SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Rainmakers (0-2) fell to the Portland Stags (3-0) today, 25-22, in their first home game of the season in the warm Seattle sunshine.
How it Happened: Seattle came out strong against their southern rivals, trying to take revenge for their loss to the Stags in Week 1 (16-22). In the first quarter the teams traded points, ending the first quarter Rainmakers 7-6. In the second quarter Seattle increased their lead to three, 13-10. In the middle of the third quarter Portland stepped it up, converting five breaks and powering their way back into the game, ending the third quarter tied at 19-19. The Rainmakers lost at the mental game towards the end, letting the Stags take over and outscore them 6-3 in the fourth quarter. With a final score of 25-22, the Portland Stags are 3-0 and sit atop the MLU’s Western Conference.
Turning Point: The turning point of the game came in the latter part of the third quarter. At halftime the Rainmakers led the Stags 13-10. Early in the second half, Seattle scored five goals and Portland scored three, bringing the score to 18-13, with a healthy five-point lead for the Rainmakers. Then something clicked for Portland, as they went on a five-point run, assisted by a number of unforced errors on Seattle’s part. Going into the fourth, Portland had forced the score tied at 19-19. In the beginning of the fourth quarter the Stags pulled ahead by two, but the Rainmakers responded with two of their own, tying the score at 21-21. However, the second half of the fourth quarter was dominated by Portland with the Stags scoring four points in a row for 25-21. The Rainmakers could not come back from the deficit, even though they had a nice last goal to bring the final score to 25-22.
Stat of the Game: 3 to 10, the ratio of breaks in the second half. The Rainmakers got only three breaks in the second half, two in the third quarter and one break in the fourth. The Stags, on the other hand, got five breaks in the third quarter and five in the fourth quarter, helping them to tie the game in the third. Portland then used their breaks to outscore the Rainmakers, definitively winning the game.
Player of the Game: Raphy Hayes of the Stags. Raphy scored a goal, threw seven assists and made three blocks in the 24 points he played. He had a 94 percent completion rate for his 17 throws. He had a layout block near the end zone to stop the Rainmakers from scoring in the fourth quarter. Instead of the score tying back up at 22, the Stags got the momentum from Hayes’s wicked play and scored three more points before the end of the game.
Quotable: “Not gonna lie, it was really disappointing,” said Clay Dewey-Valentine about Seattle’s loss to the Stags. “We brought it in the first half. It felt like some shots went our way. In the second half, I think we got flustered. I think our team started thinking a lot about what we were doing and the state of the game, and we let that get to us and threw a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers.” Dewey-Valentine is confident in the Rainmakers ability to learn from today’s game. “On the bright side, that’s very fixable. That’s things that we can control about our mentality and about our presence of mind and throwing to our receivers and making smart decisions.”
What’s Next: Both the Stags and Rainmakers are home next weekend. The Stags (3-0) return to Portland to face the visiting San Francisco Dogfish (1-0), Saturday April 23 at 5:00 p.m. PT, facing a rested Dogfish team that had a bye this weekend. The Rainmakers (0-2) will face the Vancouver Nighthawks at Mount Vernon High School, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. PT.