Photo by Nikki Smith
Written by Michael Pascutoi
In a matchup defined by scrappy beater play and repeated stoppages of play, Florida’s Finest rode the strong play of its veterans to a 100 -90* victory over the University of Rochester.
Rochester moved out to a quick 30-10 lead on the back of keeper Basem Ashkar before the teams settled into a default mode of sustained, controlled offensive possessions. Rochester’s double-male beater set pressured Florida’s Finest heavily on both sides of the pitch, limiting opportunities for Florida’s Finest to take advantage of its transition attack and endurance. While Finest was limited in scoring due to the dominance of Rochester’s beaters, Rochester lost several opportunities to score from dropped passes and mental errors.
The game turned a corner during snitch on pitch, with both sides throwing all of their energy into stopping the opposing seeker. Florida’s Finest found an offensive rhythm close to snitch on pitch, rounding off three straight goals by taking advantage of mistakes from a tiring Rochester squad and strong offensive possessioning. A red card on Rochester beater Perry Wang ultimately swung the game in favor of Finest, but beater Steven Belitzky managed to hold off the experienced Florida’s Finest lineup of curtis Taylor and Sean Pagaoda and bring Rochester back within snitch range. With Finest scoring soon after to bring the score to 10-6, Rochester seeker Sean Benjamin misread the score and pulled the snitch, ultimately costing Rochester the game as the pull couldn’t make up the quaffle score deficit.
With an early victory under their belt, Florida’s Finest moved on to play Rochester United in the Sweet Sixteen matchup at 11:40.