Spiders Fall 21-17 to the Seattle Cascades

Photos by Brendan Yee In front of a packed crowd of 900 Spiders supporters at Foothill College Stadium the San Jose Spiders fell to the Seattle Cascades 21-17. Seattle came out with a strong first offensive possession and scored without a turn and followed up with a break after both teams turned the disc several times. But a late rally and a last second catch by Evan Brydon was enough to go into the second quarter with a 1 point lead.

The Spiders built their lead in the second quarter starting on offense and then getting a break to take a 7-4 lead. But that would be the largest lead the Spiders would have all night. Seattle quickly closed the gap, tying the game at 7 each and then trading points to 9-9. With 45 seconds left in the quarter the Spiders were able to get one last chance to finish the quarter up one. But a miss on an early huck attempt gave Seattle a chance for a last second goal of their own. Khalif El-Salaam put up a mid field huck as time expired and Seattle was able to box out the Spiders and come down with the buzzer beater to take a 10-9 lead into half.

In the third quarter Seattle extended their lead off of San Jose's offensive miscues capped off with some great diving bids for scores. A buzzer beater at the end of the third gave them a four goal advantage and the comfortable lead. That's not to say the Spiders didn't have chances. In the fourth quarter Seattle coughed up the disc on drops and a couple errant throws but the Spiders defensive line simply couldn't capitalize. Seattle road out their four point lead through the fourth and took the game 21-17.

Player Highlights
Top performances for San Jose were Chuck Cao and Shane Earley. Shane was a scoring machine leading the team with 5 goals on 12 catches and no turnovers. Many of those goals were off of assists from Chuck Cao who led the team with 5 assists on 50 completions without a throwaway, though he did have 1 drop. On the defensive side only 3 Spiders registered a block, with David Abram, Matt Jaffe, and Sonny Zaccaro getting 1 a piece. The Seattle defense was able to keep Justin Norden in check. He only registered 2 assists in the contest but was 21 for 21 on throws. He left the game early with a sprained ankle but is expected to play in LA next weekend.

As expected, Mark Burton lead the Seattle offensive with 6 assists, though the Spiders defense was able to make it tough for him. With Sam Adamson and Tommy Adams sharing the burden of covering the Seattle star he was held to an 88 percent completion rate with only 21 completions. Reed Hendrickson was the main goal scorer for Seattle with 4 while Mark Burton also got into the act on the receiving end with 3 goals of his own.

Outlook
The loss means the Spiders no longer control their own destiny to end up first in the West and they still haven't clinched a playoff spot. However, any win next weekend would secure the 2nd or 3rd place spot in the West, edging out Seattle. If the Spiders go 0-2 this weekend they'll need a little help from San Francisco who can eliminate Seattle with a win on Saturday on their West Coast trip. On the other hand, if San Francisco loses to Seattle it'll open up the opportunity for San Jose to regain the first seed in the West with a Southwest sweep. There's still a lot up in the air and on the line this weekend.

Around the Division
Despite being eliminated from playoff contention the San Diego Growlers gave everything they had against the LA Aviators and defeated them 22-18. San Jose can't expect San Diego to roll over just because they've been eliminated from the playoffs. They seem quite content to play the role of spoiler for whoever they play. Meanwhile, Seattle couldn't handle the San Francisco Flamethrowers on the second of their back to back road trip falling to the Flamethrowers 31-26. It's a quick turnaround for both teams and Seattle will have a chance to get revenge at home this coming weekend. Even with a win, Seattle will need either San Francisco or San Jose to go 0-2 on the weekend to make the playoffs.

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