GOAT recovered from a weak Thursday performance to dominate Sub Zero in prequarters
October 17, 2014 by Alec Surmani in News, Recap with 0 comments
Looking like the kind of team their past few regular seasons have hinted at, Toronto GOAT put together maybe their best game of the weekend so far to oust Minneapolis Sub Zero in convincing fashion, winning 14-10 in prequarters.
All game long, GOAT remained patient and focused with the disc. Rather than looking out at a sea of confused cutters before hucking it into multiple coverage like they were occasionally prone to do at times earlier in the season, Toronto stayed disciplined and used their vast array of tools to overwhelm Minneapolis.
Jumping ahead early and gaining separation by way of racking up four breaks in the second half, Toronto overpowered Minneapolis, thanks in large part to their ability to establish a deep game from the onset.
“We started to cut deep more and if we could break free we were gonna put it,” GOAT coach Scott Hastie said. “We didn’t want to baby every disc in. It didn’t go our way a lot of the time yesterday.”
Such an approach was immediately apparent. GOAT’s second and third scores of the game came on hucks from Thomson McKnight to Mark Lloyd, the latter of which skied for goal a whopping four times in the contest. Cam Harris pitched in three assists and one goal of his own, while Jeff Lindquist, apparently feeling no effects from his punctured lung suffered at Regionals, was all over the field, notching three assists and three goals.
Fortunately for Toronto, only one of their 11 turnovers were only capitalized on, as Minneapolis continued to struggle to convert their opportunities.
Sub Zero captain Thomas Murray said his team wanted to alter their D line’s approach on offense, compared to Thursday’s strategy of trying to move the disc around a lot.
“Yesterday, we were more patient and would turn it on a swing,” Murray said. “It’s really frustrating when you get the disc and never send it to the endzone. Today we wanted to take some shots.”
Indeed they did, putting up a number of jacks to cutters who often had little separation. Unfortunately for Sub Zero, almost none of those deep looks worked out.
Part of their lack of success in that respect could be attributed to the fact that Minneapolis didn’t switch over O line starters as much as they maybe could have, particularly late in the game when Toronto began pulling away.
Murray noted that part of the reason for this was because GOAT’s defense was so good that Sub Zero needed their offensive players fresh for offense.
“They did a great job making Simon (Montague) and Josh (Klane) work to get the disc every time,” Murray said. “They pushed them upfield a lot, which not too many other teams have done to us.”
The diminished presence of those commonly dominant Sub Zero handlers was evident. Montague, Klane, and Eric Johnson not only put up fewer hucks, but in general seemed to not break free as often, and, when they did, often had less separation. Only Nick Stuart continued his usual dominance — albeit usually through skying on big floaters — scoring twice and tallying three assists.
GOAT, on the other hand, with their larger arsenal of weapons, rarely experienced a diminished impact from their stars.
Lloyd rocked defenders in the air throughout the match. O line handlers McKnight and Harris both let rip a slurry of beautiful long balls.
Perhaps more importantly, however, were their D line handlers. Anatoly Vasilyev and Derek Alexander excelled at maintaining possession and directed the D line offense, making sure resets were always available and asserting a chilly mentality as GOAT repeatedly worked it up.
Alexander, in particular, seemed to be consistently burning his defenders both upline and back, changing directions and abusing the momentum of defenders at will. Sub Zero players could be heard on the sideline after GOAT breaks discussing their frustration at not knowing how to contend with Alexander’s lethal quickness.
His leadership was essential to Toronto’s surge in the second half.
Though GOAT managed to protect their one-break lead going into the break up 8-7, the first half was largely a display of offensive prowess on both sides. The second half was another story.
After holding downwind out of half to go up 9-7, Toronto received a gift from Minneapolis when Montague threw a scoober too high for Stuart just 15 yards out of their own endzone. GOAT waited for cutters to find space and punched it in to take a commanding 10-7 lead.
Sub Zero held upwind to make it 10-8 and even got a shot to break back when a GOAT deep shot went out the back. But an errant huck gave the disc back to Toronto, and they held with another sky from Lloyd.
A long, sloppy point ensued with both teams missing the mark and looking winded. It would be GOAT that cleaned it up first though, giving them the break and 12-8 lead in a game to 14.
They would coast from there and close out 14-10.
Sub Zero drop to the Pro Flight Play-In bracket, squaring off against Austin Doublewide, while GOAT will face the defending world and national champs in quarters.
Yet, despite the daunting challenge, Toronto remain confident. And with good reason, as GOAT have not lost to Revolver in either of their two match-ups in the past two years.
To be fair, both those contests were at the Pro Flight Finale and don’t quite reflect the kind of team Revolver is at Nationals, and GOAT know that. But their coach said his team will be ready.
“We know we’re the underdog,” Hastie said with a smile.