The Spinners defeated the Rumble 27-14 last Saturday in a preseason game that aimed to preview what the MLU has to offer. Though to some the game provided fans and players alike with a taste of what is to come in the MLU, to the members of the Rumble, it provided a lot more. The Rumble used the game as a wake-up call for what lies ahead in the coming season.
Following the defeat, the Rumble were left with many questions and few answers. Even though the team seemed to be in control of the game at times, scoring the first two points of the match and shrinking the Spinners’ six-goal deficit to two during a stretch in the second quarter, the Spinners used their year experience playing refereed Ultimate to their advantage. The Spinners went on a number of streaks throughout the game where their defense would break the Rumble offense, and ultimately, they would run away with the game in the fourth quarter.
The Rumble again face a tough match-up this Saturday, playing their season opener on the road against the rival Boston Whitecaps.
But cutter Robbie Gillies has expressed his confidence in the Rumble and knows the team has what it takes to respond from the preseason loss and beat the Whitecaps. “I don’t think the preseason game was a true testament to the skill level of this team,” Gillies said. “We’ve been putting in the work since then and there is no doubt we will put together a better performance in Boston.”
Captain and assistant coach Ben Faust echoed Gillies’ point and explained that the Rumble have tried to begin practicing with a renewed sense of intensity, even before the regular season has begun. “There were a lot of bruised egos after the Spinners game,” Faust said. “A good thrashing will inspire any true competitor to compete more passionately during their next opportunity. The Spinners game changed the tone of our practices. We stopped feeling out the new rules and new teammates. We lost that hesitancy and took on an urgency to play hard and make each other better. We increased the intensity of our practices to better mimic the flow of an MLU game.”
Coach Daniel Quaranta agrees with Faust. “We all need to work harder in order to be ready to compete at this level and that begins with me,” Quaranta explained. “There has to be a renewed commitment by each one of us to be more focused on coming together as a team and getting on the same page.”
Quaranta also acknowledged that the preseason match-up gave the Rumble the game experience they need heading into Boston. “The Spinners game provided us with a great opportunity to play under the new structure of the MLU,” Quaranta said. “I think we learned the pace of the game will require some adjustments by us and the experience gained by the preseason game will be beneficial going into Boston this weekend.”
The Rumble will welcome several top players Saturday who did not play in the Spinners match. Handlers Kevin Terry and Chris Mazur will join the team and look to provide a boost to the Rumble on both sides of the disc. With some game experience and a week full of hard practices, the Rumble should look stronger come Saturday.
The Rumble hope to start the season off with a road win this week, before coming back to New York for their home opener April 27 in a rematch against the Spinners.