The New York Rumble (0-2) are still unable to find their rhythm and fell to the Boston Whitecaps (2-1) by a score of 22–13 in their second game of the season.
Despite the better weather, the New York Rumble (0-2) could not make the necessary changes to put on a game against the Boston Whitecaps (2-1) that was much different than their game against the Philadelphia Spinners (3-0) last weekend. The Rumble’s final score against the Spinners was 22-12, only one point different than this week’s score of 22-13 and, as with last weekend, the Rumble only found stride in the second half of the game.
The fourth quarter started 20-7, a bleak scoreboard for any team. After Boston’s pull, New York scored a quick point. Next, they quickly punched it in for a break. Then, after a block from Ben Katz, Boston earned one of only two points they would convert this quarter. The rest of the quarter featured a scuber from Marques Brownlee, a huck from Bo Li and a huge block from rookie John Irvine. New York won the fourth quarter 6 -2.
After the game Coach Eileen Murray said, ‘It’s super frustrating. When they go, I just want them to go. I want to figure out how to let them go sooner,’ referring to the late runs in both this game and the last.
This was the first game with handler Mason Compton, veteran hybrid player Andrew Bosco, and cutter Benjamin Nichols on the field. All three of these players were great additions to the team. Compton assisted and scored two goals, Bosco assisted one goal and had 17 completions, and Nichols scored one goal and was frequently in a power position downfield. Charles Cannon also established himself this game, scoring two goals and bringing a much-needed intensity to the field.
The real hero of this game, however, was Brownlee who recorded seven blocks, many of which were in the end zone during final points of the quarter. Brownlee’s performance was a major crowd pleaser and, arguably, gave life to a team that might otherwise have felt utterly defeated.
On the other side of things, returning handler Scott Xu had a tough first half, jumping too early on a floating disc and turning it over in the end zone after a mid-field pull, giving the disc to Boston on the line. Peter Jimenez also had a decent game, but showed signs of his inexperience in the professional game, throwing up his hands at one point in frustration that the referees did not call a foul.
Boston appeared to be the pinnacle of professional ultimate. Five of their players ended the game with 100% offensive scoring efficiency, that’s four more players than New York (Jacob Doyle being the only one to reel in this stat), and their predominant playing style was downright athletic. Christian Foster, for example, was frequently sprinting down the field to receive the disc and then coolly converting for the assist, recording four assists this game. Katz who could be seen tearing discs out of the air, intimidating his mark and also pulling a textbook mid-field pull, not to mention his three assists this game. Other notable players were rookie Davis Whitehead with three goals and two assists and Jon Hirschberger with two assists, one block and some incredible speed.
Although the score of New York’s second game was quite similar to last week’s, there was a clear improvement in some of the team statistics. Most notably, their First Hold Scoring Efficiency (FHSE) which increased 15.9% and their Defensive Turnover Efficiency (DTE), which increased 17.6%. Although New York is a team with many new rookies they are not a team that is unfamiliar with one another. Many of these guys have played together in club or college divisions. The main change for them is the professional game itself; the rules, the referees and the crowd are all added variables that take time to adjust to. As Coach Murray said before the game, ‘Not everyone likes playing in front of a crowd.’
New York will play their first away game against the Washington D.C Current (0-2) next weekend. D.C lost to the Boston Whitecaps 17-16 last weekend and lost to the Philadelphia Spinners 21-18 this weekend. With neither New York nor D.C having won a game yet this season, both teams will be eager for a win. If New York’s well-played fourth quarter was due to a change in strategy then Coaches Murray and Anthony Nuñez might be headed in the right direction. If it was, however, a lapse of attention from the Whitecaps who had a comfortable lead, then New York might be in trouble yet again.
Be sure to tune in next week on MLU Live to watch the game from home, or take a trip down to our capital and give the Rumble some love.