Spiders fall to San Francisco 34-29
Based on the preseason rankings this looked like this game would be a blow out. Coming into this matchup the Spiders were ranked last in the division while the Flamethrowers were ranked #1 in the West. Though the Spiders didn't come away with the win, their performance showed that they could hold their own with the top of the League. The high scoring affair is what you'd expect in almost perfect weather conditions with two very strong offenses. But a few mistakes by the Spiders plus an Antoine Davis buzzer beater was enough to give San Francisco a five point edge.
Stand out offensive play came from Shane Earley and Jackson Stearns who both made possession saving catches on contested hammers. Andrew Berry played smart offense, taking advantage of San Francisco's switching defense to get wide open on break away cuts. He led the Spiders with 5 goals in the contest. On defense Ethan Falat made the first big defensive play with a catch block off a San Francisco handler cut. He finished the game with 2 blocks as did Jackson Stearns and Brandon Fein. One of Brandon's blocks was late in the third quarter on an underneath cut against Beau Kittredge. After the block Justin Norden went for the deep put to Brandon but it the disc fell just off Brandon's fingertips.
The Spiders offense played mostly small ball and the handler core of Chuck Cao, Justin Norden, and Steven Chang ran the show. The trio combined for 16 assists on 176 completions with a 97% completion rate. Justin Norden led the team with 6 assists despite having to come out of the game with a leg cramp later in the game.
While the stats don't show it, Kelly Van Arsdale made perhaps the biggest contribution to the team. Moving from o-line to d-line Kelly took the matchup with Beau Kittredge for the majority of the game. While he didn't completely shut Beau down he was able to contain Beau to 1 goal and 2 assists. Instead it was Cassidy Rasmussen that the Spiders had the most trouble finding an answer for. His overall contribution of +11 off of 7 assists and 6 goals was the best in the contest. Grant Lindsley also stood out as one of the strongest players on the Flamethrowers offensive line.comments powered by Disqus