Game Recap: Seattle vs. Oakland- June 17th, 2022
Spiders Fight it out to Take First Win of the Season
By: Delilah Masket
On June 17th at 7 pm, the Oakland Spiders took on a new arena for the night: Fremont High School. The field was pristine, the stadium professional, and the noise from the fans made it feel just like home. Facing off against the Seattle Cascades for the first time this season, players, coaches, and fans were eager to see how the game would play out. Seattle entered the night with a two-game win streak, while leading the league in hucks completed and blocks. In a tight game, with difficult conditions, Oakland would prevail after a long fight and overtime finish, the final score at 20 - 19.
Oakland started on defense, with the Spiders coming generating pressure from a zone to stop Seattle’s forward momentum. While Oakland would have 2 break opportunities during the almost 5 minute long first point, Seattle would eventually hold for the early 1-0 lead. 1-0 quickly turned into 2-0 following an early Cascades break. Following Seattle's break, a crossfield forehand from Evan Magsig to Gavin May would put Oakland on the board at 2-1. While Oakland would maintain momentum on the following point, with a block from Brandon “Springs” Fein and a nice upline throw from Alex Pien to Ryan Sheppard for a Spiders break, Seattle would quickly recover and pull ahead with multiple breaks to close the quarter at 5-2.
Following a few turnovers, Oakland would hold to start the second quarter. Oakland seemed to be backing their offenders (staying 5 to 10 yards behind them) to close off all of the deep looks, another tactic that helped the Spiders generate blocks on defense. Ryan Shephard managed a huge block on an attempted huck to give the Oakland another break opportunity, which they failed to punch in after a throwaway. Seattle would hold to go up 6 - 3. Oakland would follow with a break, after an impromptu double team forced a Seattle turn with 8 minutes left in the quarter. At 6-4, a Wyatt Berreman block would lead to a lefty blady backhand assist to the wide-open Solan Megerssa, for a one point Seattle lead, 6-5. With the pressure mounting, Sheppard would record another block in the Seattle endzone after the pull; but the Cascades would recover to force an Oakland turnover and get the hold on offense with an incredible layout to toe the line. Following an Oakland hold, Chris Lung would give the Spiders another break opportunity on a huge footblock. Oakland would capitalize on the chance, with a hammer from Magsig to May, to tie the game at 7 - 7, with 2 minutes remaining in the half. After trading holds, Oakland would fail to convert one more break opportunity, and head into halftime trailing 9-8.
Oakland would start the second half on defense. With wind still a factor at Fremont, Seattle threw the disc away after tight defense from Oakland, but would recover start the 3rd with a hold and 10-8 lead. After securing the hold, this game saw one of its longest points yet, with several turnovers on each team that resulted from miscues, miscommunications, and hasty punts. Seattle broke the spiders eventually on that point, the game now at 11 - 9 with 4 minutes left in the quarter. With the quarter winding down, and Oakland trailing 13 - 10, the Spiders would hold on a huck from Lung to Matt Crawford to enter the fourth with Seattle leading 13-11.
Lung's strong performance would continue, with a backhand huck to start the fourth for an Oakland hold. After forcing another turn on Seattle to get the break and tie the game, the whole team rushed the field yelling and cheering, forming a line in the endzone pretending to row a boat together. This intensity continued with an incredible layout block on an upline cut by Evan Magsig, and the ensuing break by the Spiders to take their first lead of this game at 14 - 13. The next 7 points are all holds for the Spiders and the Cascades, and with just under a minute left in the, the teams are tied up at 17 - 17 with Spiders receiving the pull on offense. Spiders work it up the field perfectly, taking only 30 seconds of clock, and end the point up one with roughly 25 seconds left. With a buzzer-beater huck, the Cascades manage to snag the disc and punch in their 18th point, tying up the game, and forcing overtime.
Overtime puts five minutes on the clock, and all of the same rules in normal play still apply. Oakland starts out on defense in this period, playing person defense with a little bit of switching downfield. A stall is called on Seattle to give the Spiders possession. Wyatt Berreman tosses up a hammer that is contested, and although Joseph Gu gives a second attempt at catching it, he ultimately calls Integrity, claiming that the disc was down. This Integrity call was a true testament to the spirit and sportsmanship of the Spiders, and just like that, good karma gave us a defensive block and a break for the spiders on that point. On a long point, Seattle ties up the game after battling the Spiders’ zone, creating a tie game with under a minute left in overtime. Roughly 15 seconds on the clock, and Ben Sokolowsky finds the wide open Matthew Crawford in the endzone to take the lead 20 - 19. Cascades look for another buzzer beater throw to the endzone, but it is blocked by Gavin May, and the Spiders take the game.
Several players shone in the stat-line this game, with Chris Lung leading the team in assists (5) and plus/minus score (7), while tying with Ryan Shephard for blocks (2) and Evan Magsig for points played (19). Oakland had a 91% completion rate, and a 73% huck completion rate. Matthew Crawford consistently demonstrated his dependability on offense with 6 goals this game. Matthew Kissmann held down the fort on offense as a center handler for the Spiders, leading the team in completions (37).
This was Oakland’s first win of the season, and many fans and players alike are hopeful that with this enthusiastic and united success, the floodgates will open for the remainder of the Spiders’ season. As always, the energy of the team and especially of the fans continues to pull Oakland through each and every game.
Next home game for the Spiders is Saturday, July 16th, when Salt Lake Shred visits Oakland at the Oakland Technical High School field, available to stream on AUDL.tv
Photo credits Ron Sellers