After some very tense and thrilling contests in the second week of the season, the top four teams remain intact.
The first back-to-back games were played over the weekend, for both the Nighthawks and the Stags. And after a heartbreaking loss against the Dogfish on Saturday, Vancouver showcased their resolve with a win against the Stags the next day.
1. Philadelphia Spinners (2-0): Although their second game against the Rumble came down to the wire, the Spinners are still the team to beat in the East. Tied 17-17 with one minute left in the 4th quarter, they were clutch at the end and jumped to a two-point lead by the final whistle. Philly is yet to play a game at home, and are prepared for an encouraging homecoming against the Current, who are coming off two straight losses at home and struggling to turn their potential into goals. Last Week: 1
2. San Francisco Dogfish (2-0): San Francisco travelled north and stole one in Vancouver. The ‘fish jumped out to a big early lead against the Nighthawks and let them tiptoe back, but finished strong with a last-minute goal to return home undefeated. The talented Rainmakers await them this week, and it will be the Dogfish’s first game at Kezar Stadium. After drawing the largest home crowd in the league in their first game (around 1300 fans), they hope to draw that energy on Saturday night and stay undefeated. Last Week: 2
3. Seattle Rainmakers (2-0): The Rainmakers are living up to their name thus far, with a dynamic offense and stellar defense. Coming off a convincing 18-12 victory against the Stags, their upcoming game in San Francisco will be a tough test. The good news for Seattle–San Francisco will be without four of their stars in week three. Beau Kittredge, Ashlin Joye, Mac Taylor, and Martin Cocoran are all attending a training camp in Moscow. Those four combined are responsible for 40% of the goals for the Dogfish so far. Nevertheless, it will be the Rainmakers’ first game away from their home park, Chief Sealth Stadium, and the crowd in San Francisco will be loud and disrupting. The Rainmakers must rely on stars like Sam Harkness and Seth Wiggins, if they are going to steal one from the Dogfish. Speaking of Harkness, in case you somehow missed it, here he is completing “the Greatest” in week one. Last Week: 3
4. Boston Whitecaps (2-0): Fixed in the 4th spot, the Whitecaps barely held off the Current offense to secure another victory last week. Stealing one in DC was a nice feat for the Whitecaps, knocking down a huck in the final seconds to seal the game. With a last-second layout D ending the Current attack, Seth Reinhardt demonstrated the team’s solid defensive talent. They should continue refining their play over the next few games, with their sights set on the Spinners in week five. Last Week: 4
5. Vancouver Nighthawks (1-2): The Nighthawks are clearly better than their early record indicates. In fact, they are the only team with a losing record that has actually scored more goals than they have given up (50-49). Last week, in back-to-back games against the Dogfish and Stags, they lost an extremely close one (after a last-minute goal) and enjoyed a convincing win against the other. After they played strong late against San Francisco and barely lost in their homecoming game, their energy level going into their next game was a concern. They proved they could put the devastating loss behind them, and against the Stags, they played consistent Ultimate and sealed their first victory. Look at the Nighthawks as the sleeper in the West, with a solid chance at snatching one of the playoff spots. Last Week: 7
6. New York Rumble (0-2): New York displayed their ability to adapt and learn from past defeats in their second game. Against the Spinners in a preseason matchup, they were embarrassed 27-14, but they were able to keep in close in their second meeting, barely losing 19-17. Of course, the defeat against the Spinners was draining, but after two early matchups against the top seed, they have been gaining valuable experience with each defeat. Moving forward, The Rumble could be a sleeper to knock one of the top four off their high horse, and assume one of the playoff spots in the East. Last Week: 6
7. DC Current (0-2): After two straight tough losses at home, the Current face a tough matchup in Philly next week. Their second game against the Whitecaps almost went to overtime as the DC Current closed to 20-19 late in the 4th quarter. But they were unable to come down with a huck in the final seconds, and Boston walked away on top. Although they are underdogs heading into Philadelphia, head coach Keven Moldenhauer is still optimistic, promising, “I’ll tell you this, we are not going to go 0-3.” Tough luck may be at fault for the Current’s slow start, but they will need to quickly revamp their game plan if they are going to challenge the Spinners in their park. Last Week: 5
8. Portland Stags (0-3): Their lack of experience is beginning to show against tough Western Conference matchups. The Stags looked a little sluggish in the second of their back-to-back week two matchups, and as mentioned after week one, their conditioning may be an issue. Good news for the Stags; it’s not for a lack of talent. Each game, they are getting strong performances from players like Cody Bjorklund, Timmy Perston, and Ben Lohre. With more seasoning, they should improve by the end of the year. Don’t count them out just yet. Last Week: 8
– Week One