Having played to a 13-13 draw in pool play the match between West Point Black and Penn State it’s no surprise that the rematch in the women’s final was a close one. The first half saw West Point initially mark Penn State’s leading scoring Maria Carolina Araujo, but Penn State adjusted and was able to get scoring from other players. Both teams struggled on offense with good defense and goalie play, particularly from Penn State’s Fredrikke Johansen who was also named the Most Valuable Goalie for the tourney. The 2nd half was more of the same as both teams appeared worn down from the 4 games they had previously played. In the end, Penn State hung on for the 10-9 victory. Quite an accomplishment for a program that had their official practice in August. (Later this week I’ll have a short interview with their Co-Head Coach, Michael Gordon, who was clearly pleased with their accomplishment.)
Virginia and Air Force played an entertaining match to determine who would take on West Point Black in the final. Air Force started well and led 12-11 at the half, but had a dry spell early in the 2nd half that they never could recover from as Virginia pulled away for a relatively comfortable 23-20 victory. Air Force’s Logan Ormsby led all scorers with 7 goals while Christian Vila led Virginia with 6 goals. I did not catch any of the West Point Black – West Point Gold, which was played at the same time, but West Point Black won as expected.
The Men’s Finals didn’t disappoint and was, for me personally, the highest level college vs college match I’ve seen. Decent technical skills displayed by both team with both teams running the floor despite having played 5 matches over the weekend and semifinals in the morning. West Point Black initially looked like they were going to run away with the match jumping out to a 4-0 lead that they later expanded to an 8-3 scoreline. Virginia, however, was able to get their offense and fast break going and chipped away at the lead to a halftime score of 14-12.
In the second half, they continued their run eventually tying the score at 14-14 and 15-15. But, at that point Army clamped down on defense and Virginia simply could not score in their set offense. Couple with the strong defense and solid goalie play from Liam Lynch Army got 6 straight goals (several on fast breaks) to take a 21-15 lead. All told Virginia went nearly 10 minutes without a goal and called time out.
The game was then a relatively even match, but Virginia could not chip away much at the lead. With the score 25-20 with a little under 9 minutes to go it looked as if Army was going to cruise to victory. But, from then on it was almost all Virginia as Army struggled to score against Virginia goalie, Michael Monsen, who had a solid game. And, with 2:33 the lead was cut to 26-25. And, during those final 2 minutes, Virginia had their chances, but were denied by a Lynch save with a 1:35 remaining and a prepared Army defense on a kempa (alley oop shot) in the waning seconds. Video: Link
I’m still working on some scores from the other matches played on Sunday, but will update them once I have them.
Men’s Results: Link
Women’s Results: Link