Photo by Rodney Chen – Ultiphotos.com
The New York Rumble traveled to the Bay Area this weekend in what was the first cross-divisional game of the regular season in MLU history. Thanks to the smooth travel, New York was well rested and ready for the first pull, earning a break to start the game and proceeding to take the first quarter 7-3. They would continue to dominate the first half and to win the game without ever losing their lead.
The wind was very strong on this spring afternoon and both teams had to make some adjustments. In the first quarter we saw many discs sailing over players or bouncing out of their hands. The Dogfish were struggling with this almost more than New York, giving up some easy throws that could have had a major impact later on in the game. Although New York struggled somewhat with these same errors, they were playing with the most confidence and ease we have seen this season. They were connecting with one another and moving the disc with a relaxed and steady flow.
In the first quarter, New York’s defense dominated, earning five breaks. They went on to earn 10 breaks in the entire game and to end with a final score of 22-19. Matthew Weintraub had a fantastic game, assisting six scores and catching a goal of his own. An equally dominant presence on the field this game was Jibran Mieser, who assisted four goals. Adding to his 13 recorded blocks already earned this season, Marques Brownlee had four blocks, three assists and one goal. These players, as well as some of the newcomers who were signed just last week really established themselves early on in the game. Reflecting on performance by the newly signed players in this game, Coach Anthony Nuñez said, ‘The[y] made their mark right away. Justin Carter had two goals and a couple of blocks. Paul [Klimkowski] had two important lay out blocks. Casey [Startzell] was involved on two very important goals. Kyle Fischer’s man had a hard time getting open on him and was a steady defensive influence.’
At the end of New York’s last game, in which they lost to the Philadelphia Spinners 25-15, Coach Eileen Murray had been discouraged and admitted she was hoping these newly signed players would breath some life into the Rumble. Based on New York’s performance in the first half of this game it seems her wish came true. Collectively, the newly signed players earned five goals, one assist and four blocks.
Although New York ended the half up by six, they ended the game only up by three. In the third and fourth quarter, New York allowed San Francisco to go on two four-point-runs, closing the gap and giving the Dogfish a chance to steal the game. This would be very typical of New York: come out strong and then, due to unforced errors and miscommunications, fail at converting their greatness into a win. But they weren’t ready to do that this game. Despite the seemingly unstoppable duo of Andrew Goldstein and Alex Cloud, as well as some huge plays from Nick Fiske and James Yeager, New York battled it out to the end and never lost their lead, a first for the Rumble this year.
It’s no question that New York has been having a difficult season. They have lost three games to the Spinners by a large margin and one could imagine that it felt good for this young team to be on top for once. They will want to carry that excitement into their next and against the D.C. Current, the final matchup between these two teams for the regular season. The Rumble and the Current have met twice already and each have a win on the record. New York will have their new additions as well as many of the players who could not make it to California this weekend. If they can establish and maintain the flow they had in the first half of this game there is no question that they can take home another win next weekend. But New York is an emotional team and they will have to handle the game carefully as the Current will be eager to end the season ahead.
New York will be traveling yet again to our nation’s capital on Saturday, May 21st for an evening game against the D simvastatin 40 mg.C. Current. This is going to be an important game for the Rumble. If they win it will give them a more competitive edge in the Eastern Conference. If they lose, their chances at the playoffs will fade even further into the distance. Let’s see what they can do next weekend.