In their first game at Round Rock’s new Multisport Complex, the Hustle defeated the Sol in a 28 – 27 close fought nail-biter.
The Round Rock Multisport Complex offered a brand new field for the both teams to face each other on. While in game seating on the benches was lower than usual, it offered fans the chance to be on the field with the players, which created a fun, intimate environment. In addition, the Sol organization were able to bring their local partner, Adelbert’s Brewery, for the game to offer fans some delicious local beer and was a hit with the fans.
In the first quarter, the teams seemed to be dead even and looked like mirror images in terms of playing style. After a bit of back and forth scoring, the Sol led by a slim margin of 5 – 3 only for a few minutes before the Hustle tied the game with 55 seconds remaining the first. After a great deflection on a 50/50 jump pass, the Sol were able to throw a deep pass to the end-zone with 13 seconds left to have a 6 – 5 lead entering the second quarter.
The Hustle came out in the second quarter more discipline. After an excellent hammer pass to the corner of the end-zone for a Sol score and a 7 – 6 lead, the Hustle went on a 4 – 1 run scoring off deep passes and methodical, quick scores. Despite being now down 10 – 8, the Sol tied the game off a cool hammer pass to Ryan Purcell. After tying the game at 10 – 10, the Sol and the Hustle exchanged scores to go into the half tied at 13 – 13.
Throughout the third quarter, the Sol and Hustle would go score for score. Leading goal scorer, Caleb Denecour, was able to continue to flash his speed throughout the third quarter after converting on two deep passes. Both teams converted off each other’s mistakes such as the deflection in the end-zone on a 50/50 jump pass that led to methodical Sol score or the interception with less than a minute left in the game leading to the Hustle to convert for an easy score. With the Sol down by 1 with less than 23 seconds left, the Sol were able to move down the field and throw a last second jump ball to the end-zone as Mick Walter reeled it in to tie the game at 21 – 21.
With game tied entering the fourth quarter and the scores had gone back and forth throughout the game, many fans felt that this game could be the first overtime game. This feeling was especially apparent when Atlanta switched to a zone, slowing down the Sol attack which at one point made over 40 passes to finally convert. After a few scores, the game was tied 23 – 23 with under 8 minutes left. After another deep pass chase down and by Denecour and a deflection leading to a score by Michael Hays, the Sol took a slim lead of 25 – 23. After a few quick scores, Denecour raced between two defenders to secure a score in the end-zone to maintain a two point lead of 27 – 25 with just over 4 minutes left in the game. However, the Hustle would not go away. After a hammer pass to the end-zone for a score, the Sol tried to answer only to get blocked in the end-zone. With the game on the line and under a minute to play, the Hustle had possession and went down the field. The Hustle threw a pass in the end – zone and despite being deflected by the Sol, it was not enough to break the trajectory. With seven seconds left, the Hustle caught the pass for a score to give them a 28 – 27 lead. In the final seconds of the game, the Sol threw a Hail Mary pass towards the end-zone which was almost caught, but a well – positioned defense forced the drop and sealed the loss for the Sol.
For the third straight game in a row against the Hustle, the game came down to the last second or in overtime. Despite this heartbreaker, the Sol look to go on a 3 game road trip to face Nashville, Atlanta, and Dallas. While it is a long road trip, hopefully wanting revenge for this game fuels the Sol to go and get payback against Atlanta when they visit. Caleb Denecour ended the game with 4 assists and 9 goals in his final performance with the Sol as he is moving to Minnesota. He will be much missed by the organization and its fans!