Photo by Scott Houghtaling – UltiPhotos.com
It was a short week in the MLU with two teams on each coast on bye. While the Spinners and Rumble game quickly became a blowout, it still was highlighted with some great play from both teams. The real story of the weekend came out West where the Stags and Rainmakers duked it out in their first rematch with both teams showing why they are favorites to make the playoffs.
10 – 25
The Rumble were able to matchup with the Spinners in the first quarter, only allowing up one break, but the Spinners started running away with the game in the second quarter where they outscored the Rumble 8-2. The Spinners starting it off with five-straight goal. New York was finally able to put one in on offense and stop the run, but they were only able to score a point while Philadelphia was able to put in another three.
New York needed to make up significant ground, but errors from the Rumble piled on and the Spinners continued to pull away. One of the most telling plays of the game came at the end of the third quarter when Nick Hirannet sent a forehand deep as time was expiring. The disc sailed over intended target Ben Scharadin and the New York defender got the block, knocking the disc straight to Scharadin, putting yet another point on the board for the Spinners.
“We just came out on fire,” said Hirannet. “We don’t care about standings. We focus on every single point. And so we came out on fire and never let off the gas.”
In his pregame interview, Trey Katzenbach said that the Spinners planned to spread the wealth this game and they certainly did that with 22 of their players registering either a goal or an assist. Possibly the most striking part of the game is the fact that the Rumble were unable to break on defense the entire game. While New York is typically known as a defensive team, they simply were unable to put the disc in the end zone on plays where they managed to come up with a block.
20 – 17
While the Stags took the first game of this series in an impressive fashion, these were very different teams meeting in Week 7. After an anemic start to the season, the Rainmakers entered Sunday afternoon on a three-game winning streak while the Stags were coming off of a loss to the Dogfish.
The first quarter saw the Rainmakers score two breaks and secure the lead, 5-4. While the Stags were able to get a break to start the second quarter, the Rainmakers continued to play solid ultimate and the teams traded points. With both teams putting up highlight plays the game was wide open going into half.
Just when the Stags looked liked they had found their flow in the third quarter, Seattle’s Clay Dewey-Valentine became the third player this season to come down with a Callahan goal. The Callahan however became a turning point for the Stags as they put in two break scores to regain the lead and continued their streak into the fourth quarter with yet another break.
The Stags were firing on all cylinders in the fourth quarter outscoring the Rainmakers two points to one. With the lead firmly in their hands the Stags slowed down the pace of the game and the Rainmakers found their attempts at a comeback just out of reach. Time expired with a Rainmakers huck snagged by Peter Woodside.
“There were a lot of factors that shouldn’t be factors that still are,” said Stags cutter Timmy Perston, who had five goals on the night. “We came to play, but this was a lot of guys’ first time [at Renton Memorial] and everything is different. We played these guys before but we’re completely different people and they’re completely different people too. We came out flat in the first half and it showed, everything just looked real slow.”
This game could prove to be a preview of the Western Conference Finals, and with both teams having key players missing this game it is still up in the air who will come away with the conference title.
Read the full Rapid Reaction here.
Week 8 Matchups
San Francisco Dogfish vs. Portland Stags
Saturday, June 6 at 1:00 p.m. PT | Buy Tickets
New York Rumble vs. Boston Whitecaps
Saturday, June 6 at 5:00 p.m. ET | Watch on MLU Live
Seattle Rainmakers vs. Vancouver Nighthawks
Saturday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. PT | Buy Tickets
Washington D.C. Current vs. Philadelphia Spinners
Saturday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET | Buy Tickets