Club Corner: Preying Manti finish third
Oberlin began the tournament early Saturday morning with a difficult loss to Illinois but picked it up, easily defeating Indiana and Ohio State University. The fierce Oberlin Bugs held the two teams to a combined score of less than 10 points. The day ended on a high note as senior Phoebe Beierle scored the final point of her final game as a Mantis to clinch their win that afternoon and assure them a place in the top eight the next day.
Sunday morning found the Manti psyched and energized to face arch-rival Ohio University in the quarter finals, the first of the single-elimination rounds.
Although OU took the first half 8-7, the second half belonged to the Manti, who proceeded to shut down OU’s offense with an unbreakable zone defense. They repeatedly forced turnovers in the end zone, culminating in a beautifully executed play by senior Lyrica Hammann.
The game ended with a 14-12 win for the Manti, putting them in excellent spirits for their next game in the semi-finals versus number one seed Northwestern. The Manti traded points with Northwestern for a grueling hour and a half until they fell behind by one in double game point to lose 11-10.
Still smiling despite their loss, the Manti rushed the field amidst the cheers along the sideline.
“We might have lost the game, but we took the number one seed 11-10 and that’s a damn good showing,” sophomore Erica Kapitan-Daniel said.
The tournament marked a bittersweet moment for the Manti, who are losing five seniors this year, including captain Tina Bosch and also former captain Hammann, whose amazing leadership brought the team to their highest standing since 1997.
Other departing seniors include Beierle, Sarah “Curly” Fanucchi and Becca Brooke. All five environmental studies majors will leave a large void, but a veritable plethora of rookies remain to carry the team next season. The Manti will aim their sights a little higher and start browsing for cheap flights to Nationals 2005.
Carmen Welton is a member of the Preying Manti.