2017. The full score sheet and rankings from day one can be found here. The full score sheet for day two can be found here. To view photos taken at the event, click here. Video footage from the livestream on fields 1 and 2 will be available to view later this month.

The recipients of the team awards were:

Best Uniform: BosNYan Bearsharks

Best Chant: Gulf Coast Gumbeaux

Xander Manshel Sportsmanship Award: Lone Star Quidditch Club

Do you have any feedback about the event? Please fill out our event survey here! If you fill out the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win free USQ merch. Please note that you must fill out the survey by Sunday, April 23 to be eligible to win. Ten winners will be selected on Monday, April 24.

Referee evaluations may be submitted by coaches, players, other referees, spectators, or event staff. Please use this form to submit a review for any referee (including head referees, assistant referees, or snitch referees). Please use this form to submit a snitch evaluation. If you have any other feedback or more lengthy thoughts after the event, we encourage you to reach out to us at events@usquidditch.org.

US Quidditch wishes to congratulate Texas Cavalry and all qualifying and competing teams who raised funds, traveled to the event, and played tough and exciting games. USQ is especially grateful to its staff, volunteers, referees, and snitches who helped plan and put on the event. Their contributions help to make the event possible. Special thanks to the Experience Kissimmee for their support of US Quidditch Cup 10.

Cavalry’s Stampede: Texas Cavalry Triumphs Over Texas State- San Marcos in the US Quidditch Cup 10 Final

Written by Michael Pascutoi

In a match that at times seemed both underwhelming and a testament to the continued dominance of Southwest quidditch, tournament favorite Texas Cavalry defeated Texas State-San Marcos in the US Quidditch Cup 10 Finals 80* – 60.

The roads each team took to the final differed greatly. Texas Cavalry faced little resistance over the course of the weekend, stampeding each of its pool play opponents with out of range wins. In bracket play, Cavalry rode its methodical offense on the back of its veteran quaffle carriers and Cole Travis’ beating, catching every snitch with no games in-range. After systematically taking down two of the top college programs in the country, the RPI Remembralls and Mizzou Quidditch, Cavalry entered the final poised to bring the championship back to Texas.  

Texas State’s struggle to the finals was indicative of the team’s improvement over the course of the year. After playing the most games of any US Quidditch Cup 10 qualified team this year, Texas State entered as one of the top college teams in the country, though with more losses than other college contenders Mizzou Quidditch, Arizona State, or the University of Texas. During pool play, Texas State had no difficulty scoring, but also gave up more points to opponents than any other pool winner. Defensive struggles aside, Texas State then played three straight snitch-range games to reach the final four against UCLA, District of Columbia Quidditch Club, and Bowling Green State University. A matchup with a surging BosNYan Bearsharks squad in the semifinals turned into a rout when star quaffle player David Foxx sustained a game-ending injury, then was solidified by the strong quaffle play of Craig Garrison, Christian Rodriguez, and Jenna Bollweg.

Two vastly contrasting teams lined up to face each other as twilight settled on the main field of Austin-Tindall Park. A deep, systematic Texas State squad built around a star beater in Johnson was facing one of the most experienced teams in league history, built around a chasing line consisting of keeper Augustine Monroe and a talented plethora of chasers including recent Team USA player Kaci Erwin and alternates Marty Bermudez and Aryan Ghoddossy. Two quick goals by Monroe were offset by a drives by Garrison and Rodriguez to even the score at 20.  Both sides played a slow, efficient style in bringing up the ball, waiting for beaters to clear paths while ball carriers advanced only to pass backwards to waiting teammates if an option to drive wasn’t present. Offensive opportunities were limited due to tough defense from both teams, and the score sat at 40-30 in favor of Texas State fifteen minutes in.

Cavalry made a noticeable strategic change by switching Monroe to beater, partnering him with Travis as snitch on pitch play began and allowing Texas State alum Tyrell Williams to take over the game as keeper. A series of long, uneventful quaffle possessions were punctuated by brilliant displays of beater play on both sides. Thirty minutes into the game, with the score standing at 60-50 in favor of Texas State, a missed Texas State beat opened a hole for Cavalry seeker Josh Andrews to have ten free seconds with snitch Gabe Garcez, ultimately resulting in Andrews lying on the ground exhausted, snitch tail in hand.

