2018 Holy City Cup Tournament Recap
Oct. 1, 2018 • Andrew Maron
After going against tradition and delaying our yearly tournament until the fall, we were finally able to host the Holy City Cup! With no hurricanes in sight, we welcomed the beautiful (if a little hot) first day of fall as the perfect day for hurling.
We were able to open our tournament with a collegiate match-up between the Citadel and UNC-Chapel Hill. We also had a few players from the Virginia Tech hurling club join UNC for the duration of the tournament. With this being their first-ever tournament appearance, the Citadel was excited for the opportunity to play against other students. In contrast, UNC has 4 years of experience as a club, and it certainly showed against the relatively green Citadel team. The Citadel put on a great showing, despite the fact that this game was the first time several of their players had touched a hurl. As we often see, experience was the deciding factor of this match:
Final score - UNC: 8-12 (36) to the Citadel: 3-1 (10)
For the second match of the day, Charleston finally hit the pitch to face off against Augusta. The last time these teams met, Augusta had only recently reformed as a team, with many of the players still new to the game. Surely Augusta saw this as their opportunity to show how much they had improved since the last Holy City Cup, hoping to take revenge for Charleston claiming the Azuela Cup two years ago. Fortunately for Charleston, that would not be the case. Between Charleston being more experienced, and having enough subs to have fielded a second team if they had chosen to do so, the game quickly fell out of reach for Augusta:
Final score – Charleston: 6-6 (24) to Augusta: 1-5 (8)
Of the four official games played in this tournament, this was undoubtedly the most exciting to watch. Augusta and UNC matched up perfectly to create a competitive game where neither team could gain an advantage over the other. Under the brutal heat of the early afternoon, both teams pushed themselves to the limit, having to rely heavily on their goalies making critical saves to keep their team from falling behind. By the time the whistle blew, everyone was scrambling to learn the final score as the game was too close to keep track. With the final score being so close, the lesson to be learned is not to forget to go for points:
Final score – Augusta: 3-9: (18) to UNC: 4-4 (16)
Going into the final match of the day, the mentality was essentially “winner-take-all.” The heat was bearing down on everyone, most of the water had already been consumed, and we were all looking ahead to the afters at Tommy Condon’s. After giving UNC time to recover from their exciting match against Augusta, Charleston and UNC faced off to determine the champion. However, with Charleston scoring five goals to none in just the first ten minutes of the match, it seemed like a winner had already been decided. At the conclusion of the half, Charleston was up 6-4 to UNC’s 1-1. While the second half was certainly more competitive, Charleston continued to score goals at-will, making it impossible for UNC to overcome the first-half deficit:
Final score – Charleston: 12-6 (42) to UNC: 6-2 (20)
Offensive Player of the Tournament
Chris Stratton was voted Best Offensive Player due to his ability to score goals at-will, scoring at least five goals in the final match against UNC.
Defensive Player of the Tournament
Ryan Finn was voted Best Defensive Player, allowing only seven goals between the two games, compared to Charleston's 18 goals scored.
Paul Moore was voted tournament MVP for always being the first person at mid-field to make it to the ball, and for providing the critical support necessary to move the ball back to offensive side of the field.
Special Shout-Out to the Rookies
Much of our success in the tournament was due to the overwhelming number of players who turned out to play for Charleston. Three of our rookies, Ryan Barrs, Charlie Kerr, and Mike Speers, showed how far they’ve come in just a short month’s worth of practice, playing exceptionally well in both matches.
Congratulations to the Charleston Hurling Club!
With a 2-0 record, Charleston was declared champions of the Holy City Cup, returning the cup to its rightful home! While this was the smallest HCC in recent years, it makes the win no less sweet. The club and visitors spent the rest of the evening enjoying drinks and food at Tommy Condon’s, taking turns drinking from the Holy City Cup. The Charleston Hurling Club would like to thank our sponsors from McCann’s Irish Pub for coming out and providing affordable lunches to everyone at the tournament, and Tommy Condon’s for hosting the after party. We were happy to host the UNC-Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech hurling clubs, and hope to see them again in our future tournaments. Finally, we hope to return the tournament to the former glory of past years, seeing the return of our regional rivals Atlanta and Greenville, and taking a shot at previous Holy City Cup winners and current National Champions, Coastal Virginia. Up Charleston!