April 30, 2017 — On a hot and windy Sunday, the San Francisco FlameThrowers made the drive south from LA to attempt a SoCal sweep, but the Growlers remained confident. Each team had a few players missing due to other ultimate commitments but the talent was still there in spades.
San Diego received the opening pull, but a throwaway led to San Francisco’s first break. The Growlers punched in their first offensive goal, and a Steven Milardovich foot block on Cassidy Rasmussen led to their first break and lead, 2-1. After trading scores, SF made an errant pass to no one, and Kyle Smith took advantage with a long huck to Dave Ritchie, 4-2 in favor of SD. The FlameThrowers scored on O, and then broke back to tie the game at 4 all. The Growlers made it 5-4 and had a great chance to score again before the quarter ended but to no avail.
San Francisco started a series of offensive trades in the second quarter and finally stopped the streak after they capitalized on 2 straight defensive points to take the lead, 9-7. San Diego tied the game with 2 great deep throws; Kevin Smith to Jesse Cohen on offense and Dan Bellinger to Trevor Purdy for the break score. The half ended at a 9-9 tie as both teams had decent chances to score but the play was too sloppy and the wind seemed to be causing more turnovers than usual.
The Growlers gained a little momentum to start the 3rd quarter when they held on O and Nate Page threw a sweet hammer to his fellow Arizona club teammate Josh Kohl, 11-9. But things can change quickly and SF scored 3 consecutive points to take the lead back, 12-11. After both teams traded scores, SF broke twice in a row to extend their lead to 15-12. San Diego bounced right back and crept within 1 point with about 2 minutes remaining, but SF held strong on O, 16-14. The Growlers had yet another golden opportunity to squeeze one more score in before the quarter ended but the disc sailed out of bounds.
San Diego came out hot in the final quarter with 3 straight break scores to briefly take the lead 17-16, but San Francisco stopped the bleeding with an offensive hold to tie the game. The FlameThrowers then caught fire by scoring 3 break points of their own to go up three before San Diego recovered on offense, 20-18. Both teams traded goals, then the Growlers took advantage of a SF turnover when Steven Milardovich threw to a diving Trevor Purdy for the highlight reel catch, 21-20. The Growlers pulled the disc short and out of bounds on the left sideline to set up the double team trap defense and ended up forcing the SF turnover, but the Growlers deep throw was a couple of yards too long and SF ran out the clock for the win, 21-20.
Nate Page led the Growlers with a +7 performance (1 assist, 3 goals, 4 defensive blocks, 1 turnover). Dom Leggio (4 assists, 0 turnovers) and Sean Ham (1 assist, 4 goals, 2 1 turnover) added solid +4 games as well. Check out some pictures from the game here and look out for more in the next couple of days.
San Diego will look to recover from this heartbreaking loss in a must win-game versus the Vancouver Riptide on Saturday, May 6th, at 6:30 pm.