Washington's domination in prequarters was nearly perfect.
May 29, 2022 by Scott Dunham in Recap with 0 comments
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Teams that play with a small rotation have been known to hit a wall at Nationals, and for Florida State, that wall was the University of Washington. The contrasts are extreme. Element is the team at Nationals with the deepest roster while FSU plays the tightest lines. Washington has 28 names listed on their roster, and 26 of them recorded at least two goals, assists, and/or blocks in the first two days in Milwaukee. Still, those stark contrasts are not as distant as the final score: 15-1.
As the breaks piled up, they kept sending out fresh D-lines – even the O-line in defense – while the underdogs stuck to their pattern of cycling through their top eight. By midway though the first half, the SLadies could see that that plan wasn’t working and started subbing a little deeper, but results were same: breaks, breaks, more breaks. And as the total climbed, Element got more hyped, while for FSU it became harder to ignore the fatigue accumulated in the first two days of pool play.
Eight breaks in, half gave a chance to rest. But after the first hold of the game to kick off half number two, the breaks returned. Before the round’s halftime cap horn had sounded, it was already 11-0; garbage time began.
Florida State handler Lindsi Allman pulled out the chicken wing she’d been saving for five years, but it was out of reach for Natalie Wilson in the downwind end zone. FSU made sure everyone healthy got in the game, played a senior line, and threw some swill. Meanwhile, Washington stuck to their plan to cycle through their top 28. Finally, down 14-0, FSU puts their top seven back in and, with UW thoroughly lulled into complacency, hit a wide-open receiver in the end zone to avoid the bagel. Finally, Washington’s O-line players got to take the field for their third point of game.
These teams were simply headed in different directions: Washington is still hunting for a college title, looking to fill up the tank and accelerate into the bracket, while Florida State was on E. They happened to intersect at a time two teams with very different destinations rarely do. While the Seminole Ladies journey this season has been worthy of admiration, it is now complete. Our attention can remain on Washington, as they now travel the narrow and challenging path towards a championship.