Photo by Jeff Bell – UltiPhotos.com
The league saw only three matchups this weekend, with both the D.C. Current (2-0) and Boston Whitecaps (1-2) on bye. On the East Coast fans were treated to a wild MLU Live game from the Rumble (0-2) and Spinners (2-1). Out West we had matchups with the Dogfish (1-2) at the Rainmakers (1-2) and the Stags (3-0) at the Nighthawks (1-2). The Rainmakers managed to snag their first win, while the Stags now have a victory over every team in the Western Conference.
21 – 16
The Rumble came into the matchup as underdogs with a depleted squad. Of the eight MLU experts, no one chose New York to come away with a victory. The only question was how much of a thrashing they were going to receive. The Rumble had other plans and started the game by taking both the first and second quarters by a point to enter the locker room with a 10-8 lead. But the Rumble’s exhausted bench were unable to maintain the intensity, and Philly wasn’t going down without a fight.
“We definitely were tentative out of the gate, and New York took advantage,” said Billy Sickles. “The defense led the way, forced them into some difficult throws and we forced them to use their limited legs as much as we could.”
The Spinners regrouped at halftime and took the third quarter 7-1. The second half became the story of the Spinners defense. While New York was able to find their rhythm again in the fourth quarter, it became too little, too late as the Spinners had already built too much of a lead.
“Our defense was relentless,” said Spinners captain Nick Hirannet. “We made them work for every throw and it paid off in the second half when we started capitalizing on their turns.”
With this loss the Rumble are still winless, while the Spinners are back on pace to take second in the Eastern Conference.
17 – 20
The Rainmakers grabbed their first victory of the season against the Dogfish in a game of offensive runs with both teams showcasing their defensive efforts. The Rainmakers defense came out strong and led the team to a five-point run in the first quarter, giving them a 6-1 lead over the Dogfish. While no MLU team has yet to win after having more than a four-point deficit, the Dogfish came close. A total of 12 points was scored in the second quarter alone, eight by the Dogfish, enough to bring the game within one. The Rainmakers were able to rally in the second half after the Dogfish tied it at 10, winning the quarter 6-3 and securing their lead.
“Each week we’re still trying to figure everything out,” said Mark Burton. “I wish we figured it out in Week 1, but I’ll take Week 3. Our D is really stepping up, getting us these breaks. D won us this game; O kept us in it.”
The fourth quarter saw both teams trading points, but the Rainmakers never lost their comfortable lead. While the Dogfish had to rely on catching tipped discs and a buzzer beater hammer to keep them in the game the Rainmakers found themselves finally clicking as a unit.
The Rainmakers first win brings both teams to 1 – 2 and leaves the fate of the Western Conference up in the air.
Read the full Rapid Reaction here.
20 – 24
While the 37 points of the last two games may have seemed high, the Stags and Nighthawks put on a scoring clinic with 44 points in one game. Vancouver scored the first point, but the Stags quickly built themselves a cushion to ride out the game. While the other West Coast matchup was a game of streaks, the Stags maintained a slim lead for most of the game.
“Portland was pretty good at shutting down our initial play,” said Brendan Wong. “We just weren’t quick enough to react and adapt to that. Had a few too many turns and a little too much stagnancy.”
With the Nighthawks matching them point for point in the second and third quarters, the Stags were able to finally seal their victory in a slow fourth quarter where they outscored the Nighthawks 4 – 2.
“I’m really happy with how the defense played this weekend,” said Cody Bjorklund. “The Nighthawks pulled within three a few times, but with how well our D-line was playing I wasn’t worried. I hope to really focus on the offense in the next few weeks, so we can iron out some kinks. We really dropped this weekend, especially me with the number of turns I had.”
The Nighthawks join the rest of the Western Conference at 1-2, and the Stags take an early season lead at 3-0.
Read the full Rapid Reaction here.
Week 4 Matchups
D.C. Current vs. Boston Whitecaps
Saturday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET | Watch on MLU Live
D.C. Current vs. New York Rumble
Sunday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. ET | Buy Tickets
San Francisco Dogfish at Portland Stags
Sunday, May 10 at 1:00 p.m. PT | Buy Tickets