Growlers play well but come up short in road double header

June 25, 2016 — The San Diego Growlers paid a visit to the bay area last weekend, playing the two time defending AUDL champion San Jose Spiders on Saturday night at Foothill College.

The Growlers started the game by breaking the Spiders on the first point, but San Jose took the lead after their offense scored and their defense took the break back, 2-1. San Diego countered with an O score and break, then San Jose did the exact same to take the lead back, 4-3. The teams traded until the Growlers ran out of time in the first quarter, with the Spiders up 6-5.

The first possession of the second quarter was a true marathon point featuring several turnovers, a timeout, lots of tired players, about 8 minutes off the clock, and finally a San Diego score to tie the game at 6 all. This point took a large bite out of the Growlers offensive line, because after the Spiders scored on O, they broke San Diego 3 consecutive times to take the lead into halftime, 10-6.

The Spiders and the Growlers traded three offensive scores at the beginning of the third quarter, (highlighted by a Jesse Cohen callahan), and then San Diego earned a much needed break on defense to close the gap to 13-10. Both teams traded once again until the Growlers took advantage of a SJ throwaway and converted on a Nate Bridges hammer to Alec Benton to pull within two, 14-12. More offensive trading ensued as the third quarter came to a close, 18-16.

San Diego tied the game at 18 by scoring on offense and securing a break point as the final quarter got underway. The Growlers had a great chance to take the lead after a Spiders turnover, but SJ ultimately held on O, then got two pivotal break points to extend their lead to 21-18. The teams traded, and San Diego once again clawed back to within one with an O and break point, 22-21. The Spiders scored on offense and then sealed the game by coming up with a great defensive interception and went the length of the field to score with less than 1 minute remaining, 24-21.

The Growlers were led by Steven Milardovich with a +6 performance (5 assists, 1 goal, 2 defensive blocks, 2 turnovers). Max Hume (2 assists, 3 goals, 2 turnovers) and Casey Wu (1 assist, 3 goal, 1 turnover) also chipped in with a solid +3 games.

June 26, 2016 — Despite a close loss to the Spiders the evening before, the Growlers were still confident and looked forward to a battle with the first place San Francisco FlameThrowers on Sunday in Oakland.

There is always wind swirling around at Laney College, and the first point of the game was fraught with several turnovers from each team until SF completed an upwind break score, 1-0. San Diego recovered to score an upwind O point, but then allowed a SF score and break to go down 3-1. The teams traded, then the Growlers scored two in a row with a break to tie the game at 4s as the first quarter came to a close.

To start the second quarter, each team traded 3 scores, then SF scored on offense and scored a break point to go up 9-7. SD and SF traded again, then the FlameThrowers capitalized on 2 more break opportunities, 12-8.   As the whistle blew for halftime, the scoreboard showed 14-10, with both offenses looking good and settling in to a groove.

The Growlers punched in their first possession of the third quarter, SF did the same and then executed an upwind break score, 16-11. Trading again, followed by another FlameThrower break, 18-12. More trading until San Diego bucked the trend and scored the upwind hammer break, Dunn to Ching, 21-17. The back and forth frenzied pace continued when SF scored on O and D to extend their lead again, 23-17. Two more O trades occurred, then SD turned the disc over with several seconds left and conceded a break with no time remaining, 26-19.

The FlameThrowers began the last quarter with a score, SD matched, then Pete Overright had a massive layout block that led to a Growlers break 27-21. San Diego tallied another break point, then after a long marathon point, the Growlers punched in a third break in a row, but only 5 minutes remained, 27-23. SF and SD traded O points, SF broke and SD put another one in for good measure, but lost another well fought game 29-25.

The Growlers were led by Maxwell Hume (1 assist, 5 goals) and Travis Dunn (3 assists, 2 goals, 2 defensive blocks, 1 turnover) with +6 performances. Zeke Ivers (2 assists, 2 goals, 1 defensive block) and Casey Wu (1 assist, 4 goals) also turned in great +5 games.

San Diego will seek revenge against the San Jose Spiders at their last home game of the season on Saturday, July 2nd at 6:15 pm at Balboa Stadium. We hope to see you there!