Easterns Qualifier 2012: Saturday Night Lights
To kick off the first week of our spring break, SERF travelled en mass (32 players) down to Wilmington, NC for the second year in a row to compete at the Easterns Qualifier. Last year SERF underperformed at this tournament, losing all of our pool play games (some by a lot, some by a little) until finally turning things around with an epic, come-from-behind win against Tennessee in the consolation bracket on Sunday.
This year, things went somewhat differently. Our first game on Saturday was against cross-state friendly rivals Ohio University the 1st seed in our pool and 2nd seed overall, which we lost 15-9. SERF played well, but some nerves were apparent — understandable, given that it was our first competitive game in a month. OU would go on to win the pool. SERF demolished third seed William & Mary 15-6 in the next round, displaying exceptional disc-movement and distribution on offense and some serious playmaking on defense. In the final round of pool play, however, SERF was abruptly stopped by Virginia Tech’s zone defense. Despite valiant efforts by our D-line to keep us in the game, we lost 15-8. However, as the fourth seed in the pool, our victory over W&M earned us a spot in the prequarters, to be played at 7:30 Saturday evening, under the lights.
A warm, dry, and well-fed SERF returned to the fields after a two hour break to play the loser of the game between the University of South Carolina and the Ohio State University, a game which would determine the winner of Pool C. SERF looked on as Ohio State broke to win on double game point. We began warming up for our next game, which our veterans noted was to be played on the same field upon which a year before SERF had beaten Tennessee 10-8 after an 8-2 deficit at half. Not wanting to repeat this part of team history, we decided to go for the jugular immediately against a very dangerous, very talented South Carolina team that had just suffered an incredible loss. SERF did not disappoint, the D-line simply running riot. The final score was 15-6 in SERF’s favor.
This victory put us in the quarterfinals against overall one seed and tournament hosts UNC-Wilmington at 9:30 the next morning. SERF went to bed tired and happy, ready to continue to defy expectations on Sunday. Waking up, however, we learned that the rain in which we had played the night before had continued through the morning, saturating the fields completely. The rest of the tournament was cancelled, and SERF, disappointed, made our way down to our house in North Myrtle Beach for a week of practice and team bonding.