Hurlbert leads Rochester over Baylor

By Mike Pascutoi

Rallying behind star keeper Shane Hurlbert, the University of Rochester Thestrals upset Baylor in a round five game 80*-40.

Hurlbert—playing arguably the best game of his career—led a Rochester offense that effectively held offensive possession for over 80 percent of the game. As well as scoring four goals and assisting on a fifth, Hurlbert also went in as seeker and caught the snitch to secure Rochester’s victory. Consistently, Rochester depended on stalling and waiting for its beaters to open holes for Hurlbert or chaser/keeper Basem Ashkar to exploit. Baylor had no answer for Rochester’s stalling offense, choosing to sit back in its zone and wait for Rochester to make a mistake.

Baylor’s elite beater corps was regularly matched or outplayed by its Rochester opponents despite the best efforts of David Gilbert and Tim Brestowski. The biggest difference in Baylor’s game was the noticeable absence of injured beater Brittany Ripperger, who partnered with Gilbert and Brestowski to lead Baylor to the Southwest Regional Championship final in February. Baylor’s offense, based around keeper Jacob Bruner, missed on several key opportunities and was never able to get into any rhythm with its few offensive possessions.

Rochester (4-1) is guaranteed a spot in the Sweet 16 with this victory, while Baylor (3-2) will likely move on to the play-in round in bracket play.