The defending Global Games champion, Team USA, does it again.
Quidditch has taken off internationally, but at the 2014 Global Games, Team USA proved that the sport has one true home.
The United States captured their second international championship in resounding fashion, beating the Drop Bears of Australia 210*-0 in the championship match.
The United States came out fired up from the get go.
“This is your time to take what is ours,” said Team USA Coach Mitch Cavender. “This is your time to take your place among the greats who have ever played this sport.”
Team USA jumped on Australia right away, putting up a flurry of quick goals led by Kedzie Teller straight off brooms up. The American beaters were dominant throughout the contest, maintaining control for the majority of the match, with Sam “Sunshine” Roitblat pulling the snitch to seal the gold medal.
Both teams in the championship match went undefeated prior to facing off in the final round robin game, but nonetheless took a different path. The Americans were largely unchallenged, as was nearly universally expected, while the Drop Bears captured numerous close contests.
The United States kicked off its tournament with a 130-70* win over Canada that was not nearly as close as the score indicated, as the Canadians scored two of the final three goals prior to the snitch grab. The United States continued to cruise with a 250*-20 win over France, a 150*-0 victory over the United Kingdom and a 220*-10 win over Mexico all prior to a Belgium forfeit. Against both France and Mexico, the United States notched goals early and often, averaging over a goal per minute in the 40 total minutes of gameplay. The United Kingdom showed a stout defense against the Americans, displaying spurts of excellence, but were unable to put points on the board against the resolute United States squad.
While the United States was routing all comers, the Australians were continuously fighting for pride and their tournament life. In their first game of the day, Australia defeated the defending runners up France, who upset Australia two years ago at the 2012 Olympic Expo, 160-90* (OT). Although the Drop Bears maintained a constant lead in regulation, a France snitch catch sent the contest into overtime, which Australia dominated, notching seven goals in the five-minute extra frame.
In their next game, the Australians started off rusty against newcomer Mexico, falling behind 60-40 before rallying for a 140*-70 victory. A 160*-0 drubbing of Belgium temporarily righted the shift, before clutch seeking brought the Drop Bears to a 5-0 record. First Australia overcame the United Kingdom 80^-50* on a Dameon Osbourn snitch catch, then in a back-and-forth game that saw neither team lead by more than a goal, and a spot in the championship match on the line, Osborn sent his team, securing a 70*-40 win over Canada.
In the final round robin match, with both teams assured a spot in the gold medal match, the United States bested Australia 130*-20.
The hosts took third place besting the United Kingdom 70*-40 in an excellent match between the two. The UK jumped out to a 30-0 lead, but were unable to hold on as Canada scored three of the final four goals and caught the snitch for the victory.
Aside from each team’s losses to the United States and Australia, neither team was challenged. Both teams led by 70 quaffle points over Belgium when the Gryffins caught the snitch against each. Both sides also handled Mexico rather easily, with the Canadians winning 230*-10 and the United Kingdom triumphing 140*-40. Canada demolished France 170*-20, while the United Kingdom also won 130*-50. In the head-to-head match between the two, Canada emerged victorious 100*-20.
Mexico took fifth with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over France. France started strong, leading 30-0, 60-10 and 80-20, but Mexico scored two unanswered goals and caught a clutch snitch to take a 90*-80 victory and earn fifth place in its first Global Games appearance.
Mexico surprised out of the gate, winning two of its first four games: over Belgium 150*-80 in the opener and over France 110*-60 before losing its final two round robin games. France also started off well, taking Australia to overtime before surrendering 70 overtime quaffle points. France then suffered a series of setbacks, but won its fourth game over Belgium 140-60*.
Belgium finished seventh, going winless. The Gryffins caught three of five snitches, but were unable to muster a victory. Due to a series of injuries and exhaustion toward the end of the day, Belgium was forced to forfeit its final match against the United States.