July 21, 2017 — In their regular season finale, the Growlers hosted the San Jose Spiders at Mission Bay High School under the Friday night-lights. The Spiders needed at least one win during their SoCal road trip to assure themselves a playoff berth.
San Jose came out of the gates quickly with an offensive score, each team held twice, then the Spiders rattled off two breaks to take a 5-2 lead. The Growlers answered with a hold, each team traded twice again, then San Diego registered the last score of the quarter on a Nate Bridges bending flick to Trevor Purdy, 7-5.
The second quarter started with a goal by the home team, then the Spiders spun a web with a hold and a break to pull ahead 9-6. Max Hume hucked to Sean Ham for a SD hold, SJ scored, then Travis Dunn connected with Hume to put the Growlers within two points, 10-8. Sensing the moment, the Growlers turned up the defensive pressure and broke twice to even the count at 10 all. San Diego had a couple of opportunities to break on the next point as well, but SJ held, SD countered, then the Spiders closed the first half with a goal for the 12-11 lead.
The Spiders held on O to begin the third, then broke twice after several Growlers’ miscues to jump ahead 15-11. San Diego got back on track with their offense, but they could not stop San Jose’s flow, as each team traded to end the quarter at 18-14.
To begin the fourth quarter, Travis Dunn found Jesse Cohen for the score, then the Growlers raised their defensive intensity, which resulted in two breaks, (Bacon to Minyen and Dunn to Ham), down 18-17. The home crowd was really into the game now, cheering loudly and stomping their feet on the metal stands as both teams traded two scores, 20-19. After the Spiders turned it over on O, Mark Slader unleashed a huge backhand throw to Bridges for the break and a tie game. Feeding off this energy on the next defensive point, Dom Leggio laid out, knocked the disc down and threw the assist to Jeff Silverman to take their first lead, 21-20! SJ tied it back up at 21 all with 2:50 remaining, but Cohen hit Matt Parisi to pull ahead by one on the next possession. With the crowd screaming DE-FENSE, the Spiders dropped a dump pass, Dan Bellinger flicked it to a leaping Silverman, and after a couple short passes, Nate Page calmly dished to Will Turner for the dagger break point, 23-21 Growlers. San Jose’s (and SDSU alumnus) Jackson Stearns quickly caught his 8th goal of the game, but with only a minute left, San Diego ran out the clock on offense for the come from behind 23-22 thrilling win! Game highlights can be seen here, and click here to see pictures!
Travis Dunn led the Growlers with a +7 performance (5 assists, 4 goals, 2 turnovers) and Jesse Cohen also had a big night with a +6 game (1 assist, 3 goals, 2 defensive blocks). For the 2017 season, Sean Ham led San Diego with a +63 and 46 goals, Zeke Ivers had 42 assists, Steven Milardovich had 22 defensive blocks, and Dom Leggio was the iron man by playing 385 points in all 14 games (1,075 minutes total).
The San Diego Growlers finished a great season with a 7-7 record after starting 0-4, and beat 2 playoff teams over the last two weeks (LA & SJ). Thanks to everyone who supported us this year and we believe the future is bright for 2018. Let’s keep growing the pack!!!