Tufflepuffs down Falcons with a familiar grab, advance to bracket play

By Daniel Shapiro

The Tufts University Tufflepuffs defeated Bowling Green State University (BGSU) 120*-60 with Greg Bento grabbing the snitch.

Both teams entered at 3-1, so a guaranteed bracket spot was on the line. The stands were roaring for both teams, and star Bowling Green chaser Daniel Daugherty almost put the Falcons on the board immediately before a hard tackle, where his head hit the ground, knocking him out of the opening minutes.

Not long after this, the Tufflepuffs struck first with a long range shot from their keeper, putting the score at 10-0.

The famously great Bowling Green beaters held control but played a hyper aggressive game. Beater Max McAdoo kept getting drawn into beater battles outside of his keeper zone despite having control, and this allowed Tufts to go up 20-0.

The strategy worked on offense though, as McAdoo cleared the lane for the Falcons to get a quick pass behind the hoops and a nice putback. Yet without the bludgers on defense, Tufts quickly pulled ahead 40-10.

Then Daugherty, a two-time Team USA alternate, re-entered the game and, alone against two bludgers and a keeper, drained a long shot, showing off his reputation as quidditch’s greatest long shooter.

The Falcons had trouble getting back quickly on defense, leading to plenty of Tufts’ fast breaks and scores.

“We knew the type of the team they were and we knew they were trying to get longshots in at times, which they did,” said Tufflepuffs chaser Ethan Sturm. “When they miss it, especially when we have bludger control, our team is trained to run one bludger. David Stack and Devon Ramsey did it pretty much perfectly all game.”

Yet the Tufts keeper zone defense was hard to crack with Team USA chaser Hannah DaBaets playing aggressive defense and Tufflepuff beaters packing the zone.

Then, coming off a penalty against Tufts for initiating behind-the-contact on a beater, Daugherty drove the hoops against two chasers and threw down a monstrous dunk – waived off by a penalty on his beaters.

The score sat at 60-20 until BGSU had a throwback to a classic lineup that won the Midwest Regional Championship two years ago – Zak Hewitt at keeper, Daugherty at chaser, and Team USA seeker Samuel Roitblat at chaser backed by a beater duo of Chad Brown and Kaitlin Richards – which ramped up the defense and executed crisp passes to enter snitch range.

Afterwards, BGSU went to two male chasers, McAdoo and Brown, and went to a lineup with Daugherty at keeper surrounded by the very skilled female chasers Pari Yost and Meredith Taylor. With Mike Gallagher, the Falcons were able to bring the game to 60-40. It was shortly after that Taylor went down with an injury, but Daugherty hyped the crowd up following her return. BGSU was now going hand and a half against Tufts, but the Tufflepuffs are, excuse the pun, tough. The teams then traded scores to put the game at 70-50.

“Let’s go, Sunshine!” rang out from the BGSU B-team the Falcon Warriors, referencing Roitblat’s nickname as he chased snitch Dakota Briggs.

The teams traded goals, bringing the score to 80-60. Momentum was swinging BGSU’s way, but the Tufflepuffs kept pushing fast breaks, using impressive speed to their advantage. This game would be a snitch-catch game. Tufts went up 90-60. Play was stopped to discuss a play and within seconds of resuming, Bento ended the match, reminiscent of Roitblat’s famous grab to end the Bowling Green – Lost Boys game in World Cup VI, a game many consider one of the greatest of all time.

Even though he was coming off a stoppage, Bento had not changed his strategy.

“I didn’t change; when I seek I just have 100 percent focus on the snitch,” said Bento. “I just ignore everything around me, so nothing changed. I was expecting to get beat, but our beater came in and prevented that, which gave me the opening.”

The Tufflepuffs advance to bracket play with a 4-1 record while the Falcons will wait to find out if they advance.