By Austin Wallace, David Sager, and Christopher Dewing
Texas Cavalry, led at all times by Augie Monroe, outsmarted and outplayed Mizzou Quidditch 120*-50 en route to the championship game, where it will face Texas State for an all-Texas final. Monroe played the vast majority of the game, and played at keeper, his original position during his three year championship run for Texas Quidditch. In addition to making stops on defense, Monroe was able to score numerous goals, displaying his trademark combination of speed, shiftiness, and on-field intelligence.
Early in the game, the physicality of both teams showed. Cavalry was able to stymie multiple no-bludger drives through relentless gang-tackling, ensuring the ball carrier could not get back up to score. Kaci Erwin especially made excellent one-on-one tackles in open space, in addition to bringing down drivers in a scrum. Cavalry continued throughout the seeker floor to control the bludgers and pace of the game.
Mizzou however showcased why it made this Cinderella run, and prevented Cavalry from opening up a comfortable out of range lead. Mizzou was able to match the top tier Southwest physicality and keep the game in striking range. It left no doubt that it deserved to be in the semifinals. Keeping the game competitive the entire time, Mizzou stayed tight on defense for incredibly long possessions, and showed that a Midwest college team can stack up against even top Southwest community teams.
During snitch play, Texas Cavalry slowballed with ruthless efficiency, never turning over the ball, even when pressed behind its hoops. Cavalry did this with minimal support from its beaters, who focussed on giving its seekers all the time they needed against the snitch, Dilan Freeman. Cavalry’s seekers needed every second of that time, as despite having consistent one-on-one access, Freeman was able to continually fend them off even once down to one hand.
Mizzou’s downfall in the snitch on pitch game was a lack of coordination with its beaters to retrieve bludger control, and on the very rare occasion that the team did regain control, Cavalry was able to almost immediately take it back. The score was just out of range from nine minutes in all the way to the snitch catch at 30:22. During the seeker floor, only five total goals were scored thanks to Cavalry’s masterful slowballing. While this game was often close on paper, Cavalry always felt in control while Mizzou got more and more flustered, with very few quality chances to get back into the game.