Photo by Sean Carpenter – Ultiphotos
After a blowout loss to Boston two weeks ago, New York returned from their bye week to fight to the bitter end against Philadelphia, but lost a close game 23-22.
The game started with many lead changes as both offense and defense were in full force for New York and Philadelphia. The Rumble’s Joe Anderson skied a Spinner defender to give New York a 2-1 lead but the Rumble could not capitalize when they had the chance.
“A disappointing loss. We played four quarters of quality Frisbee. We stuck to the scheme. We had a pretty good game, just couldn’t come out on top,” Anderson commented after the game.
Two Spinners players that could not be stopped were Philly’s Jake Rainwater (4 goals, 4 assists, 1 defense) and Marcus Ranii-Dropcho (6 goals, 1 assist) who connected at the end of the first quarter to give the Spinners a 4-3 lead.
The second quarter heated up with every possession counting. The Rumble’s Markian Kuzmowycz (4 goals 1 assist) threw and caught a few scores, seeming at times to be all over the field. New York’s Marques Brownlee also had a good game with 3 defenses, knocking down many of Philly’s long hucks.
With the game tied 6-6, a questionable call favored the Spinners when Philly’s Michael Panna and New York’s Ike Saul would grab a disc in air. What looked to be a clean Saul interception was ruled a strip by the refs and gave Philly possession only 10 yards from the end zone. Saul’s interception led to many Rumble players streaking down field to get open and should have led to an easy New York score, but instead Philly retained and scored to take a 7-6 lead.
Also unstoppable, Philly’s Nick Hirannet (9 assists) helped the Spinners take two-point leads at 8-6 and 9-7, the biggest leads either team had on the day.
The third quarter followed suit with back and forth goals. After a Philadelphia pull rolled out of bounds, the Rumble’s Chris Mazur (2 goals, 5 assists, 2 defenses) immediately picked up and threw a strike to Iggy Yz down the end zone’s sideline to tie the game at 11.
On the next possession, Brownlee defended a Philly throw, giving the Rumble the break they were looking for. After New York called a timeout, Kuzmowycz sent a high, floating jump ball to the end zone. After a deflection, Robbie Gillies rebounded to catch it and give the Rumble a 15-14 lead. Tied 17-17 with the clock winding down at the end of the third quarter, Philly’s Alex Peters hucked one to the end zone but Mazur knocked it down to preserve the score.
An improvement to be noticed from New York was their capitalizing when getting defenses. However this would not continue in the fourth quarter. They started with a misthrow to Gillies that led to a Spinner skying Saul in the end zone to go up 18-17. Surprisingly, Spinners’ Patrick Earles came flying from the bench shouting in Saul’s face. Whether complaining of a dirty play or just plain trash talking, Earles got a warning orange armband and forced Philadelphia to pull from the back of their end zone.
The Rumble had missed opportunities in the fourth quarter. After a low Philly pull that rolled back and placed New York only twenty yards from the end zone, Saul missed a throw. Later, Brownlee would leap to get a deflection but then threw incomplete to stop the Rumble’s momentum. Spinners Ranii-Dropcho scored to give them a 19-18 lead.
Behind 21-20 with 3:28 minutes left in the game, Dave Vuckovich threw a laser to Yz (4 goals, 2 assists) who made the play of the day (and perhaps the year) with a complete extension, horizontal one-handed score to tie the game at 21. In his excitement he accidently threw the disc out of the stadium and would receive an orange band.
The celebration was short-lived as Philly’s David Brandolph found Ranii-Dropcho for a 22-21 Philly lead. Later, Jake Rainwater hit Ranii-Dropcho to seal the deal at 23-22. The Rumble did have time (less than a minute) to work the field and tie the game but a midfield drop by Kuzmowycz let the Spinners run out the clock.
“Best game we played all year. Offense and defense fought all the way through. Couple of miscues that we’ll change,” said Rumble Coach Anthony Nuñez after the game. “Players who were fading showed up today. Robbie, Mark, Iggy, Ike, Mazur. We’re finally seeing guys that click.
“We have a new goal. ‘Win the moment.’ I’m excited for D.C. next week.”
After the close loss, Anderson agreed.
“We’re motivated to put another good product together.”
Next week, the Philadelphia Spinners (3-5) host the Boston Whitecaps(4-4) to stay alive for a playoff spot. The New York Rumble (2-6) travel to D.C. to trouble the Current (7-1).