Spiders win 28-22 over the Los Angeles Aviators

Photos by Brendan Yee

The Spiders had a lot to live up to in this game. They've been the underdog in almost every contest this season and they've played with a chip on their shoulder. Now, with a 4-1 start and a top 5 ranking in the AUDL power rankings, it was time for the Spiders to play like a championship contender and not a 1 and done flash in the pan. That confident swagger was on display in a game that never seemed in doubt. The Spiders were able to cruise to a 28-22 victory over the Los Angeles Aviators to take the #1 spot in the Western Conference rankings.

Full Game Highlights

The Spiders broke early in the 1st on a spectacular layout catch by Tommy Adams and defensive play by Andrew Moore. The Spiders Offense looked like it might be able to finish the quarter without getting broken had it not been for a dropped pull that gave LA an easy 1 throw goal for a break. The Second quarter was more even with LA's Mark Elbogen rewarding an LA block with his signature hammer assist for 1 of 2 LA breaks in the quarter. But San Jose was able to build their lead late in the 2nd from shut down handler defense by Brandon Fein and bookends score.

The third quarter was where the wheels came off for LA. Chuck Cao caught fire in the second half, launching rifle hucks and hitting his receivers in stride. San Jose broke 4 times to LA's 0 and were up 23-15 at the end of the third. At the start of the fourth quarter San Jose switched to a zone defense to slow down LA's offense and force long points to run out the clock. LA managed to close the game but they had no chance to make up the 8 point lead that San Jose had built.

Justin Norden had another strong performance leading the team with 5 assists, but heavy pressure from LA led to 4 throw aways. Chuck Cao and Steven Chang picked up the slack and combined for 5 assists on 71 completions with Chuck's lone throwaway their only turnover. Chuck's assist tally doesn't do him justice as he completed 4 long range hucks from deep in Spiders territory but 2 fell just short of the endzone. Steven Chang was doing damage as a receiver too and he talled 3 goals in the contest.

Jackson Stearns and Evan Brydon led the Spider's cutters in goals with 5 and 4 respectively. The duo were also efficient with the disc having only a single turnover. Jackson's improved performance this year as the Spiders main offensive scorer has been a big part of the Spiders resurgence. Shane Earley and Andrew Berry were not as productive as scoring threats but were able to go 21-21 on passes and catch 4 goals between the two of them.

Andrew Moore and Ian Meyer led the Spiders in Blocks with 3 each but the defensive unit as a whole was able to get turns on strong defensive pressure, stalls and high stall miscues. Tommy Adams had a monster layout block early on in the game that started the San Jose defensive unit (1 of 2). And Ethan Falat may have had the most impressive layout bid attempt but the attempt fell just short.

For LA Eric Lissner had another strong performance for LA including a really sneaky push pass on the goal line, and former Spider Mark Elbogen also had a great game. But the play of the game for LA was in the fourth quarter when LA's Jacob Bartholomew, above, was able to snag a corkscrew hammer from a closing Andrew Berry for a goal.

It's a quick turn around for the Spiders as they'll host the 1-6 Vancouver Riptide this Saturday at 7:00 pm. Vancouver hasn't been up to the task early in the season but they just got they'll be fired up after getting their first win of the season last week. Though the Spiders were able to win their first match up in Vancouver, the Riptide were missing some of their biggest names from their roster in that meeting. A lot will depend on who gets on the plan and heads down to San Jose next Saturday. After an an amazing overtime win they should be sending their best to face San Jose next week.

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