Photo by Isabella Gong
Written by Cameron VomBaur
After finishing third in Pool 3, Oklahoma State University took on The Lost Boys, who topped Pool 4, in the Round of 32. The game featured 2016 Team USA teammates Hayden Applebee from Oklahoma State and Amanda “Turtles” Nagy from The Lost Boys.
For nearly six minutes of the game, neither team was able to get points on the board. Bludger control constantly switched between the teams, with neither side holding it for longer than a minute before losing it again. Despite all of the chaos in the beater game, both defenses managed to force stops and turnovers.
However, after their initial offensive struggles, The Lost Boys found their rhythm in the middle of the game. Despite bludger control still being exchanged regularly, Oklahoma State’s chaser defense began to crack in no-bludger situations, as goals from Justin Fernandez, Duran Allison, and Alex Richardson brought the score to 40-0 at the 12-minute mark. An alley-oop to Jenna Eslocker brought Oklahoma State back to the edge of range, 40-10, before a Tye Rush fast break again lifted The Lost Boys out of range, 50-10.
As the game progressed, control stayed with The Lost Boys more often. Nagy and Kelsey Allen in particular were expertly throwing bludgers back and making quick beats on unsuspecting beaters from Oklahoma State to keep two bludgers in The Lost Boys’ hands. When no-bludger opportunities arose for the Cowboys, Richardson and Justin Bogart were there to make tackles at the top of the offense, and Allison’s lanky arms at keeper knocked the quaffle out of the air on numerous occasions.
While the goals didn’t come easily for Oklahoma State, its offensive possessions weren’t completely inept. Applebee often managed to close the distance to the hoops before the quaffle would pop loose or a beater from The Lost Boys would swoop in to kill the play, and multiple shots hit the edge of the hoop without going in. If not for a few such unlucky breaks, Oklahoma State may well have been in position to make a SWIM catch to advance to the next round of bracket play.
However, the expert snitch-on-pitch beating of The Lost Boys was able to overwhelm Oklahoma State. The Cowboys had practically no time to stage a comeback, as a diving snitch grab from Justin Fernandez secured the win for the Lost Boys, 80*-10.