Photo by Brian Canniff – UltiPhotos.com
Last Saturday, the New York Rumble fell to the Philadelphia Spinners in a windy double overtime game, 13-12.
Follow Through on the Disc
Following through on offense and defense is a fundamental of Ultimate, but the Rumble made amateur mistakes in this regard which contributed to their downfall. Rumble cutters would run to the disc comfortably but many times Spinners defenders would cut in front to make key deflections. While the wind can be a factor on errant long throws, the short passing game, where it should be easier in the wind, still suffered.
Following through on defense is just as important. Over the last two games against Philly, Rumble defense would perform well early but in the later quarters looked to be pulling up on a few plays. Whether tired or believing the disc is out of reach, their falling behind on coverage helped the Spinners find open receivers in the end zone. It may happen five times or less in an entire game but with the Rumble’s luck, those five times convert into Spinners goals.
The Rumble need to be aware of the situation, whether it is time to be patient or time to take a chance. They only sent a few long throws the entire game. This could be a result of Coach Anthony Nuñez’s strategy or out of respect for the wind, but they didn’t always have the wind in their face. If a long throw wasn’t an option they also needed to make smart and patient short throws. More than a few times the Rumble would force a Philadelphia turnover only to throw it away again just as the stall count had started. New York must be patient but aggressive.
“Basically, we need to go work on confidence and percentages – making high percentage throws,” said Nuñez. “We were lucky that Philly kept us in the game, because whenever we’d turn the disc over, they’d give it right back.”
When the Rumble were down by three goals to start the game, they held their heads high and went on a 5-0 run. Overall a confident team, they looked to be in control for much of the game. But after leading 5-3 with momentum, they allowed the Spinners to stay in the game, a story that is all too familiar considering last week’s home game.
In this contest, they needed to maintain their lead and capitalize on as many turnovers as possible. In windy conditions where the Rumble had many short fields to work with, they were unable to capitalize and get easy scores that could have put the Spinners away quickly. It’s easy to blame Jonathan Cox‘s dropped goal in the sudden death period, but the Rumble immediately got the disc back and couldn’t cash in.
Through three games, the Rumble offense has scored 14, 24 (2OT), and 12 (2OT) points, and their defense has allowed scores of 22, 23, 13. Both sides need to figure out a way to harness their talent to win games.
Join us this Saturday at the Eagle’s Nest to cheer on the Rumble when they take on the Boston Whitecaps at 7:00 p.m.