June 9, 2017 — On a beautiful Friday night in San Diego, the Growlers hosted the Seattle Cascades in the AUDL Game of the Week and tried to make up ground in the playoff race by winning their fourth straight game.
There was a slightly unpredictable breeze around Balboa Stadium, and the game started with a couple sloppy offensive holds, 1-1. Seattle scored again then broke twice after some astonishing San Diego drops to take an early 4-1 lead. Both teams settled in offensively after a shaky start and traded twice to end the quarter at 6-3.
San Diego received the 2nd quarter pull, turned the disc over, and the Cascades capitalized by breaking again, 7-3. Kevin Smith’s hammer connected with Dom Leggio to get the Growlers back on track, but Seattle held on O then broke twice more to go ahead 10-4. The Growlers shot themselves in the foot with error after error and eventually traded for the rest of the half, behind 13-7.
The Cascades and Growlers traded offensive scores to begin the 3rd, then San Diego registered their first breaks of the game but still trailed 14-10. After Seattle held on O, they capitalized on more Growlers mistakes and broke twice to open up a huge 17-10 lead with 2:23 remaining. San Diego dug deep by converting on their next two points and barely escaped a last second buzzer beater, down 17-12.
The Growlers needed points in a hurry, and after holding on O and trading scores, Steven Milardovich took flight with a monster layout defensive block on Mark Burton, and Jeff Silverman fed Trevor Purdy for the break, 18-15. The Cascades quickly answered, followed by a Growlers score and two straight breaks to draw within a single point, 19-18. The teams traded, Tyler Bacon intercepted a Cascades’ pass, then the Growlers called timeout to set-up a possible tying score. After the timeout, San Diego patiently worked the disc up the field and Leggio found Corbett in the end-zone to tie the game at 20 all with 2:30 left! The Cascades were reeling and it showed when another errant throw was gobbled up by Nate Page, and eventually Max Hume fed Nate Bridges for the Growlers’ first lead of the game, 21-20 with 1:47 remaining. San Diego needed a stop and Milardovich once again laid out for the block with a minute left but the Growlers turned it over two passes later. The Cascades had a chance to tie but the disc sailed just out of bounds and the Growlers ran out the rest of the clock for an epic come from behind win! Click here to watch the entire game or here for highlights.
With a pair of +5 performances, Hunter Corbett (2 assists, 4 goals, 1 defensive block, 2 turnovers) and Dom Leggio (4 assists, 2 goals, 1 turnover) played a critical role in the Growlers’ victory, which was the greatest comeback in AUDL regular season history. Sean Ham (2 assists, 1 goal, 1 defensive block) was solid as ever with a +4 game as well.
San Diego will host the San Jose Spiders on Saturday, June 17th in yet another crucial game with huge playoff implications. Be sure to visit Balboa Stadium at 4 pm to see the SoCal Women’s Showcase Game before the Growlers game at 6:30 pm!