As the final whistle indicated the catch was good for Cavalry, the team stormed the field as a demoralized Texas State squad looked on. Three players on Cavalry – Monroe, Ghoddossy, and Shelby Manford – were winning their fourth championship, while Erwin, Bermudez, and utility player Freddy Salinas were hoisting the trophy for the third time as active players. Texas State, while runners up for the second time in four years, played a fantastic game and will likely be the top collegiate team entering next season, while Cavalry undoubtedly will continue to build chemistry under the leadership of Monroe. After one of the most interesting tournaments in USQ history, the 2016-17 USQ season is officially in the books. Congratulations to all 60 teams for participating, Texas State on their fantastic run to the finals, and Texas Cavalry on being the US Quidditch Cup 10 champions.

Texas Cavalry vs. RPI Quidditch

Written by Sam Doughton

Texas Calvary coasted its way to its first-ever semifinal appearance, utilizing suffocating beater play coupled with effective quaffle drives to easily defeat RPI Quidditch 150*-50 in the quarterfinals of US Quidditch Cup 10.

Calvary rushed out to an early three goal lead thanks to their beater line and keeper Augustine Monroe. The Calvary beaters consistently beat the point beater in the RPI defense, giving Monroe space to drive and either score or pass the ball off to a teammate for an easy dunk.

RPI was able to pull one back about five minutes into game with a tough shot at the top of the key under pressure, but Calvary quickly struck back with another drive and dish. RPI snagged a drive and dish of its own, but Monroe once again stepped up for Calvary, taking on the whole defense for the close-range score after bludger control was lost by RPI and the remaining beater was taken out by the Cavalry line, making the score 50-20.

Cavalry never led by fewer than 30 points the rest of the game, as the team continued its formula of blocking off the lone RPI beater from making a play on the ball as Cavalry’s quaffle players blew past the point defenders on the drive, leading to easy scores. RPI was able to snag a goal off a delayed penalty and off a deflection, but Cavalry was too disruptive in the beater game to allow RPI to stay in snitch range.

By the time the snitch was released, Cavalry led 100-40 and began a patient game of waiting as its beater line focused on snitch play. Defensive seeking and some good snitch-on-pitch beating from RPI kept Cavalry from getting a ton of time alone with the snitch for most of the period, but snitch runner Jaxon Matheny also was physically dominating Cavalry’s seekers during the play. The snitch play also left opening, as Cavalry scored twice on no bludger drives and RPI grabbed a goal off an assist to its chaser by the hoops.

With the score at 120-50, Cavalry caught the snitch off a difficult backhanded grab. The snitch runner had the Cavalry seeker by the broom with the seeker’s back to him, when the Cavalry seeker stretched around with his left arm and grabbed the tail to secure the 150*-50 win.

With the victory, Cavalry moves onto the semifinals of US Quidditch Cup 10. Cavalry will face Mizzou Quidditch, who defeated Rochester United 90*-80 in the quarterfinal on pitch 1.

US Quidditch Cup 10: The Road to the Final Four

Photo by Nikki Smith

Written by Kevin Oelze

With pool play finished, and the bracket finalized, we can really start looking at the roads that different teams are going to have to reach the US Quidditch Cup 10. Let’s take a look at each of the top four seeds after Day 1 – Lone Star Quidditch Club, Texas Cavalry, Mizzou Quidditch, and Texas State Quidditch – and see what they’ll have to face on their potential routes to the US Quidditch Cup 10 Final Four.

A-Lone Star At The Top

Lone Star pretty much marched through the day, the only team to cap point differential in every game they played. As a reward, Lone Star received a brutal bracket full of high potential. While they should have no problem with either a UTSA or Lake Erie Elite, those both feel like nastier draws than you might expect for the 32nd seed. The path starts getting really arduous once they they reach the Sweet Sixteen, where they will face the winner of the University of Maryland and the BosNYan Bearsharks match.  These two potential opponents both had disappointing pool play results, but will likely go into Day 2 poised to potentially upset Lone Star. BosNYan, though they dropped a game to Cal, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Leanne Dillman for the second day. Maryland looks to get on track with a deep, talented squad that took an upset from a Mario Nasta-led RPI team.

