Last Sunday was a big win for the Aviators. On every front we needed a W. To even have a chance the playoffs, we have to win our last four games and a statement win against an athletic Vancouver team that edged us out on the last meeting, was just what the team needed. One cannot ignore the heat, wind and the fact that Vancouver just played a tough game the night before in San Diego. A win is a win as they say, and it’s just the first step in our climb back into the playoff discussion.
The Vancouver game started very sluggish for both teams with trading points most of the first quarter, lots of turnovers and poor decisions on both sides. The heat was already starting to take it’s toll when the offensive movement was slow, but the Aviators knew they could grind through. #43 Eric Lissner was back on the field after suffering a hand fracture 4 weeks ago, and after shaking off the rust and getting his confidence back, Lissner was able to contribute as both a handler and a receiver racking 4 goals and 5 assists. #8 Mark Elbogen was a game day decision with a back injury, but was able to contribute on the handling side. Mark scored most of his goals(3) int he 2nd half, but was not able to get as many 50/50 discs as he usually does and only had 1 assist, obviously due to the lower back pain he was playing through. Without #55 Tyler Bacon and an injured Elbogen, this left a hole for a player to step up into and that player was #25 Nicholas “Kraken” Alexander. One of the youngest players on the team, but with the throwing ability of a veteran, Alexander had a huge game with 3 assists, 39 completetions (100% effeciency) and 2 goals. The Aviators are very excited about Alexander’s future and think he has a high ceiling and will be able to contribute to the Aviators for a long time. One player that the Aviators have been excited about but has yet to breakout until Sunday is Defensive player #17 Hunter Corbett. Corbett had a fantastic game on Sunday racking up 2.5 “D’s”(interceptions) in 1 possession and team high 4 goals. The Aviator’s “Department of Defense” were able get 4 breaks in the 4th quarter alone and converted every single one, with Corbett scoring on multiple break points. Mitchel Steiner defintely showed up with 3 D’s, 1 Goal, and 1 assist.
By far the most exiting play of the day was Jeff Silverman’s unbelievable, acrobatic catch:
The Aviators have to win the next three games to even have a fighting chance to make the playoffs. What is interesting is they are all against San Diego. 2 in San Diego, and our last home game is July 18th at Occidental. The Aviators have beaten San Diego before, and they know how to exploit certain match-ups, but slowing down the “commuting players” of Mickle, Lance, Gibson, and Ackley will be critical. In the last meeting in Los Angeles, there were some plays where they were the only players to touch the disc, sometimes only 3 of them, so making sure they do not dominate the offense will be critical.