LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 11: A microphone is seen before the grand finals match of the Rocket League Championship Series World Championship between team Dignitas and team Cloud9 at the Orleans Arena on November 11, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Team Cloud9 defeated team Dignitas. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

This week’s College Esports Match of the Week takes us to CRL 2021 where LSU took on University of Texas – Dallas.

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Game 1: Who’s the underdog?

LSU enters the game a clear favorite, yet UT-Dallas were the ones to get off to a strong start. Their offense looked great in the opening minutes of the first game, and while it didn’t translate into points, time of possession was skewed strong towards Texas.

They finally managed to get it to show on the scoreboard at 2:13 into the match as Lubey stole the ball and mid-field, and despite a bump, stuck with the play and drew first blood. Things went from bad to worse after that for LSU, as Lubey got a shot off the kick-off and managed to score again just 4 seconds later.

LSU seemed to wake up after that. Their offense started clicking and they finally started converting possessions into shots on net. With 43 seconds left in the match, Lohtek got LSU on the board. That’s where it would end however as UT-Dallas takes game 1 by a 2-1 margin.

Game 2: Missed Opportunities

No one would argue that LSU wasn’t in total control of this game, however missed shots and missed 50/50’s meant that despite dominating the time of possession, LSU couldn’t get any points on the board. After 5 minutes of seemingly nothing but LSU booming the ball into UT-Dallas’ zone, we found ourselves in a scoreless overtime in game two.

Ghost almost made them pay for it immediately as well, as they found themselves with a wide open net off the kick-off. The ball sailed wide however. Finally, LSU’s Brohnb snuck one in on the far corner to give LSU the match. It’s a good thing too, because they would have been kicking themselves if they’d let UT-Dallas steal this one away.

Game 3: How did it miss?!

LSU seemed to have difficulty with possessions on the kick-off all day, and this time UT-Dallas made them pay for it. Just 7 seconds into the match, Dalton basically rode the ball off the ceiling and into the LSU net. Not content to let that be the way things went, Brohnb found the back of the UT-Dallas net 40 seconds later.

Brohnb then showed off his skills in defense, making an excellent save against Lubey. AyJacks then made a stellar play, tapping the ball forward before boosting under it and demolishing the last defender between him and the net.

A mental misstep however lead to Ghost tying the game up 2-2 with a wide open net. Ayjacks seemed to take it personally, and once again took the ball unassisted to the net. Everyone seemed to fall back defensively, waiting for the right moment to take the ball away from them until it was too late. Some missed opportunities late give LSU the 3-2 win in game 3.

Game 4: Trying to stay alive

Game 4 got off to a slower start, with Dalton getting the action started 58 seconds in. They get UT-Dallas on the board. LSU struck back however as BrohnB put a strong shot on net, that still went in despite Ghost getting a piece of it.

Both teams transitioned into playing some strong defense after that, and so the score remained 1-1 all the way until there were only 48 seconds left. Finally, UT-Dallas got another one as Ghost snuck one in behind a low-boost Ayjacks.

An amazing last second shot was narrowly deflected by Lubey to give UT-Dallas the win. Both teams are now at 2 wins, and we’re going to a game 5 rubber match!

Game 5: The Rubber Match

Both teams are feeling the pressure as the game gets underway, but UT-Dallas might be feeling the heat as they look to upset LSU. Some sloppy defense by UT-Dallas allows Ayjacks to carry the ball into the net for an early 1-0 lead.

As they say in Louisiana, or at least as they should say, when in doubt leave it to Ayjacks. Forcing Dalton into a tricky decision, Ayjacks was able to score again and give a 2-0 lead to LSU with a couple minutes remaining in the match.

With the pressure really on now, UT-Dallas turned up the heat. A quick goal by Dalton put Dallas right back in the match. While LSU did their best to slam the door shut after that, a mid field shot by Dalton with six seconds left found no one in front of it. UT-Dallas forces Overtime!

Overtime was a furious affair, as both teams had their chances to win it. By the 5 minute mark, both teams had suffered heartbreaking misses and pulse-pounding saves. Overtime was so exciting that was almost sad to see it end. But end it did at the +7:38 mark as Dalton finally blasted one into the LSU net, giving UT-Dallas an amazing game 5 overtime win!

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Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images