Easterns Qualifier 2013: Saturday Recap

Nothing but pool play on Saturday at the Easterns Qualifier, but there were some great matchups and some surprise upsets. (Who knew the Metro East would be racking up wins?).

1 SEEDS GET TO SUNDAY UNSCATHED

Each of the four top seeds went undefeated on Saturday, and three of them didn’t face any trouble getting there:

– Ohio (#12) cruised to their four wins today and look clearly like the best team at the tournament. They are unlikely to face a real test until the finals tomorrow, where they should face UNC-Wilmington. Ohio highlighted their day with a 15-3 drubbing of Rutgers.

– UNC-Wilmington (#14) didn’t struggle to get wins today, but they did have some consistency issues. They played a sloppy game against Michigan State that they didn’t pull away in until late. They looked impressive against a motivated Ohio State team that came out and grabbed an early break. After that lead, the Seamen dominated the rest of the way.

– Connecticut had no trouble rolling through their Saturday matchups, capping their day with an impressive 15-7 blowout of the pool two seed Cincinnati. Using their strong athletes and a wide array of hammers, UConn rolled past teams. However, they have yet to face regional rival SUNY-Buffalo, who went 3-1 today from the bottom seed in the pool.

– Brown dominated in their first two games, but they had to scrap to get past a physical, intense Michigan in the final round of the day. They lost a one point halftime lead late in the game, but rallied back with some breaks of their own to win it 14-12. Captain Charlie Kannel had a strong game to set Brown up for an easy quarterfinals game.

MICHIGAN IS BACK

One of the big questions coming into the weekend was how Michigan would respond to their ugly performance at the Queen City Tune Up. They’ve already answered it: they’re back. The 2012 Nationals qualifiers played far better today and, despite the loss to Brown, should feel very positive about their play today.

Yonatan Rafael’s return to the lineup after an injury brought some renewed intensity to the team. And Matt Orr had a spectacular game against Brown, highlighted by a huge layout D and bookends score at a critical moment during the game.

They are likely to rematch UConn (who they lost to on universe at QCTU in a contentious game) in the quarterfinals tomorrow. It should be one of the most exciting matchups tomorrow.

METRO-LEAST NO MORE?

For a few years now, most have considered the Metro East to be the college division’s worst region. But the ME teams at the Easterns Qualifier have shown that you can’t ignore them anymore. Their overall record on Saturday was 11-5, and that includes a three loss Rutgers team. UConn went undefeated, while Princeton and SUNY-Buffalo (the 6 seed in their pool) finished the day with just one loss each.

We’re not about to predict a semifinals run for whatever team makes it out of the ME region in the Series this year, but the casual disregarding of the region doesn’t make much sense anymore.

APPALACHIAN STATE = MICHIGAN KILLERS?

First there was this. Then there was their Sunday win over Michigan at the Queen City Tune Up. And now Appalachian State will have a chance to get into the championship bracket with a win against MagnUM tomorrow morning. They’ve already far exceeded expectations (based on their seeding) and really looked impressive at times on Saturday with some athletic plays and good disc movement.

GEORGETOWN STILL INCONSISTENT

Here’s a quick look at Georgetown’s day: a loss to bottom seed Towson, the best win of their season over Michigan State, a decent loss to UNC-W, and a heartbreaking universe point loss to Princeton after leading 10-5. In our EQ preview, we discussed Georgetown’s tendency towards inconsistency. It almost seems like the problem has gotten worse. They need a dose of Tiina Booth’s mental toughness training.

WARM UP EXPERIENCE HELPING MARYLAND?

Maryland traveled down to Tampa two weeks ago to play against many of the country’s top college teams at Warm Up. It seems that those big games — including a two point loss to Carleton (#9) — gave them some confidence as they have looked great this weekend. They have a respectable 15-10 loss to a very good Ohio team but have otherwise won fairly easily. Their 15-12 win over Alabama in the first round is their best win of the year.

VIRGINIA GRINDS OUT WINS

Nothing was coming easy today for the Night Train, but a 3-1 record has to feel good at the end of the day. Their 14-12 win over Cincinnati was one of their better wins this year, but they struggled to get past Kenyon (#6 – DIII) and SUNY-Buffalo. Still in the midst of a rebuilding year, they look like they’ve made some strides since QCTU, particularly on the offensive side of the disc.

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