Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rainmakers Claim First Victory of 2015, Stags Reach 3-0, and Philadelphia gets a Huge Comeback Win

Not much change in the rankings this past week as the Rainmakers surpassed the Nighthawks with their first victory on the season. The Nighthawks fall because of their loss to the Stags on their home turf as the Stags become the first team in the league to advance to 3-0. The Current and the Whitecaps had a bye this past week, leaving the lone game being between the Spinners and the Rumble. New York looked to be on their way to their first victory on the season but a 7-1 run put the Spinners on top for good.

1. DC Current: 2-0 

Last Week: 1     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: The perfect week for a bye as some members of the team traveled to Virginia Beach for Beach Nationals this past weekend. The Current however will have their hands full as they prepare this week for their toughest stretch in the season with a two game weekend in Boston and New York. If DC can get past this upcoming weekend unscathed, they might have the chance to run the table. However this star-studded team got even better with the addition of Nicky Spiva.

2. Portland Stags: 3-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +0

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 24-20

Weekend Superstar: Peter Woodside (3 goals, 4 blocks)

Review: Each week the Stags prove to me more and more that they can contend with DC for the top spot in the rankings. This time they defeated the Nighthawks in a rematch of last year's Western Conference Championship. Out of the 24 Stags who played in this game, 20 players recorded a point as the balance of the roster paid dividends. The team held their own the entire game and was able to consistently score on one of the league's best defensive units.

3. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-1

Last Week: 3     Change: +0

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated New York Rumble 21-16

Weekend Superstar: Matt Glazer (6 goals, 1 assist)

Review: Amazing comeback for the Spinners over the Rumble this past weekend. Trailing for a majority of the first half, Philadelphia used a 7-1 run during the third quarter to take control of the match. Similar to the Stags, the Spinners were able to use the depth of their roster to come away with victory, 21/25 players scored a point. David Baer orchestrated the defensive line in this come from behind victory recording six assists. The team will enjoy the week off in Week 4 for their scheduled bye.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 1-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: The Whitecaps had their first bye of the 2015 season this past weekend coming off their first victory of the year. This comes at a perfect time for Boston as they had the opportunity to heal some of the nagging injuries that have hindered the team. They have been preparing for a rematch against their rivals coming all the way from DC this week. A win this weekend will give them the perfect chance to climb back up in the Eastern Conference Standings.

5. Seattle Rainmakers: 1-2

Last Week: 6     Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 20-17

Weekend Superstar: Mark Burton (4 goals, 2 assists)

Review: The Rainmakers came into their game against the Dogfish on a mission and scored six of the game's first seven points. San Fran got right back into it in the second but the Rainmakers never allowed the Dogfish to take the lead and went on to claim their first victory. With a small roster, still missing their superstar in El-Salaam, new play makers made their presence known especially Matt Heeley's ESPN Top Play.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-2

Last Week: 5     Change: -1

Lost to Portland Stags 20-24

Weekend Superstar: Morgan Hibbert (3 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: At the end of the year Vancouver is going to wish they had this one back. This game was one that the Nighthawks needed if they were to surpass Portland for the top spot in the conference by the end of the year. The Nighthawks kept this game competitive throughout the game but the Stags proved to be the superior team on the field. Missing a main handlers, Johnathan Hayduk, there was heavy reliance on Kirk Savage. Hibbert had his best performance on the year as he attempts to lead the new Vancouver defense.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-2

Last Week: 7     Change: +0

Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 17-20

Weekend Superstar: Evan Boucher (5 goals, 4 assists)

Review: After opening the year with an encouraging victory over the Western Conference Champs, the Dogfish have fallen back to the bottom of the conference. Luckily for them that still means that they are tied for second. The team trailed for the entire match failing into a huge deficit early on. Despite the heroic efforts of Evan Boucher, who recorded nine points on the day, 24 turnovers by the Dogfish was too much to overcome. Looking on the bright side, rookie Gabe Saunkeah tallied two goals, three assists and went 27 for 27 on his throws.

8. New York Rumble: 0-2

Last Week: 8     Change: +0

New York Rumble
Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 16-21

Weekend Superstar: Michael Hennessy (3 goals, 3 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: A heartbreaking loss to the Spinners after leading the entire first half of the game. The Rumble's offense struggled to get going in the third quarter and were outscored 1-7. It made matters worse when the Rumble could not get proper substitutions into the matchup, being limited to only 19 players. This game proved that the top line of the Rumble can go toe to toe with anyone in the league but it is the bottom half of the roster that is their weakest.

Once again there will only be three games this weekend but the Current will be playing in two of them. They first travel to their first road game on the year to Boston, the only place that DC lost in 2014, and then head back down south to play the Rumble in the team's home opener. On the west coast, the conference leading Stags will host San Francisco in what will be a rematch of Portland's Week 2 win 15-12. Meanwhile Philadelphia, Seattle, and Vancouver will take their first bye of the season.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

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