Game Recap- Colorado vs. Oakland June 11th, 2022
Spiders Showcase Strength and Heart in Competitive Colorado Match
By: Delilah Masket
The loyal Oakland community came out in numbers again to the third home game of the Spiders season. Along with the return of key veteran players, Spiders coaches, fans, and players looked to Ryan Sheppard, Keenan Laurence and Max Williams to demonstrate their talent in this game as they have throughout the season. While Oakland started strong, after a few key injuries and consistent pressure from Colorado, the Summit would ultimately prevail 29 - 24.
Oakland started the game on defense, generating two break opportunities on the first point. In what would become a theme throughout the game, Colorado would regain possession and manage to hold. Following a clutch handblock on their goal line, Colorado would work it down the field to break the Spiders, going up 2-0 early on in the first quarter. The Spiders and Summit were tight the rest of the quarter, staying fairly even, until the Spiders got a break to bring it up 5 - 5, on a phenomenal huck from Keenan Laurence to a full-extension layout score by Ashton Paulus. While the quarter would end tied up at 5, both Laurence and Paulus were lost for the remainder of the game due to injury.
The second quarter opened up with holds by both teams, until Colorado broke Oakland twice, capitalizing on execution errors in the reset space to bring the score to 8 - 6. Oakland would recover on a hold, punctuated by a cheeky scoober throw from Justin Norden in the red zone, to bring the score within one. Spiders had another misconnection from Norden to Kissmann, which Summit took advantage of to lead the score 10 - 7. The half ended with Summit winning 13 - 9 after getting another break against the Spiders.
Not deterred by the first half deficit, young Spiders fans took the field at halftime to run deep and catch throws from Spiders players. The enthusiasm of the young Ultimate players at halftime, and throughout the game, was a testament to the spirit and camaraderie shared by the Bay Area Ultimate community.
With Colorado showing no major signs of fatigue after their road game the previous night, they would own the third quarter, moving the score from 18 - 11. While Oakland made highlights, including a great throw from Norden to Brandon “Springs” Fein skying his defender, Colorado continued to play incredibly tight defense throughout the quarter and take advantage of Oakland turnovers. Offensive inconsistency remained a challenge for Oakland on both sides of the disc, as the Spiders defense struggled to convert the few break opportunities they were able to earn. Oakland would close the quarter on a powerful cross-field break flick from Matt Crawford to Springs in the endzone to bring the score to 21-14.
While Colorado controlled the 2nd and 3rd quarters, Oakland continued to fight throughout the closing frame. Despite injuries to key players, fatigue, and disappointing turnovers, the Oakland sidelines and fans remained passionate and engaged as the quarter went on. Oakland would go on a mini-run midway through the quarter, following a backhand huck from Morgan Sommer to Max Williams, who skied his defender and toed the line perfectly for the score. At 24 - 17 Oakland would punch in a break with a well placed lefty flick up the line from Wyatt Berreman to Phil Chang. Oakland would close within 5, at 24-19, on another break following an impressive second effort grab by Wyatt Berreman. From there though, it would be all holds as Oakland fought both the Summit and the clock, failing to generate turnovers following a series of short “roller” pulls.
Despite the final result, Oakland continues to progress, as demonstrated by an improved red zone conversion rate (86%) and only 16 turnovers compared to their season average of 21. Gavin May continued his hot streak, keeping possession for the Spiders O-line when they needed it throughout the game, while leading the team in goals scored (5). With Keenan Laurence and Chris Lung out for this game, Justin Norden carried the offense, leading the team in assists (10), completions (68), points played (36), and plus/minus score (6).
While Oakland suffered its fifth loss of the season, the Spiders continue to fight with an energy, community, and grit unlike any other team. Oakland continues to maintain an incredible competitive enthusiasm and collective joy for playing the sport, with heads held high and voices booming following each point. The Spiders look to get back on track this Friday against the Seattle Cascades playing for the first time at Fremont High School in Oakland.
Next game for the Spiders is Friday, June 17th, when the Seattle Cascades visit Oakland at the Fremont High School field, available to stream on AUDL.tv
Photo credits Ron Sellers