Photo by Scobel Wiggins – Ultiphotos.com
 
As we look forward to the 2017 MLU Season, we’ve decided to remember some of our favorite moments for the 2016.  We can highlight amazing catches, fantastic blocks and incredible throws all year long, but in this series, we will be looking back at the moments that may not have shown up on the highlight reel or the boxscore.
 
Mike Grill, assistant coach of the Portland Stags, shares his five favorite moments from the Stag’s 2016 season: 
 
1.) The Home Crowd. Home-field advantage is massive in the MLU (unless you are hosting the Stags on the west coast) and having a big crowd for every single game was great. We played three consecutive road games and didn’t have a home game for over a month, but coming back to a nearly packed house for our game against Vancouver was such a huge lift. 
 
Milwaukie, OR:   Portland Stags vs Seattle Rainmakers in the Western Conference Championship game for Major League Ultimate (MLU) at Milwaukie High School Stadium.  Saturday, June 25, 2016. © Rowdy Webb for Ultiphotos.com.

The Stags moved to Milwaukie High School Stadium and went undefeated in front of faithful fans in 2016.(Photo by Rowdy Webb – Ultiphotos).

 

2.) Winning the West. After coming up short the last two years, it was a huge relief to simply come out fast and hard in the first quarter and never look back. It was also pretty great to secure the Western Conference at home this year in front of all of our loyal supporters. . WATCH FULL GAME
PORTLAND, OR:  Portland Stags vs Seattle Rainmakers in the Western Conference Championship game on Saturday June 25, 2016 at Milwaukie High School in Portland, OR. All Rights Reserved. © John King for UltiPhotos.com.

In their third consecutive Western Conference Final, the Stags defeated the Seattle Rainmakers to advance to their first MLU Championship appearance. (Photo by John King – Ultiphotos.com)

 
3.) Cody Bjorklund‘s series of hammers in the game against Boston. If I remember correctly, Cody threw three or four hammer assists (maybe 2 assists and a hockey assist) in the fourth quarter that brought us back within striking distance. As soon as he threw the first one, I thought we were going to comeback and win. It just shows how he can step up and take over a game when he wants. WATCH FULL GAME
Portland's Cody Bjorklund with the disc, marked by the Whitecaps' Ryan Richardson. Action from the Boston Whitecaps game against the Portland (OR) Stags in Major League Ultimate. The Whitecaps would prevail in a tight contest, 22-21. Hormel Stadium, Medford, MA. May 21, 2016. © Marshall Goff for UltiPhotos.

Despite being the Stags only loss in the regular season, Cody Bjorklund (1 goal, 5 assists) led all scorers in cross-divisional game against the Boston Whitecaps. (Photo by Marshall Goff – Ultiphotos.com)

 
4.) Sam Franer‘s sky against Seattle. We had just taken the lead again, 22-21, and a break would have put us up two with about three minutes to go. Sam was one of the last few guys that we took from tryouts, but he stepped up huge in this game (and every other game after) and his sky over Ostergaard seemed to come out of no where – that and Ostergaard has Sam by about a foot, maybe two. I think that moment also put Seattle in their place since they really didn’t compete with us the rest of the year. WATCH FULL GAME

 
5.) Tad Jensen‘s Callahan in the Championship. We were down a few goals early in the 4th quarter. Tad capitalized on a mistake by the Spinners at the perfect moment. I thought this was going to spark a late comeback,which it almost did. WATCH FULL GAME