High energy but low tide at the home opener
The Vancouver Riptide played their home opener on Saturday night in a clash with the Seattle Cascades at Swangard Stadium. The Riptide were coming off a thrilling 21-20 win in Seattle the previous weekend and were looking to build off that inspiring performance.
On a windy and chilly evening at Swangard, the Riptide came in sporting a 1-2 record, looking to climb back up to the .500 mark in the young AUDL season. The Cascades had a 2-1 record, looking to add one more to the win column. Excitement was building as game time drew closer and the fans started filing into the stands, especially since last weekend’s tilt was the Game of the Week on ESPN.
The game was fast paced from the start. Following the coin flip it was determined that the Riptide would start on offense, with Seattle pulling. Vancouver wasted no time getting on the board, with Edward Guo grabbing the first goal of the game. But the Cascades answered quickly, capitalizing on their first offensive possession to tie the game at 1-1. Gagan Chatha, one of the top offensive weapons for the Riptide would give the ’Tide a 2-1 lead on the next possession. The trend of back and forth would continue, as the Cascades would answer right back. This game had all the signs of another thriller early on. Several points in, however, Chatha would get stalled down and turn the disc back over to the Cascades. Seattle was able to capitalize on this mistake and take a 3-2 lead. Andre Gailits would respond again though for the Riptide, making big grabs in the downfield. With the game tied at 3-3, Seattle received the disc and worked up the field again, wasting no time taking the disc to the end zone retaining the lead. But the Riptide would not be denied and came right back to tie up the game. Nearing the end of the first, it seemed that both teams became less careful with the disc, with multiple turnovers happening on both sides, after which Seattle would score with a hammer right over the top. The teams would trade goals but the first quarter ended with a 7-6 lead for the Cascades.
The second quarter started off with Seattle adding to their lead right away, with a big huck that brought the score to 6-8 for the Cascades. Vancouver’s Kevin Underhill then worked the disc on the endzone line, and scored from the handler position to pull the Riptide within one: 7-8 Seattle. Vancouver would make a excellent D on the Cascade’s next possession, but could not convert in the endzone. With Seattle playing excellent pressure D, the Riptide would turn the disc over. From the stands, you could hear the crowd cheering for the Riptide. With the Vancouver fans at their backs, the Riptide would step up, with Tim Tsang getting a massive D and keep Seattle’s lead at bay, though momentarily. Seattle would build their lead to 10-8 and then 11-8, breaking the Riptide O-line. Seattle would maintain their 3 goal lead with a buzzer beater goal going into halftime.
Seattle would pull to start the second half. With the handlers working the disc up the field, Vancouver would dump and swing consistently, and effectively, to gain yardage. Nearing the endzone line, Joel Bellavance would strike into space and make have some fancy footwork to make sure his toes landed in the endzone. A pretty looking play to add to the Riptide scoresheet, and a crowd-pleaser as well! Following the next pull, the Riptide would get the disc back on a turnover by Seattle. After trading several points, Seattle remained up four breaks, and led over the Riptide 16-19. With only 1:24 to go in the 3rd quarter, Riptide youngster and fan favorite Darren Wu would begin his domination and score one for the Riptide. Wu made a fantastic catch, bringing the disc down out of orbit over the defense to bring the score to 17-19, with Seattle still in the lead. Seattle would bring the score up to 17-20 on the next possession but the Riptide wouldn’t go down without a fight and would get a buzzer beater of their own to make it 18-20 going into the fourth.
The start of the fourth quarter saw another Seattle score. However, on the Riptide side of things, Darren Wu would just keep on wooing everyone, with his stellar catches both on O and on D. This quarter saw a lot of points traded, with Vancouver playing consistent offense, and Seattle doing the same to maintain the lead they had created early in the game. With 6:45 left in the fourth, Seattle would score to bring the game to 21-24 for the Cascades. The Riptide knew time was running out and called a called for time to talk things over. Right out of the time out, Vancouver scored to make it 24-22. We had a battle brewing, with a similar on-field tone to last weekend. Seattle receiving on the next pull, had two back-to-back scores, pulling away for good with the final game score of 22-26 over Vancouver’s Riptide.
From a scoring perspective, this wasn’t the outcome that the Riptide wanted. They converted on 46% of their chances and their offensive productivity was 67%. Riptide co-captain Alex Davis said subtle differences were what changed the game:
“You know, these two teams are actually pretty evenly matched, and when you have evenly matched teams, very subtle differences can make swings. Throws and catches that are more contested and a couple of inches here and there”
Davis says the Riptide will fix their mistakes and come back better for their next game and work on minimizing the mental mistakes as well. The Riptide now sit at 1-3 on the season and will look to bounce back Sunday May 10th against the San Diego Growlers at 1:00 p.m. A perfect way to enjoy Mother’s day! We hope to see you there!
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