Sockeye Easily Handles Rhino: Prequarters Recap (Men’s)

Photo: Paul Rutherford -- UltiPhotos.com
Photo: Paul Rutherford — UltiPhotos.com

The formalities are over in Frisco. After a year of waiting, Seattle Sockeye exacts sweet revenge on Portland Rhino. There were some early jitters from both teams early but in the end Sockeye’s intensity and team defense carried them to a decisive 15-9 win.

“We have [in the past] sort of gotten out of our own rhythm and sort of played against the opponent we’re playing – specifically Rhino – more than playing our own game,” said Tyler Kinley, a captain from last year’s Sockeye team sidelined by injury this year.

“We’re just focused on ourselves right now.”

There were certainly opportunities for the Fish to get unfocused. On their second offensive possession Sockeye gave Rhino two chances to break – one on a dropped goal and another on a flubbed flick fake that squirted out of a Seattle handler’s grip. The O-line would earn the turn and the crucial hold.

It was all Sockeye defensive pressure — and Rhino mistakes — from there.

“The defense that both our D-line and O-line was playing got us really excited,” said Sockeye captain Reid Koss. “We knew that we were making some mistakes, but we never didn’t think we were going to get the disc back. When we kept getting it back that just gave fuel to our fire.”

Seattle captain Reid Koss found a streaking Julian Hausman deep for the game’s first break to go up 4-2. Seattle then trotted out a fresh D-line and played what was probably the point of the game.

Two timeouts and 10 total turnovers later, Portland’s Eli Janin hit Dylan Freechild with a scoober to secure their O point. Finally.

Rhino’s O-line was visibly gassed and, not before long, found themselves down 8-4 at half.

“They executed the way they wanted to and we didn’t on offense,” Rhino captain Jacob Janin said.  “When it works that way, one turnover turns into two or three turnovers pretty fast… We didn’t respond the way we needed to.”

Seattle would never look back. Droning choruses of “Fresh fiiiiiiiiiiiiish!” were bellowing between every point. Defenders like Jesse Bolton, Sam Hart, and Will Chen all registered blocks. Sidelines stormed the field.

Rhino managed a break late in the game after a Freechild forced a turn to make it 12-8. Too little too late.

Sockeye rolled, 15-9.

It needs to be said: this was a respectful game. Credit to Portland and Seattle on a classy contest.

There was no great sigh of relief from the victor. Sockeye got the Rhino off their back, but this team has higher aspirations.

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