Sunday, March 29, 2015

80 in 80: University of Miami

As part of our efforts to preview all 80 teams competing in USQ World Cup 8, the Quidditch Post is chatting with representatives from each team. Today we spoke with Shannon Moorhead, captain of the University of Miami (UM).

Photo by Nina Fernandini

Quidditch Post: Well, the regional championship streak is finally over. It was nice of the team to let someone else win it for once. Do you think the past success will have any impact on Miami come World Cup?
Shannon: Haha, yeah. I mean, we decided we had hogged it long enough.. Actually, I think past shortcomings are going to affect the team more than past success.  We won the last two regional championships, yet have been unable to make it past the Round of 32 at World Cup.  We were even one of the favorites at World Cup VI, but time and time again we fall JUST short of advancing. The team's eager to prove that we can perform under pressure, especially in light of the tournament results this weekend.

QP: What are your goals for World Cup 8?
Shannon: Well, obviously the primary goal is winning. But considering that this is only the first or second year most of our players have played, and that Miami seems to be cursed, I'd be pretty content with making it to the Sweet 16 (if there is still a Sweet 16 in this new format).  We want to prove that while the South isn't anything to marvel at, we can keep up just fine with out-of-region teams.  On the field, we just have to remember to play hard and stay calm; we have a tendency to get heated when questionable calls stop going our way, but if we keep our cool and play our game, it'll be a good tournament for us.

QP: How is the team preparing for World Cup? I venture that you have better weather than many other teams.
Shannon: Yes, we are so lucky in that respect. As long as it doesn't rain (which it could at literally any moment in Miami), we get to practice outside three days a week every week of the year. Conditioning and scrimmaging in the hot, humid weather gets us into great physical shape for World Cup rather quickly.

QP: As a Team USA selection, you are obviously one of the most well-known players. Who else would you say is crucial to the team's success?
Shannon: Bernie Berges and Colter Lasley are our top scorers. Bernie has really stepped up this year after we lost Sean Beloff. Our male beaters are also critical; they all have lots of experience and know the game very well. They've won us quite a few matches.

QP: What makes players like Bernie and Colter so good?
Shannon: They're both fast, have good hands, and they know how to create their own shot. They can score just as easily on their own as they can when fed nice passes. They pass well and are adept at making different kinds of shots from a variety of spots on the field.

QP: How would you describe UM's style of play?
Shannon: Fast-paced. We get by on speed and finesse.

QP: Do you think that might be harmful if you come up against a more physical team, such as is typical of the Southwest?
Shannon: It definitely could. Though we have some physical players, our team as a whole is fairly small. Playing in the South doesn't prepare you for physicality, and that was definitely a factor in our loss to the College of Charleston Quidditch at the regional championship. That was the first team to really start hitting us that weekend.

QP: Do you think the Swiss Style will have any impact?
Shannon: I've thought about it, and I can't decide. I kind of like the idea of not knowing what we're going to be up against. When we overly prepare for a team, we tend to think we know what to expect and can have a hard time adjusting if it catches us off guard and changes things up.

QP: What do you hope your team takes away from the experience?
Shannon: Hopefully, we have a good showing and we learn that we can keep up with other regions. I want to make sure that after this tournament, everyone realizes we have lots of work to do for next season to get where we want to be. But more than anything, I hope everyone has's just more fun when you win. Haha.

QP: Any teams in particular you hope to face?
Shannon: I would love to play the Warriors. It'd be really fun for us to play against our former teammates, Beloff and Jackson DellaRocca. There'd be a lot of shit-talking.

QP: Thanks, Shannon; we appreciate your time.
Shannon: Thank you, man! I know it takes a lot to write these articles, and it’s really cool that you guys do this.

No comments:

Post a Comment