The Rainmakers closed out the Vancouver series with a 21-20 win, a perfect 4-0 sweep. The victory was Seattle’s first one-point win of the season. The game was another nailbiter.
It was the third quarter and the same old story was repeating itself. The Rainmakers were ahead, but the opposition was charging back. Seattle had given up two straight to Vancouver, to make the game 16-15. A previous five point lead was gone. To make matters worse, star cutter Matt Rehder broke his wrist on Vancouver’s latest break, eliminating him from the playoffs. Rehder would be taken to the University of British Columbia’s medical center.
The Rainmakers were wounded. And they needed to pick themselves up. But the bad luck continued. Seattle turned the disc over on a bad throw and Vancouver had a chance at another break with just seconds left in the quarter. Their fortune turned with a floaty Nighthawk swing pass. Cutter Ben Beehner charged across the field and slapped the disc away from the defender.
“I was poaching into the middle of the field because I wanted to help out if they threw it deep,” said Beehner. “I went up to put pressure on the catch and I got a good piece of it.” Coach Ben Wiggins, who was absent, would have yelled about catching D’s. But the macked disc floated into the endzone. Beehner sprinted out full extension and made one of the most sensational plays of the season, catching his own D for the point just as the clock hit zero. Beehner registered a D, an assist, and a score in the span of five seconds.
This put Seattle up 17-15 and their luck held. The two teams traded breaks before the Rainmakers were able to kill the clock in the fourth quarter.
The weather overlooking Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver was beautiful with light wind. The match started with quite a few turnovers from both teams, but Seattle was able to jump to a 6-4 first quarter lead. The Nighthawks made effective use of cross-field hammers to break the mark for scores, but they could not stop Seattle’s offense, which featured a bookend from Donnie Clark.
“A lot of their cuts are just straight up the line,” said Clark. “I just baited a little bit and right when he threw it I did my three hard steps, layed out, and D’d it. And after that [I] just worked my way up and he couldn’t keep up with me.” Clark earned the score at the other end. Seattle registered five breaks in the first half to make the score 13-8.
The third quarter saw the tables turn. The Nighthawks scored four straight out of the gate, closing the gap to 13-12. But Seattle shrugged off the rallies and Rehder’s injury for the victory.
Eager to take on San Francisco the following morning, the team left Thunderbird stadium buoyed by their resilience. As they crossed the border at midnight, Reid Koss remarked that they would “have to be [ready to play the Dogfish] in less than twelve hours.” That didn’t stop the team from enjoying Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet on the way home.
Don’t forget to turn out to support the Rainmakers in their first home game against San Fran! They will be looking to avenge two heartbreaking losses. First pull is at 1:00 PM at Renton Memorial Stadium today. Remember, people in 80’s gear get 50% off tickets. The game will be a preview of the Conference Finals, when Seattle will visit the Dogfish on June 29. Stay tuned!