In a thrilling, marathon game, Bowling Green State University (BGSU) traded blows with the University of Florida (UF), before Sam Roitblat caught the snitch with eight seconds left in overtime for a 170^*-140 victory. Roitblat, who also caught the snitch after 25 minutes and 40 seconds of regulation to force overtime, seemed to struggle with the mobile, agile snitch and the UF beating corps prior to making his two incredibly clutch catches.
In the first few minutes of the game, UF jumped out to a 30-0 lead, scoring three goals in rapid succession before BGSU was able to slow the Gator offense. However, BGSU’s offense continued to struggle due to poor passing and the Midwest Regionals Champions only brought the game within snitch range after about 10 minutes. That turned out to be the cue for the snitch to return to the pitch and Roitblat to sprint onto the field, but as previously mentioned, the snitch’s evasive tactics foiled Roitblat and the rest of BGSU and Florida’s seekers.
The stalemate in the snitch game allowed for Dan Daugherty and Dre Clements to drive up the scores with spectacular goals as the breakout stars from the last two World Cup’s dueled in a bout of one-upsmanship, but BGSU remained behind. Florida then scored two quick goals to go up 110-70 and pull out of snitch range. The game dragged on with several injuries, several stoppages and few goals, until finally, BGSU scored to bring the score to 120-90 and Roitblat struck. With a no-nonsense approach, BGSU and Florida went immediately into huddles, preparing for overtime.
BGSU got off to a slow start in overtime as Daugherty repeatedly failed to connect with BGSU chaser Sam Elgin behind the hoops. Compensating for his offensive struggles early in overtime, Daugherty made essential stop after essential stop in the keeper zone to keep the game knotted at 120. When Florida, a team more physical than most expected, finally powered through Daugherty for a goal, the BGSU star responded at the other end with a goal.
Setting the stage for a frantic finish, Florida scored with 30 seconds left. With BGSU advancing down the field, Roitblat closed in on the elusive snitch. In back-to-back plays, Daugherty leveled the score at 140 and Roitblat snagged the victory, as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
In a post game interview, Daugherty alluded to his team’s resilience, highlighting how BGSU was able to fight back from deficits of 30-0, 110-70 and 140-130. When asked where the Florida match would rank in relation to BGSU’s other dramatic games during the past two seasons, Daugherty said either second or third, only putting BGSU’s epic quarterfinal against the Lost Boys at World Cup VI ahead.
BGSU improved to 2-0 and the World Cup VI semifinalists won their appeal to replay their game against the University of Virginia (UVA) (which was originally a loss) from the time the snitch returned to the pitch. Florida fell to 2-1 and will need to find the energy to face Hofstra on field five at 6:20 p.m. The dramatic victory puts BGSU squarely in the Pool 16 driver’s seat pending the conclusion of its match with UVA.