Photo by Sandy Canetti – Ultiphotos.com
The weather was reminiscent of the first game of the 2016 season – cold, wet and downright windy. But unlike that first game back in early April the rain came to a halt before the first pull and by the final buzzer, the sun was shining. Unfortunately for the Rumble, this turnaround weather did not align with a turnaround performance from New York. In fact, the game ended with the exact same point difference as that first rainy game, New York down by 10.
In some ways that first game and their last game of their season series with the Spinners were not so different, which must be a frustrating and difficult realization both for the players and the coaches of this young, developing team. New York earned only one more break than the first game, had only two fewer turnovers, and recorded the same number of blocks as in game one. Upon review, many of the same miscommunications are plaguing New York as has been the case from the season’s start. Although Sean Mott has been established as a player that can come down with the disc in almost any circumstance, there was still a miscommunication this game where he was preparing for an in-cut and had to quickly change direction as a teammate launched the disc downfield, a sprint that was simply impossible even for this great player. This, along with other errors, put New York in a deep pit from which there was no escape.
Philadelphia has remained undefeated so far this season and, after watching them play, it’s no wonder why. Their roster is stacked with incredible athletes as well as veteran players. Jack Casey had three huge blocks, Billy Sickles was all over the field and recorded four goals, four assists and one block, and David Brandolph as well as rookie Ethan Peck had four assists each. It also would be unfair not to mention Vince Reydams incredible presence in the endzone at the end of the second and third quarters, scoring one goal and preventing another. The Spinners all pull their weight on the field and their players have an amazing ability to click into action at the exact same time. At one point in the game, following a pick call, Philadelphia had the disc just five yards out of their endzone. Almost immediately after play resumed, Brandolph had released the disc to space in front of Matt Glazer who seemed to know exactly where to go. This is the kind of trust and quick action New York still hasn’t figured out and that cost them many points thus far this season.
As has been the story time and again, despite their losses New York knows how to pull out the stops when they need to. Shining through in this game was Peter Jimenez, who jumped over his defender to follow a disc that had just been blocked, caught the seconds and smoothly threw it to a handler who then hammered it cross field to Marc Sands. This was Sands’ as well as Christopher McGlynn’s first MLU game with the Rumble. They both had a great performance and should serve as a reminder that New York’s metamorphosis is still underway. Marques Brownlee also flashed his cards, throwing a huge cross field hammer with 24 seconds left that and landing it in the hands of Jacob Doyle for an important goal towards the end of the first quarter. Later in the game, Brownlee had to toe the line, which he did brilliantly proving the versatility of this great player. Jibran Mieser also had a good game, showing off his speed in footraces against many of the Spinner’s players, beating them both downfield for goals as well as infield for Ds.
Coach Eileen Murray seemed to be quite personally affected by the final result of this weekend’s game. Learning that the team had scored two breaks in a row twice throughout the game she said, ‘so we can do it.’ But this sentiment can only take one so far. For New York the question is, but for how long? A three-point run is fine and dandy but it’s no competitive feat. Still, the team is in it for the playoffs. They have four more games of the regular season and are, as Coach Anthony Nuñez pointed out, ‘still mathematically in it.’ New York has just signed four new players, which will hopefully breathe some life into the team that has now been shut out by the Philadelphia Spinners in this 2016 season.
Next weekend New York will play the first regular season cross-divisional game of the season against the San Francisco Dogfish, a first in MLU history. With new players on the field and the playoffs creeping into the periphery New York will be desperate for a few more wins this season. Let’s hope they can put some points on the record.