Photo by Burt Granofsky – Ultiphotos.com
The New York Rumble played the Boston Whitecaps this past weekend in their final game of the 2016 series. When New York and Boston met in Orange, New Jersey two weeks ago, the game did not take off as expected. New York took and held the lead for the entire first half before Boston was able to tie it up. For Boston, the winningest team in MLU history and the reigning league champions, that kind of embarrassment did not go over well. Although they recovered and won the game by a wide margin, Boston is a team that holds a grudge and, after their game this weekend, they have definitely established themselves as the dominant team in this matchup, scoring more than double the points earned by New York and breaking the record for most points scored in a game in MLU history.
It is really something for a team like Boston to go into a game they know they will win and play as hard as they can. Playing down to a team is something many athletes suffer from, and it speaks to the magnitude of Boston’s talent that they were able to play their game despite New York’s struggles. New York was, however, without many of their power players. One of their main handlers, Scott Xu, has been injured and did not play at all in this game or the previous game. New York was also without Quinn Hunzniker who has been a pivotal figure this season.
New York was in the game for the first quarter with John Irvine and Jacob Doyle both contributing to two points. Their game started to sail into the distance in the second quarter, with Boston outscoring New York, six goals to two. Things really got hairy after the half. In the third quarter, Boston earned more than quadruple the points scored by New York, going on a six-point run as they approached the fourth quarter. It is definitely worth mentioning that the Whitecap’s player Tann0r Johnson scored thirteen goals this game, setting the new MLU record for most goals in a single game. In each quarter he found the endzone on at least two points and, at most, five. Boston then started the fourth by going on another six-point run. To New York’s credit they stuck with it and, in typical New York fashion, went on a three-point run in the last minute of the game.
For New York the star of the game was Irvine, who was responsible for a third of the total points scored by the Rumble. Although New York didn’t expect to win this game, it was a tough blow to lose by such a wide margin, especially after having played such a competitive first half last time they met with Boston. Still, New York set out to improve with each and every game this season and there is no question that they have had tremendous growth this season.
Coach Anthony Nuñez reflected on the season after the game. He believes that the team has grown athletically and, also, has bonded as a family. Putting this game aside, Nunez complimented the team on their own meddle. Remembering their first game against D.C. this season he said, ‘To come back and win [the game against D.C.] was an accomplishment that not many teams would have been able to do. ‘ Although Nunez wishes New York had more wins on the record he is optimistic about next season. Looking to next year he has high hopes, ‘Keep growing, keep improving, and become a playoff team next year. We have all the tools to do it, we just need to keep the guys focused and ready.’
New York has had an amazing and tumultuous season. They have been at the very bottom as well as ridden on top. So many of their players have had a great season, like Xu and Sean Mott, who had a breakout season and is a serious contender for Rookie of the Year. With a season under their belts it will be great fun to see what this team can offer in the 2017 season.