Photo by Rodney Chen – UltiPhotos.com
On Sunday the San Francisco Dogfish play the Vancouver Nighthawks at home in Berkeley. This will be the first time the teams have met on the field since week one, when the Dogfish defeated the Nighthawks 15-14.
A Shared Struggle
The Nighthawks are currently experiencing what the Dogfish already know: You can be top of the conference one year and at the bottom the very next season. Neither team lacks talent, but both have struggled to regain their championship chemistry.
Despite a big loss to the Portland Stags last week, the Dogfish have been on an upward trajectory with their offensive consistency. With a nearly full roster this weekend and a crowd eager to see a win in this last home game of the regular season, look for the Dogfish to throw the full might of their defense at the Nighthawks and use newfound patience and confidence in their connections to maintain possession.
In the face of a rash of injuries this season and a reduced roster this weekend, the Nighthawks will be relying heavily on team captain Morgan Hibbert—particularly with the absence of Ted Chu, Kirk Savage and Brendan Wong (fifth in the MLU for goals), who all factored strongly in Vancouver’s first close game against San Francisco. Hibbert earned the Defensive Play of the Week last week and is in the top ten of the MLU for points (32), making him key to the Nighthawks’ strategy.
In It to Win It
Both teams need to win this game. The Stags have secured their spot in the Western Conference Championship game, but the second spot is still up for grabs. A win for either the Dogfish or the Nighthawks this weekend puts them one step closer to ending the season 5-5 and bumping the Seattle Rainmakers from the number two spot.
With such a tightly played game last time they met and both teams accustomed to time working against them toward game’s end, expect both teams to prioritize managing the clock as part of the play on Sunday.
Don’t miss a minute—see all the action live at Yellowjacket Stadium! Game starts at 1:00 p.m. and you can buy your tickets here.
Can’t make it to the stadium? Watch the game on MLU Live here.