By Steve Lienert
PHILADELPHIA—In the Spinners’ locker room prior to their second game of the season against the Connecticut Constitution, the team decided to rock some music to get pumped. When it comes to psych music, though, Monster Mash by Dr. Demento is probably closer to Flock of Seagulls than anything by Eminem or Metallica. Spinners’ cutter Jake Herman, however, was pushing hard for it to make the playlist.
It didn’t, but after the game he had last Saturday, the Monster Mash may just become the Spinners new theme song. Herman scored a team-high four goals and threw two more, Greg Owens scored three times and notched four assists and Arthur Shull added three goals and two assists as the Spinners never trailed en route to a 22-16 win over the Constitution in an American Ultimate Disc League contest at Franklin Field.
“The score doesn’t reflect how close it was for three-and-a-half quarters,” Herman said. “It was really just a play here and there that changed the outcome of the game.” His Crash Davis-esque quote belied his pre-game musical request.
“Monster Mash was shot down, mostly because we didn’t have it,” Owens said. “But I’m thinking it’s going to make an appearance in the locker room in the future.”
One thing was clear: the Spinners were a loose bunch against Connecticut, which may have helped Philadelphia start the game with a quick break. The swirling winds of an approaching thunderstorm caused the teams to trade turnovers, but the Spinners ultimately capitalized after Sean Murray, who also scored three goals in the contest, capped a conservative Philadelphia offense attack for the early 1-0 lead.
As the game wore on, though, a pattern emerged: Connecticut would get close, but Philadelphia would break the Constitution to re-establish its lead. Connecticut tied at 2’s; The Spinners reeled off a pair of goals to take a 4-2 lead. The Constitution tied at 5’s. Philadelphia broke Connecticut again to take a 7-5 lead advantage en route to a 9-7 lead at half.
Offensively, the Constitution wanted to send people long. Meanwhile, the Spinners were content with working the disc and maintaining possession.
“It was hard to get a consistent read on the wind, but I think that played to our advantage over Connecticut because they seem to be more of a hucking team,” Shull said. “We can do that, but we also work really well underneath. We don’t need to jack it. We can keep working it for little 10- or 15-yard gainers.”
The teams traded goals through a nasty, windy second-half rain squall and with 9:40 left in regulation, the Spinners held a 15-13 lead.
Following a Connecticut turnover, Owens launched a huge flick down the sideline intended for Spinners’ cutter Mike Panna, who layed out four-feet off the ground and caught the disc with two hands before landing in the end zone to give Philadelphia another huge defensive break point for a 16-13 lead.
His effort had an effect on the team and that helped propel Philadelphia to score the next two goals to take an 18-13 lead.
“Panna’s two-handed lay-out grab really got the crowd pumped and it got me pumped up as well,” Owens said. “That, for me, was a momentum swing for us. It was a great catch.”
Later in the quarter, Connecticut got a first-pass layout ‘D’ by Isaiah Bryant that helped the Constitution pull within 19-16, but the Spinners stemmed the tide and late goals by Dave Brandolph and Harrison Treegoob (at the buzzer) helped seal the Spinners’ second win of the season.
“I think the Spinners out-worked us,” Constitution player/coach John Korber, who scored a game-high six goals, said. “We had plenty of chances and gave them the disc too many times late. They were disciplined and worked hard enough to ensure we didn’t get it back. In the end, two or three breaks decided the game and they are a testament to the energy level difference on a few points.”
Herman credited the over 700 fans in attendance for giving the Spinners a true home-field advantage.
“I think having an active crowd like the fans in Philadelphia, I think it’s worth three or four really good lay-out bids,” Herman said. “It gets the players really pumped up.”
Sure it does, but when it comes to getting psyched, it’s no substitute for the Monster Mash.
“It will probably make it on the playlist on the way to Rhode Island,” cutter Jake Rainwater said. “It’s just a fantastic song. (Herman) suggested it and I seconded it.”
Could the Monster Mash be the Spinners theme song?
“It’s definitely possible.”