Riptide Give Rude Welcome to Cascades

Story by Eric Wilkins
Photos by Jeff Bell

The home opener for the Vancouver Riptide was exactly what the doctor ordered, with the home team exacting swift revenge from their Week One conquerors, the Seattle Cascades.

Coming off an opening week loss to the Seattle Cascades, the Vancouver Riptide were looking for a strong game to avoid an early 0-2 hole. By the time the dust settled on a brisk spring evening the squad had done just that, dispatching of their Washington opponents 34-24. It may not have been the type of nail-biter that keeps fans on the edge of their seats, but it was the type of comfortable win that top teams need to be able to pull off.

Dude and the fans during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

New Riptide mascot Dude made his debut during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

The major stumbling block for the Riptide in Seattle had been a five-minute stretch that saw the Cascades go on a 6-1 run. The Riptide turned the tables this time around. Following a hard-fought five-minute point that resulted in a Phil Murray score from Seattle star Mark Burton, Vancouver put an end to the visitors’ one and only lead of the game. With the most phonetically pleasing connection of the night — William Vu to fan-fave Darren Wu — the Riptide tied the game 2-2 to start a 7-1 run that bled over into the second quarter. There was no looking back after that as the Riptide held at least a three point lead the rest of the way

“The line-calling was a big difference. They came up with a shorter roster and we were able to spread our playing time around. We got on a roll and had momentum early,” commented Assistant Coach Matt Doyle.

No fewer than 13 Riptide played at least 20 minutes in the game, led by Anatoly Vasilyev with 36.

Rumi Tejpar (Vancouver Riptide #81) and Michael Caldwell (Seattle Cascades #19) with a closely contested play during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Rumi Tejpar (Vancouver Riptide #81) and Michael Caldwell (Seattle Cascades #19) with a closely contested play. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

A good team never panics and the hosts displayed a calm composure throughout the match-up. Several times, including during the lead-up to a late second-quarter goal by Tim Tsang from Rumi Tejpar, the Riptide had the disc on the edge of the end zone line then eschewed a risky scoring attempt, instead taking their time and working it around until they had an easy pass to score. There were precious few rushed throws.

Vasilyev, an off-season acquisition from the Toronto Rush, spoke to that self-control.

“We learned from our mistakes last week and were a little more patient and focused. We tweaked and adjusted our game and performed much better as a result.”

You can see this patient offence in action here. (Vasilyev makes the layout catch near the beginning.)

Brendan Wong  (Vancouver Riptide #98) during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Brendan Wong (Vancouver Riptide #98) comes down with the disc. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Heading into the half Vancouver was up 16-11, though the game felt a great deal more out of reach for Seattle than just five points. The Cascades did manage to instill some hope with the way they started the third quarter, coming within three points on the heels of a quick 5-2 exchange of scores in their favour, but the Riptide had no intention of letting their opponents back into the action. A steady demolition of the visitors, highlighted by a 10-5 final frame, put the finishing touches on an enjoyable Saturday night of Ultimate.

“It’s a pretty good way to start the season.” said Doyle. “The long break till our next game gives us a couple of weeks here to continue working in practice. We’ve been focusing on ourselves and our own development so this helps us on that path.”

Jordan Dhillon (Vancouver Riptide #40) during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Rookie Jordan Dhillon (Vancouver Riptide #40) had an impressive debut in his first AUDL game, playing 25 minutes. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Roving the field to the roar of the faithful at Swangard was a first for Vasilyev, and something he is eagerly anticipating getting used to.

“That was epic. It didn’t disappoint. Great crowd, awesome support; loved the cheering. When it’s loud you can’t even hear what your teammates are saying on the sideline!”

Morgan Hibbert (Vancouver Riptide #8) and a group of young fans during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Morgan Hibbert (centre rear) may strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but he’s always a hit with the youngsters. © 2016 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Myles Sinclair paced the Riptide in goals with five and points with nine. Vu had the most assists with five, while Morgan Hibbert led the way with three Ds.

Vancouver will take a bit of a break before playing their next game at home against the San Diego Growlers at Swangard Stadium on Saturday, May 7th, at 6 p.m. You can buy tickets here.

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