Riptide prepare to tame Growlers
The Riptide hope to avenge their Week 3 home opening loss in their upcoming dance with the West division’s worst team – scratch that, the league’s worst team – the San Diego Growlers, Sunday.
Vancouver has been off to a slow start this season, sitting at second last in the West with a 1-3 record and only a spot behind their Week 5 opponents.
It seems every game Vancouver plays is a close one (two of their four games were decided by a single point) and their worst loss was at the hands of the league’s top team and 2014 champions the San Jose Spiders. So ultimately (no pun intended) things could be a lot worse.
And it gets better.
The ‘Tide’s Gagan Chatha sits tied for fourth in the AUDL in goals with 20 in four games. He’s definitely been the best player offensively for his side, and his game-by-game output is extremely consistent, which is something Vancouver can hang their hats on in a losing slump.
Their match against Seattle in Week 3 saw Chatha record five goals and four assists, team highs in both categories.
Also, needle-threader Kevin Underhill has really made his mark in the league with fantastic play on both sides of the disc through his first few games. He’s currently tied for sixth in the league in assists with 18 – including four in their loss to Seattle – and sixth in completions with 173.
The cherry on top of the Week 3 loss was the tremendous and surprising play of Derek Fenton. Fenton’s played in three games this season, but recorded over half of his total points in the loss, with five goals (10 total) and three assists (five total).
The biggest worry the winless Growlers will give the Riptide is the play of Jimmy Mickle who has been the guiding light for the floundering squad, leading the league in total points played with 93 on offense and 60 on defense for a total of 153.
In light of this being the ‘Tide’s first return to Vancouver since their nail-biting home opening loss to Seattle, it’s sure to be a time for redemption.
The match is set for Sunday, May 10 at 1 p.m. at Swangard Stadium.
by Spencer Luyben