The Fall of 2012 brought troubles for Texas though. Texas lost to Baylor, a team that, before that game, had yet to prove themselves, at the Texas State Diamond Cup. Texas A&M won that Diamond Cup and won over public opinion as the consensus number one. Texas did win West by Southwest, but not before suffering a pool play loss to UCLA. In the finals, star players Kody Marshall and Augustine Monroe put on a clinic but, Texas was not at full strength. Beaters Jacob Adlis and Lauren Carter were injured depleting Texas' beater core.
By Spring, injuries had healed for Texas. The Mardi Gras Cup was a breeze for UT. I imagine their chasers were running rampant over teams like D2 finalists Sam Houston State (150*-10) and Loyola (250*-10). I talked to Lori Lopez, who is working on a documentary chronicling Texas journey to World Champions, who talked to Texas keeper Augustine Monroe. Monroe explained that by the spring, Texas learned from their losses, revamped their strategy, recruited new players and played smarter Even though Texas was so dominant (the finals was a 150-40* win over LSU) the Mardi Gras Cup could not prove that UT was number one because Texas A&M did not attend. By Southwest Regionals, Texas was ready to prove they should be number one going into World Cup VI. Texas breezed through pool play on their rivals home field and won in the quarterfinals and semifinals by a combined score of 510**-0 over the Silver Phoenixes and Texas State. All was looking good for Texas...until they ran into a hot Baylor team who had just come off a victory against number one ranked Texas A&M. Baylor hung with Texas' offense and with a hot seeker, snatched the championship, 100*-80. Alex Benepe was staying with Texas for the tournament and the night after Southwest Regionals, a Texas player let Benepe sleep in his bed, saying, "beds are for winners." Texas had failed to prove that they were the best. Monroe told Lopez that losing to Baylor was a tough loss and that Texas would not be satisfied or celebrate until they had the World Cup victory.
In pool play at World Cup VI, Texas routed every team they played. I watched the Richmond game and the Tufts game and neither team, while both good teams, had any answers for Texas. I knew how good Kody Marshall and Augustine Monroe were, but Marshall and Monroe are small. Speedy and really good, but small. Chasers/Keepers Stephen Bell, Simon Arends, Chris Morris and Sarah Holub are big and intimidating. Texas' whole warmup and huddle adds to the we are focused and ready to bring home the cup aura.
The semifinals were a well played game by Bowling Green State but when one team had just played one of the longest games in World Cup history and the other had breezed through their game, I can't hold BGSU to the same standards. Then, the Longhorns began to prep for the final vs. UCLA.
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