These Don’t Lie
This is how to discourage help defense. Not only does Christian Foster recognize that the poaching defender is his man, but Jon Hirschberger does the same and delivers an on-time and on-target cross-field pass. While poaching defenders are problems for all offensive structures and patterns, the vertical stack in particular suffers if the offense fails to read and attack the potential poaches.
Portland Passes the Plastic
In their 24-16 win over the Vancouver Nighthawks, four Stags recorded three assists (Meinershagen, Bjorklund, Hayes, Jensen) and four (Woodside, Penner, Perston, Melius) recorded three or more goals. Of the 21 players who played:
– All completed at least two passes
– 17 recorded a goal or an assist
– 19 played 10 or more points
We often highlight occasions in which timeouts achieve precisely what the timeout-calling team doesn’t desire, but this post-timeout play from D.C. is the opposite of that. Upline cut to Blake, huck to Johnson, goal. Eight seconds off of the clock. You’ve got to give the credit where it is due.
Vancouver Expecting to Fly
While the Nighthawks have yet to win a game, they are finding small-scale success. Over the first two games, they lost every quarter by two points or more. In the third game, they tied in the first quarter, and lost the third by 1. In each of their games this past weekend, they won a quarter by one. In addition, over the first three games, they failed to score more than a dozen points. Last weekend, they scored 16 at home and 18 on the road.
In very simple terms, scoring 18 points is rarely enough for a win. Particularly when, as in the case of the Nighthawks against the Rainmakers, the opponent scores 28. That said, the team in Vancouver is polishing the pieces and it will only be a matter of time before the pieces are bonded into a meaningful whole.
Boston roller pull, D.C.’s Aaron Richards does NOT pick it up immediately, instead allowing it to roll. Then, with players in position, Richards gets off a nice lofty outside-in flick huck to the end zone. While the pass does not result in a score, the play displays a clear understanding of the MLU’s clock rules and the ability to create a scoring opportunity in short order.
Timmy Perston takes control of this point when he gets a layout block by nearly a yard (as the offensive player is laying out too) and then books an express trip to the other end of the field. While the huck is to Hayes, Perston follows the play and provides a continuation goal. For another sneaky-good play, check in on where Raphy Hayes was when the D’d throw goes up.
The only hope for Vancouver, as we typed about last week, was for the two defenders near the disc to double the thrower just after the turn. While Portland may have settled into a successful secondary break, a quick double would likely have prevented the initial break.
These Do Lie
There are no groundchecks or defensive disc checks in MLU. This is one of my favorite rule changes from the USAU rules. Barring when restarting play after a stoppage, there is no need for these in or outside of MLU. Inside of MLU play, there is no need for these at all ever. That players have brought this irritating and largely useless habit with them from club ultimate is a pox.
By the rules, every single time a defender “Checks” the disc in the hand of a thrower, that is a foul and if called the thrower would gain 10 yards. Without recommending that MLU add a whole bunch more calls into the game, I’d like to see this disc-checking habit dropped. As for the ground check/tap, while it is in no way against the rules, it is one of the silliest things a thrower can do before throwing.
This cut from Philip Davidson takes perfect advantage of the situation, the defender and the mark. Davidson pulls his defender toward the far sideline based on position and threatening end zone, then breaks back across on balance to receive the easy inside break goal from the thrower.
Rob Baker started this by rushing down to cover a good pull, then sat in the lane. Blake, the thrower, sees Baker and fakes the swing. On that, Baker closes toward his man, but then immediately bounces back into the throwing lane. At that point, Blake throws another fake while Baker hops back into the lane before committing to taking away the reset. Blake throws upfield, either attempting to lead the reset upfield or to throw to Freddy Tsai who is already upfield. Frederick Brasz gets the block on his stat sheet, but Baker caused the block.
Not pivots, not wrist-breaking fakes, but a flick fake, an off-hand backhand fake, and then an around break. The mark, wisely, does not respond to the flick, but totally shifts his upper body (and balance) in response to the inside lefty backhand, this shift then concedes the around backhand. When we talk about the importance of off-hand throws and fakes, it is as much the threat as the actual use which turns the field into a thrower’s oyster.
OB Midfield Pulls
Gentlemen, this is not good enough. There are times when we all try to paint the corners or throw the perfect pull, but the risk is not worth the award when a valuable timeout is sacrificed.
This is among the most frustrating sights for a thrower. It is unclear if Johnson is looking for the pass to Ferraro, but had he wanted to, Rico would have been hard-pressed to complete the pass. The defender was also able to sit in the lane to either prevent a throw or to constrict the throwing lane.
Both teams gave full effort, which led to a number of eye-popping blocks and near-goals, but the overall quality was a boon for D.C. trying to run the clock out and a burden for the Rumble as they attempted a late comeback.
Midfield Heave as Time Expires
Brownlee for the score over the scrum! (Keep an eye on Tsai and Blake after the goal.)
D.C. pulls OB with two seconds left in the third quarter, Boston throws a hammer for a goal.