Photo by Sean Carpenter – UltiPhotos.com
The New York Rumble upset the Boston Whitecaps with an 18-17 win that boosted them to a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.
With a threatening storm delaying play early in the second quarter, the Rumble trailed 4-5 but had confidence that they would perform. Their offense and defense resettled, living up to the potential that they’ve believed in since preseason.
The Rumble’s success was a matter of completion percentage. They went 187 for 205 (91%) for the game, an improvement for a team that has given away possessions with errant throws in previous games.
Playing without offensive handlers Michael Hennessy and Andrew Bosco, the Rumble’s Chris Mazur (42 for 45, 2 goals, 6 assists) and Isaac Saul (39 for 41, 1 goal, 4 assists) set the tempo that would lead to 13 of their 18 points.
“I still had turnovers I want back. My teammates saved me,” Mazur said after the game, citing that there’s still room for improvement.
The Rumble also showed that they could complete deep hucks, completing five throws over 40 yards, giving special attention to Robbie Gillies and Jack Marsh.
“Boston was daring us to throw deep so we made the plays,” said Head Coach Anthony Nuñez.
Defense: Beat the short game, get beat deep
The Rumble were very effective at defending Boston, deflecting 10 passes. For all four quarters, the Rumble’s Quinn Hunziker, Dave Vuckovich, and Joseph Anderson could be seen following through and covering their men. They would each finish with two defenses.
While the Rumble’s offense was near perfect, their defense still has to tighten up in the coming weeks. They allowed nine 40+ yard passes and need to make sure they don’t get beat deep in future outings.
The Fourth Quarter
Another concern that has plagued the Rumble all year is how they play in the fourth quarter. After two double overtime games against Philadelphia, the New York Rumble almost let Boston crawl into a tie. New York had a lead of 16-12 but Boston kept putting points on the board. Fortunately the Rumble were able to run out the clock.
“In the last minute our offense slowed down. We still need to defend our leads and not let them come back,” Coach Nuñez said.
On Saturday May 10, the 2-2 New York Rumble travel to D.C. to take on the 3-1 Current in a game that could place them at the top of the Eastern Conference.