Seattle Notches Wet Win Against Riptide

By Scott Lewis
Photos by Jeff Bell

There was a moment in the third quarter of the Vancouver Riptide’s AUDL home opener when it looked like they were going to take the lead against the Seattle Cascades for the first time since early in the game, grabbing the momentum that goes with fighting back from a deificit.

But, alas, it was not to be, and the Riptide went down to a 27-24 loss. They can take solace in that this was a much closer game than the pummeling they took in Seattle during the season opener early this month.

Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle Cascades #99) bids for a disc but Greg Moore (Vancouver Riptide #13) makes the grab during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle Cascades #99) bids for a disc but Greg Moore (Vancouver Riptide #13) makes the grab ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Something very unusual did happen last Saturday night at the game. It rained.

Yes, rain in Vancouver on a spring evening may not sound out of the ordinary, more the opposite, but remarkably, every previous home game of AUDL and MLU the management of the Riptide has been involved in, covering about two dozen games across four seasons, had been precipitation-free. But being residents of Seattle and Vancouver, the players, the staff, and the good-sized crowd in the stands did not flinch in the face of water falling from the sky…

The game stated off with a bang, when not for the last time, Tim Tsang of the Riptide found Ty Barbieri with a huck on a contested catch to notch the first of seven goals for Barbieri and six assists by Tsang. The rest of the quarter saw the teams feeling each other out, with the Cascades taking advantage of the sometimes impatient Vancouver offense throwing it away in the end zone on two straight points, each leading to a Seattle break, allowing the Cascades to take a 6-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. It should have been closer, but after a spectacular flying D by Yu-Min Li, his teammates once again threw away the disc in the Seattle end zone as time ran out.

Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle Cascades #99) makes a catch with Patrick Church (Vancouver Riptide #17) in pursuit during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle Cascades #99) makes a catch with Patrick Church (Vancouver Riptide #17) in pursuit ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

The second quarter saw both teams playing well, except that Vancouver again threw away the disc in the Seattle end zone twice, each time leading to a Seattle break, allowing the Cascades to take a 14-10 lead at the half. The star of the quarter was Seattle’s Khalif El-Salaam, always a thorn in the Riptide’s side, as he nabbed two goals and three assists in the 12 minutes. The Riptides did commit another throwaway in the Seattle end zone, but this time they were able the disc back, leading to yet another Tsang to Barbieri connection for a goal.

The third quarter has often been a problem for the Riptide, and it looked like it might happen again when during the first point they, you guessed it, threw away the disc in the Seattle end zone. But they got possession back on a stall count violation, and after two more turnovers, the Riptide’s Peter Yu found Nima Mostaghimi to cut the deficit to 11-14. After the Cascades’ Brad Houser scored his fourth goal of the game, countered by Tsang finding Barbieri in the end zone with a hammer, the Riptide’s defensive pressure started to really bite the Cascades.

Morgan Hibbert (Vancouver Riptide #8) skies a crowd during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Morgatron says “This disc is mine” ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

First Peter Yu got one of his patented layout Ds and then found Alex Davis in the end zone with a scoober. On the next point Morgan Hibbert did his Mrogatron thing, first running down a Seattle huck in the end zone from a long way away, passing multiple players in the process. After the Riptide turned the disc back over to Seattle, Hibbert got another highlight reel D, leading to a Greg Moore goal which brought the score to 14-15 for Seattle.

Morgan Hibbert (Vancouver Riptide #8) with a huge D during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

“I’ll take this one too” ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

But just when it looked like the Riptide were about to take control of the game, the Cascade veterans showed their savvy, smoothly reestablishing their low risk offense, scoring the next two goals, the second after yet another Riptide end zone throwaway, to restore a three goal lead, which is where the third quarter ended, with the score 15-18.

Where the third quarter was hard fought and low scoring with plenty of turnovers and only eight goals scored, the final quarter was completely different, with few turnovers and no fewer than 18 goals scored over the 12 minutes. Seattle had the first possession and ran the lead to 19-15, and that set the stage for the eventual win. It is hard to catch up when both teams are scoring freely, and Seattle took advantage, cruising to the 27-24 win. The only question was which player would score the most goals in the game, with both Barbieri and Houser getting another pair, allowing Barbieri to claim honours with seven goals to Houser’s six. Speaking of honours, Barbieri and Houser were each named their team’s Player of the Game.

Brayden Gee (Vancouver Riptide #6) gets UP during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Brayden Gee (Vancouver Riptide #6) gets UP ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Yes, the Riptide lost the game, but they can take solace from it also being Ty Barbieri’s AUDL coming out party. Still only 19 years old, he has been touted as Vancouver men’s ultimate’s Next Big Thing, and this game showed why. He is now the Riptide’s leading scorer on the season with 10.

Needless to say, Barbieri’s teammates are excited by what they see in him.

“Ty has eyes set for the end zone,” said teammate Brayden Gee. “He has a great sense of how and when to get open, plus his athleticism is off the charts at a young age. Thinking back to when I was his age, I would never have imagined playing at such a high level and doing so well. The more he plays with and against high calibre players, the more he will learn what will and will not work, and he will become a complete player on both sides of the disc.”

during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Alex Davis and family before the game ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

“Ty has the advantage of being a very versatile player and the good fortune of still being an unfamiliar face to other teams,” added Alex Davis. “And just as important, he never gives up in the face of a challenge. We can put him in a lot of different positions where he will be equally dangerous, where he will surprise his match-ups, and where his teammates can key off of him knowing that he’ll find a way to get the job done.”

At the very least, it looks like Barbieri will be able to fill the hole left when last year’s leading scorer Ben Burrelle left Vancouver and hence the team. And he is managing the sometimes difficult task of being both immensely talented and very popular with his teammates. If anything, they were even happier than he was when he was announced to the fans as the Riptide’s Player of the Game.

Ty Barbieri (Vancouver Riptide #5) and Trevor Knechtel (Vancouver Riptide #50) vie for a high disc during the first home game of the AUDL season for the Vancouver Riptide against the Seattle Cascades. Vancouver, British Columbia. ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Ty Barbieri (Vancouver Riptide #5) and Trevor Knechtel (Vancouver Riptide #50) vie for a disc ©2017 Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

Barbieri and his teammates return to action next Saturday night at 6 p.m. at Swangard Stadium against the San Jose Spiders. You can buy tickets for the game here.

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