Of course, the true test waits in the quarterfinals, where whichever team survives gets to face either the Lost Boys or – more likely- the defending champions QC Boston. QC Boston lagged a bit in their Kansas matchup on Day 1 but still easily won their pool.  With their tournament life on the line so early in bracket, Lone Star will need to overcome this exceedingly difficult barrier to reach the Final Four.

The Cavalry Arrives

Texas Cavalry began Day 1 in the Pool 11 “Pool of Death,” and marched out of it triumphantly, capping their point differential in every game except one and taking the second seed into the bracket. The bracket draw was much kinder to Cavalry than Lone Star. Cavalry should easily be able to handle the winner of the play-in round between Crimson Elite and Central Michigan in the Round of 32 game. They will then face either the West champion Arizona State University or University of Kansas. Cavalry should be able to match up well with Arizona State’s physical style, but Kansas could be a potentially troubling matchup. Kansas is well known for being able to play teams that look unstoppable in snitch range. It remains to be seen if they can produce a similar matchup out of their hat.

Assuming Cavalry can handle their Sweet 16 game, they’ll likely face either RPI or the Los Angeles Gambits  in the quarterfinals. While the idea of the Gulf Coast Gumbeaux upsetting the Gambits isn’t unbelievable, they seem to be less of a threat to Cavalry than either of the other teams. The Gambits struggled about as much as you can imagine for a team that won their pool and went undefeated, but they still remain a team with some supremely talented pieces and potentially terrifying seeking. If they can turn the quaffle play into the Tony Rodriguez show, the dual seeker threat of Margo Aleman and Eric Dreggors is going to ensure Cavalry wants to put itself well out of range before snitch play. First, though, the Gambits have to overcome an RPI team that’s already defeated Maryland and won an extremely tough Pool 10. Mario Nasta will attempt to impose his will on that Sweet 16 matchup, while also hoping the Gambits aren’t prepared for the RPI triangle offense or the deadly combination of Teddy Costa and Sam Nielsen. Cavalry seems a safe bet to advance to the quarterfinals, but there are multiple interesting matchups possible which might be able to stop them from reaching the Final Four.

Mizzou-ry Loves Company

Mizzou’s standout season continued with an absolutely dominating display in its pool play games. David Becker continues his breakout year, with his hyper-aggressive beating style helping to position Missouri in the easiest corner of the  bracket. A potential first round matchup with Michigan looms as a bit frightening, but nothing suggests that the Tigers can’t handle that matchup. They’ll move on to play the winner of Texas A&M and the Warriors. Both teams are very strong, but Missouri looked like arguably the class of the tournament outside of the Southwest in pool play, and will be heavily favored to advance over either team. Missouri has been using strong, hyper-aggressive beating to open lanes and allow Jacob Parker to pass off to their female chasers for easy goals. This drive-and-dish offense looked unstoppable in pool play against some lesser competition. They’ll likely have to expand their offensive repertoire as they move deeper into bracket play.

In the bottom half of this bracket, Rochester United looks to have a relatively safe path to the quarterfinals. Florida’s Finest might be the most athletic team in the tournament, but they have struggled most against smart play, and the veteran RU squad looks poised to make another deep run, though their first round opponent in Rutgers could pose an interesting matchup as well. However, the featured matchup that we could see here is an excellent clash of styles in Mizzou and Rochester United. One of these teams looks like a strong favorite to advance to a potential matchup with Texas Cavalry.

Texas State-ment

Texas State’s marvelous spring semester continued into US Quidditch Cup 10. They look poised for a relatively easy first round match against either UCLA or the Silicon Valley Skrewts based on the results of the play-in round. From there, they move onto a date with either DCQC or Penn State. DCQC is the more likely foe after having arguably the most impressive run of any team in their pool (even if the Lost Boys won the pool). However, I can’t imagine either of these teams giving Texas State much of a scare, which could set up an extremely exciting World Cup VII finals rematch between Texas State and Texas in the quarterfinal round. However, a strong  Bowling Green State University team which won an extremely deep pool over BosNYan and UC Berkeley could definitely provide a closer matchup for Texas than they did in the Final Four of World Cup VI four years ago. Bowling Green could easily overtake Ball State and become a roadblock on Texas’s path to the finals.. Still, if Texas can hold off the Falcons, a replay of the World Cup VII finals looms.