(We meant to post this yesterday… but it didn’t happen. Better late than never…)
Men’s Summer League played its semifinal and Chump Cup rounds on Tuesday. Here’s what went down and what to expect in the finals on Thursday night.
THE CHUMP CUP
It began with the Chump Cup Bracket, which I’m glad I didn’t take the time to thoroughly introduce. You can read about last year’s Chump Cup here. This year the format was going to be slightly different. Whereas previously the Chump Cup winner was the “best of the worst,” meaning the winner of the loser’s bracket, this year the Chump Cup was going to be the “worst of the worst,” meaning the absolute loser of the loser’s bracket. I know that we, personally, were pretty excited to see who this year’s true Chumpion was going to be.
What I didn’t suppose was that all four teams would simultaneously prove that they were true Chumpions. Not one Chump Cup contender was actually able to field a team on Tuesday, and thus all four squads have been declared 2012 Chump Cup Chumpions. Congrats; you suck.
Chump Cup failings aside, this year’s Semifinal Round was pretty darned good.
Whalers 13, Bombers 11
In the quarterfinals, the #1 Whalers just barely squeaked by the #8 Kings while the #3 Bombers annihilated the #6 Dutchmen. In our Semifinal Preview we estimated that “If both rosters show up, this ought to be a good one.” The Whalers got the message; the Bombers did not and only two defenders showed up. This proved to be the difference, and though Dan Faricy bravely picked up a longpole to fill in the gap, the Bombers were unable to simultaneously contend with the threats of Austin Huckvale, Patrick Tunison, and Jake Misner.
The Whalers struck first but the Bombers quickly answered to even the score at 1 a piece. This set the tone for the remainder of the game. During the first half, the Whalers would pull ahead by one, only to have the Bombers even it — the teams were knotted going into halftime. Early in the 3rd the Bombers finally earned their first lead of the game, however this would be short-lived. By late in the 4th the Whalers were up 12-10. The Bombers earned a long possession but were unable find a chink in the armor of goalie Kevin Kaup, who put the Bombers on lockdown for the final 5 minutes.
Manly Men 9, Scoundrels 7
Both the #5 Manly Men and #7 Scoundrels upset higher-seeded opponents in the quarterfinals to reach this game. The Scoundrels have been riding a late-summer swell while the Manly Men have been on a season-long roller coaster ride.
For reasons unknown, many of the Manly Men midfielders opted to blow off these semifinals and the Men played with 5 poles, 3 attack, 3 middies, and 1 goalie. For the majority of the game, the men played with a long stick midfielder on both offense and defense. This handicap reared its head early and the Scoundrels jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. The Men were able to get on the board before the end of the first quarter but entered the second set down 5-1.
The Scoundrels were unable to maintain momentum in the 2nd quarter and the Manly Men scored 3 to the Scoundrels’ 1. At half the score was 6-5 Scoundrels, but the Manly Mens’ mustaches were tingling as they sensed blood in the water.
The 3rd quarter began with an Idaho ground ball extravaganza that went on for about 90 seconds. At the end of the mayhem, the Scoundrels came up with the rock and snuck it past Manly Men goalie Shawn Carman to increase their lead to 7-5.
Unfortunately for the Scoundrels, this would be their last goal. Here’s what happened at the end, courtesy of Shawn Carman:
I am not sure what the score of the Men was going into the 4th, but what ever it was the Men played hard pressure defense causing many turnovers and ground balls despite having played the entire game and being dog tired. The men were able to tie the game up with about 3 mins to go in the game with a goal by Tim Westhusin that stuck the top left corner. With less than 3 mins to go in the game I (Shawn Carman) made a fast break 1 on 1 save on Aaron Garrison which was soon after followed by a door step save on Pat McIntyre with less than 2 mins to go in the game to keep the Men in the lead by one. After the saves the Men ended going up by one goal with less than 2 min to go in the game (goal by whom, I don’t know…Jon Mundy probably). The men would seal the deal with a long clear pass to AJ Gravel who would score the final goal of the game making the score 9 to 7 in favor of the Men with about 30 seconds left in the game.
6:30 – Chump Cup Free For All* (Kings & Dutchmen vs Oat & Four Horsemen) – Field #1
7:00 – 3rd Place Game: Bombers vs Scoundrels – Field #2
7:30 – Championship: Whalers vs Manly Men – Field #1
#5 Manly Men vs. #1 Whalers
These two teams met twice in the regular season and the Whalers took each game. In Week One, the Whalers snuck by 11-9. In Week Four, the Whalers drubbed the Men 15-5. After the Brawl in McCall, the Manly Men are injury stricken — Jon Mundy is playing through a wrecked shoulder while Chase Hanchett is sitting with two broken fingers. If the Manly Men are going to dig this one out, the Men’s entire team is going to have to show up.
Even if the Manly Men do field a full roster, they have their work cut out for them. Containing Misner, Tunison, and Huckvale is no small feat. Meanwhile defender Josh Rude is back to anchor the defense and Kevin Kaup is a notorious gamer in the cage.
The Manly Men are determined, but we give the advantage to the Whalers. Prediction? 13-8 Whalers.
Whalers: Goals 125… #2 in League // Against 93… #3 // Avg Score: 11.4… #2 // Avg Against: 8.5… #3 // Goal Ratio: 1.34… #2
Manly Men: Goals 112…#3 // Against 106… #6 // Avg Score: 10.2… #3 // Avg Against: 9.6… #6 // Goal Ratio: 1.05… #4
- This game features two PNCLL defensive MVPs in goalies Shawn Carman (Manly Men) and Kevin Kaup (Whalers).
- We’re proud to announce that Buss Automotive is the sponsor of the ILA Men’s Summer League Championship! All players participating in the championship game will receive a free oil change at Buss Automotive and the winner will be awarded the Buss Automotive Summer Cup!! Thanks, Buss!