MLU Week 4 Recap: San Francisco Falls To Portland, Rumble Get Their First Win

The Portland Stags' Timmy Perston goes up for the grab between two San Francisco Dogfish defenders.
Photo by John King — UltiPhotos.com

With both of the league’s last place teams notching wins this week and the Dogfish losing their first game, Major League Ultimate’s season just got more interesting. It may be too little too late for the Rumble and the Stags, however, since there are just a handful of games left in the season.

The one sure thing: the Boston Whitecaps are very good. They got the biggest blowout in MLU history this week, with an eleven point win over the DC Current.

Here’s a look at this week’s games.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Portland Stags 19 – 18 San Francisco Dogfish

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After an 0-4 start to the season, few expected the Portland Stags to have much of a chance against the league-leading San Francisco Dogfish this weekend, even on home turf. But thanks to another outstanding game from Timmy Perston and a depleted Dogfish lineup, the Stags pulled out a huge 19-18 upset to snap the Dogfish unbeaten streak.

Perston finished with seven goals to maintain his position as the league leader in goals (21). He also added some critical blocks and a handful of assists.

The Dogfish were playing without Beau Kittredge, Mac Taylor, Nick Schlag, and Ashlin Joye, among others. But they were also missing many of the same players last week when they came back in the second half to beat the Seattle Rainmakers in San Francisco.

This was no easy win for the Stags. The Dogfish led for most of the game, but San Francisco’s Eric Greenwood late defensive effort didn’t pay off after Khalif El-Salaam tipped the disc, which landed in Perston’s hands to tie the game at 15-15. Once San Francisco rattled off two scores in response, it looked the game was in hand.

But some late execution mistakes, including an errant swing throw on double game point, cost the Dogfish the game, as the Stags went on a 4-1 run to notch their first win.

The Stags (1-4) are still a long way from a playoff berth, with half of their season now in the books. But sometimes just seeing a W on the schedule can build confidence towards a string of wins.

For the Dogfish, they return home for another tough game against the Nighthawks next weekend.

Seattle Rainmakers 18 – 16 Vancouver Nighthawks

Seattle kept their home winning streak alive with an 18-16 win over the rival Nighthawks to move to 2-0 in the season series against Vancouver. The game had a lot of similarities to their first matchup, with Seattle dominating the first half before a furious Vancouver surge in the second half gave the Rainmakers a scare.

Seattle jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The sides went on mini-runs to 7-5, when Seattle took control with a 3-0 spurt to take a 10-5 halftime lead.

But the Nighthawks again showed their second half strength. They went on a 6-2 run to get within one at 12-11, but Seattle stopped the bleeding to head to the 4th quarter up 14-12. But after a Mario O’Brien turnover three points later, Vancouver took a timeout to put in the offense and tie the game for the first time, 15-15.

The sides traded to points to 17-16, with Vancouver on offense looking to tie it up with just over a minute to go. But a Jacob Speidel block would end Vancouver’s dreams of getting a road win over the Rainmakers. Reid Koss found Skip Sewell to extend the Seattle lead to two, 18-16, which would prove to be the final score.

The Rainmakers (3-1) are now tied with the Dogfish (3-1) for first place in the East. The Nighthawks (2-3) are a game and half back with five to play.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

New York Rumble 20 – 17 Philadelphia Spinners

The New York Rumble joined Portland by snapping their season-long losing streak with a thrilling double overtime win over the Spinners in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The windy game was all Rumble early, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a bookends score from Rob Baker. They would extend their lead to four, but the Spinners got a break back to cut the first quarter lead to two at 7-5.

The Spinners recovered in a sloppy second quarter to get to within one at halftime.

Philadelphia finally tied the game for the first time at 13-13, with the 3-0 run assisted by an unsportsmanlike conduct turnover called on the Rumble bench.

Ben Faust started to take over with big back-to-back assists. With the Rumble leading 15-14, the Spinners had the disc with a chance to tie coming out of a timeout with 60 seconds on the clock. Rookie Jonah Wisch came down with a big grab just outside the endzone and punched it in to tie it up. The Spinners nearly scored again to win it, but the clock hit zero, sending the game to overtime.

After a back-and-forth extra period, the Rumble had a chance to win it with 18 seconds left, but a Faust hammer just missed Dan Heijmen to send the game into double OT.

After Faust hit Baker for the offensive line score, Jonathan Cox notched his third overtime goal to give the Rumble a two point lead. Another Spinners turnover and Rumble score sealed New York’s first victory.

Boston Whitecaps 24 – 13 DC Current

The Whitecaps’ league-leading offense was in full effect this week as they crushed the Current 24-13 in Boston, the biggest blowout in the young history of the league.

The Current didn’t leave DC until 1:30 AM and had little time to get ready for the game. That was followed up by a brutal 14 hour return trip — all in all, a terrible weekend for the Current.

Boston opened the game with an 8-4 first quarter lead and never looked back, extending the lead to seven by halftime. The Current were plagued by ugly turnovers and frustration. Three DC players were sent off, another MLU record.

Jeff Graham was dominant again for the Whitecaps, who also got a big game from Terry Roth.

The Whitecaps are the only remaining undefeated team in Major League Ultimate, and the Spinners’ loss gives them a two game edge in the Conference with just six to go.

The DC Current/New York Rumble game was canceled due to inclement weather. 

 

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