GAME RECAP: COLORADO VS. OAKLAND JUNE 17, 2023
By: Josh Frojelin
OAKLAND - Because of their loss the day before to the Sat Lake Shred, the Colorado Summit entered their contest with the Oakland Spiders needing a win to remain in second place of the West Division.
The Spiders, however, were looking for redemption. The team lost a tightly contested game to the Summit on a road trip earlier in the season. “When we went away to Colorado and Salt Lake, we played tight with them for the first half, feeling pretty good,” recalled head coach Dan Silverstein. “Then in the second half both teams pulled away.”
Oakland, again, kept the game close with last year’s West Division champion. In fact, despite missing both Mac Hecht and Chris Lung, the Spiders were down just one goal at half time.
Silverstein hoped this game would put doubts about the team’s depth to rest. “There’s been a perception this season that the Spiders are leaning on a couple people to be good,” the head coach shared. “It’s been our opinion this whole year that we’re a ‘team’ team.
“We came in today wanting people, offensively, to step up. [Wanting to] make our defense known, because people have been talking sh*t about our defense… We’re not just a Mac Hecht and Chris Lung show. We’re a 35-person team.”
The Spiders were getting contributions from throughout their lineup. Dexter Clyburn finished with seven assists and one goal, while Keenan Laurence contributed three assists and four goals.
But, the Spiders were down 17-13 late in the third quarter. It seemed eerily similar to the 6-1 run the Summit went on against Oakland en route to a comfortable win just a few weeks ago. “Today Colorado started to do that again,” shared Silverstein. “It was looking a little gross.”
Defense allowed the Spiders to come back in the fourth quarter. Robin Vickers Batzdorf would finish the game with four blocks and help the defensive line rattle off three breaks in the final frame. Just before the team mounted their comeback, Keenan Laurence brought the team together for a huddle.
“One thing I preach to all my guys is: You can create your own energy,” the captain shared. “The cool thing about energy is that you can create it out of nothing. And you can share it. It’s free.
“Let’s dig deep,” Laurence concluded. “It starts with yourself. Bring your own energy. Try to spread it to your teammates and lift [the team] together.”
The Spiders eventually took a 23-21 lead after a phenomenal catch from youngster Dylan Nice, skying his defender in the endzone. But after a hold on offense, the Summit forced a late turnover and tied the game with 17 seconds remaining.
Without Lung and Hecht, the Spiders needed some late heroics from a different source. As Oakland’s offense awaited Colorado’s pull, Laurence and Clyburn had an exchange. As Laurence recalled: “Dexter said, ‘let’s call game here.’ I said, ‘I like the sound of that.’
“We did a little double move and faked the defender in… He ended up putting it in the perfect spot for me to make a play and come down with the goal.”
Laurence jumped and secured the disc over the Summit defender. He fell to the ground and was immediately swarmed by teammates, loudly celebrating the team’s upset win.
Oakland is now 5-3 and in a three-way tie for second place in the West Division with the Summit and LA Aviators. The Spiders have yet to play the Aviators, but will face them twice before the regular season ends next month.
Now, the Spiders will have a couple of weeks off before their next contest. The club has a home game against the 0-7 Portland Nitro on July 8 where they will hopefully continue their two-game win streak.
Laurence said this win has him feeling “super, super confident” heading into the team’s final four games of the regular season. He added: “The fact that we pulled it out tonight with some of our key pieces missing just shows that we’re a really deep team.”