In a high-scoring affair, Seattle lost at Vancouver (2-2) after the Nighthawks strung together a series of breaks in the third quarter that sealed the game, 29-23. Donnie Clark received the VUL spirit award for the Rainmakers for his spirited play and added a record-setting 14 points in the loss.
The usually defensive-oriented Rainmakers scored more points this week than they have been able to score in any previous week this season, but could not overcome Vancouver’s tenacious defensive line. The game saw a combined 52 total goals scored to set a single-game scoring record in league play.
“The game itself was fun and I don’t think we had any overall bad playing,” Clark said . “We started on serve then in the second quarter had a slump that put them up by three. And again in the third quarter we slumped again. We just never recovered. Without the slumps in the second and third quarter we were in the game and I think they know that. We beat them by five, and now they beat us by six. The next game will be a great fight.”
Despite the loss, Seattle (3-2) remains in second place in the Western Conference standings behind Portland
Vancouver’s Peter Yu set the tone early with a D on the second point of the first quarter, allowing Vancouver to get the first break of the game. The Nighthawks held and took the quarter 6-5.
In the second, Vancouver earned two more breaks, but the Rainmakers held also the beginnings of Clark’s record setting scoring spree. Despite Clark’s six goals, assist and defensive play in the first half, the Rainmakers trailed 13-10 as they headed to the locker room.
Seattle received to start the third quarter and Ben Beehner got on the board with a score, bringing Seattle within two goals. The teams traded points until the Nighthawks defense stepped up midway through the quarter. Vancouver received defensive plays from Allan Cowan, Charles Eyrich and Yu to tighten up on the Rainmakers. Vancouver buried Seattle with a five-point scoring spree, which ended in a buzzer-beating score thrown by Brendan Wong.
Seattle started the final quarter on offense down by seven. They responded quickly with a score and an early break to bring the game within five. After trading points again,Vancouver ended any potential run by the Rainmakers. A handblock by Matthew Doyle on Rainmakers Adam Simon, who had seven assists on the night, turned into a score on the other end when Rumi Tejpar hit Alexander Davis to bring the score to 26-19 with less than five minutes to play.
The game ended with a jump-disc in the end zone that Clark brought down for the final point of the match.
Despite the loss, Khalif El-Salaam and Henry Phan continued to impress with their end zone dance moves, which have lit up the From the Sidelines highlights throughout the season.
Seattle travels to Portland next week to take on the undefeated Stags on May 17th.