Despite jumping out to an early 3 in the first quarter with three consecutive breaks, Vancouver (1-7) was unable to hold off the Rainmakers once the game settled down. They were able to put a lot of pressure on the Rainmakers (5-2) out of the gate with the breaks, but Seattle was able to cut down on their unforced errors while the Nighthawks were not.
After spending the rest of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter fighting to erase their early deficit due to unforced errors on offense, Seattle took command of the game. After allowing a Nighthawks score by Joshua Lam to tie things up at 5, Seattle ripped off four consecutive scores (including a Henry Phan callahan) to take half at 9-5. The callahan was a pivotal moment in the game as it gave Seattle an additional offensive possession before the half.
After the break, the Nighthawks were unable to come out with the same level of play that they started with in the game’s opening points. Seattle picked up right where they left off, extending their point streak to seven and taking a commanding 12-5 lead. Vancouver would never within more than six the rest of the way.
The Nighthawks offensive unit could never get revved up after their defensive line gave them a great start, converting on just 35.0 percent of their offensive points. The story of the game boiled down to the Nighthawks inability to move the disc and capitalize on offense. FSHE, or first hold scoring efficiency is the percentage of times that a team converts on the first possession of a hold opportunity. The Nighthawks were unable to score on the opening possession of their offensive points until 6:58 remaining in the fourth quarter and the inability of their offensive line to take care of the disc and convert was the main contributing factor to the dissipation of their early lead.
Kevin Chu had one of his better games of the season for Vancouver, scoring a pair of goals and throwing one assist in the loss. The 21-year old UBC player played a career high 12 points against the Rainmakers, splitting his time on both sides of the disc for Head Coach Patrick Gatien, playing six points on offense and six points on defense.
Erik Hunter struggled in the inclement weather to the tune of three turnovers on just nine points played in the loss. Down the stretch it seemed as though Gatien wanted to give his defensive unit a chance at some offensive points in an effort to shake up what was a stagnant offensive attack.
The aforementioned Phan was hands down the man of the match for the Rainmakers. His callahan was the standout play of the game, but he finished the game with a goal, three assists, and a pair of blocks to help lead the Rainmakers defensive unit to a stellar performance and a comeback from their early deficit.
The Nighthawks travel to Portland next Saturday to take on the Stags at 3:00PM PT at Milwaukie High School Turf Field in Milwaukie, Or. where the Stags are still playing for the best record in the West. The game will be available to be streamed on MLULive.com.