Father’s Day, Heat, and Tough Fight

June 19, 2016 — The Vancouver Riptide picked an unusually hot weekend to visit Southern California, and the San Diego Growlers liked their chances on Father’s Day against a team that had just lost by 7 points the night before to LA.

The game started with a couple defensive blocks and turnovers, but each team’s offense ultimately held on to score, 1-1.  The Growlers recorded the first defensive break point of the game when Max Hume assisted to Steven Milardovich, 2-1.  Both teams traded offensive scores twice, then Vancouver held on offense and benefitted from a San Diego throwaway to tally their first break point, 5-4.  The Growlers struck back with solid zone offense then broke the Riptide twice in a row to take a 2 score lead, 7-5.  San Diego missed out on a third straight break before the quarter ended, but instead Vancouver cut the lead to 7-6.

San Diego received the 2nd quarter pull of the disc, and after countless turnovers by both teams, the Growlers scored to go up 8-6 while burning almost 4 minutes off the clock.  The home team brought the defensive intensity which caused 2 break points in a row before the Riptide recovered on offense, 10-7.  The teams traded several scores until Vancouver followed up an offensive point with a break, 12-10.  San Diego closed the first half strong by holding on offense and then preventing Vancouver from getting the last second score, 13-10.

Vancouver started the third quarter with the disc, and after multiple throwaways from both teams and an injury to Milardovich (who did not return), the Growlers grinded out another break score to pull ahead 14-10.  Each squad traded offensive points twice, then Vancouver crept back into the game with an offensive and defensive break point, 16-14.  San Diego returned the favor by scoring on offense then breaking twice in a row to extend their lead to five, 19-14.  The Riptide closed the quarter strong with an offensive hold and a defensive break as the score stayed in the Growlers favor, 19-16.

The Growlers scored after receiving the 4th quarter pull, the Riptide countered with a point of their own, and then the teams traded again, 21-18.  Vancouver rattled off 2 straight breaks to close the gap to 1 point, but the Growlers patiently worked in a much needed offensive score, 22-20, with just over 5 minutes remaining.  Vancouver scored easily on their next possession and then benefited from a San Diego throwaway to tie the game at 22 all.   The next 3 points were somewhat inexplicable.  The Growlers just couldn’t complete multiple passes in a slightly gusty wind, and the Riptide took advantage of all of these throwaways to take control of the game for good, 25-22.  San Diego finally scored with 57 seconds left, but Vancouver ran out the rest of the clock to seal the big come from behind win, 25-23.

The Growlers were led by Steven Milardovich (despite only playing half the game) with a +6 performance (4 assists, 1 goal, 3 defensive blocks, 2 turnovers).  Travis Dunn had a strong +5 game (1 assist, 4 goals, 1 defensive block, 1 turnover), and Alec Benton also chipped in with a solid +4 (2 assists, 1 goal, 1 defensive block).  Now a recurring theme of the season, San Diego must find a way to reduce their number of throwaways if they want to notch their second win of the season with 4 games remaining.

The Growlers travel to the bay area this weekend to face the San Jose Spiders on Saturday, June 25th and the first place San Francisco Flame Throwers on Sunday, June 26th.  San Diego will host the San Jose Spiders at their last home game of the season on Saturday, July 2nd at 6:15 pm at Balboa Stadium.