GAME RECAP: SAN DIEGO VS. OAKLAND JUNE 10, 2023
By: Josh Frojelin
The Spiders Continue Push to Playoffs with Win over Growlers
OAKLAND - The Oakland Spiders took another step towards qualifying for the AUDL postseason with a highly contested 21-17 victory over the San Diego Growlers.
The Spiders, who entered AUDL Week 7 in third place in the West Division, were coming off an 0-2 road trip against the top two teams in their division. With the Growlers just a game behind Oakland in the standings, the Spiders needed to get back in the winners’ column.
However, head coach Dan Silverstein felt the team’s road trip to Colorado and Salt Lake City had good moments despite the losses.
“We played well in those games,” he said. “We’ve always been aiming for third in the division… We knew that would be a really tough road trip. We wanted to win games, but we didn’t necessarily expect to. We played two great first halves and two not-great second halves.”
The Spiders continued their strong starts with back-to-back breaks to start Saturday’s contest. This defense ignited the Spiders to a 11-7 halftime lead. The Spiders’ offense again ran through Mac Hecht, who led the team in throwing and total yards, completions, and assists in the game.
However, Oakland’s second half struggles made another appearance. The Growlers tallied three defensive-line scores and brought the game within one score as the third quarter ended. The Spiders were in a familiar situation. The second half saw the team lose all their momentum.
However, Silverstein felt that this game was different. He attributed Oakland’s turnovers as “just a few execution errors. It was nice that we had the buffer and we didn’t panic.”
“The defense brought it back in the fourth,” the head coach said smiling.
Evan Magsig recorded a spectacular lay out block early in the fourth quarter. After a timeout, Chris Lung would secure Oakland’s key break. The Spiders’ downfield defense would continue to force turnovers and completed three breaks in the final frame.
“Today we won the second half,” Silverstein pointed out. “[We] won the fourth quarter by four points.”
The Spiders are now in a highly contested race for the third West Division playoff spot. With their three-game win streak, including two road wins last weekend, the LA Aviators are now tied with the Spiders at 4-3.
The Aviators will host the 1-6 Seattle Cascades next, while the Spiders look to get revenge on the 5-1 Colorado Summit. Two weeks ago, the Spiders took a loss on the road to the Summit 27-22 after the game was tied at halftime.
“We’re really excited,” Silverstein said on the rematch. “We knew we’d see these fellas again.”
The coach wants his team dialed in on the next matchup, as his squad continues a tight playoff race. “One game at a time,” Silverstein repeated. “[We’ll] improve along the way, but one game at a time.”