The sasquatch roar of a hometown crowd echoed through Memorial stadium as the Seattle Cascades took the field for the first time in 2017. Though the team features a host of fresh faces this year, Seattle's faced paced offense hasn't lost a step. Back to back hammer goals caught by Mark Burton and Cam Smith-Bailey built the foundation for an early 2-point lead that would only grow as the night went on.
After a rousing halftime performance by Overdrive that sparked a fan-led dance party in the stands the Cascades turned it up to 11. Khalif El-Salaam continued to dominate with huge skies against Morgan Hibbert and Gagan Chatha, Vancouver's two biggest aerial threats. Ben Snell punctuated a standout performance with a full-extension layout D to prevent a goal.
Young guns from the USA Junior National Team, Aldous Root and John Randolph both came up with goals. They'll be exciting to watch as they gain experience with a swathe of veteran players. Seattle's experienced offensive handlers Adam Simon and Will Chen tossed up a storm while Mario O'Brien threw 3 assists and 31 completions without a single turnover.
Mark Burton relentlessly attacked the endzone with 5 goals and 6 assists, already on track to top his 56 goals and 74 assists from 2016. Khalif El-Salaam is also in the hunt for statistical supremacy, tying Burton's 5 goals and handing off 3 assists.
Seattle's men look strong. Many will have nearly 3 weeks before their next game when Vancouver will seek revenge on their home turf. Now the attention turns to The Cascades Cup on April 14th where the Cascades' mixed-gender squad will challenge San Francisco for West-Coast ultimate dominance.
Mark Burton: 5 Goals, 6 Assists
Khalif El-Salaam: 5 Goals, 3 Assists, 1 Block
Brad Houser: 3 Goals, 2 Assists
Mario O'Brien: 3 Assists, 31 Completions, 0 Turnovers
John Randolph: 2 Goals, 2 Blocks