Growlers Beat LA Aviators

Photo Credit: Greg Siller

The San Diego Growlers hosted the Los Angeles Aviators on June 15 at Mission Bay HS in a pivotal SoCal rivalry game.

On the first point, Casey Shugarman set an early defensive tone with a block, then Michael Tran found Caden Sigerud for the break score. The rivals traded offensive goals, then San Diego recorded a break when Tynan Sander’s backhand connected with Shugarman. After another LA turnover, Taylor Gilman threw a hammer score to Marshall Crawford for a 2nd consecutive break, 4-1. The Aviators settled down on offense and traded holds with the Growlers to end the first quarter, 5-3.

San Diego held on offense and after an LA throwaway and timeout, Travis Dunn fed Oliver Artus for the break, 7-3. The teams traded, and the Growlers capitalized with an interception and Stefan Samu assisted to Sander. Creating more positive momentum, Crawford denied an Aviator deep throw and caught the bookend goal from Gilman, 10-4. The teams traded scores and San Diego recorded another break, with a Dunn dish to Kyle Rubin. Los Angeles stopped the bleeding with a hold, but found themselves behind 12-6 at halftime.

The Aviators scored on offense and had several chances to break on the next point, but KJ Koo’s blade hit Peter Lenz for the eventual hold. The teams traded and after a timeout, Dunn assisted to Koo for the break. San Diego seized total control of the game on the next 2 possessions, with an Ethan Li block and assist to Jimmy McGuinness, then Crawford tallied another block which led to a Max Gibson break, 17-8. LA was finally able to convert on a couple of offensive holds but faced a giant 18-10 deficit going into the 4th quarter.

The Growlers continued to display their offensive prowess with a Koo to Tom Konogeris score, and the Aviators countered back. San Diego held and registered another break with a McGuinness block and bookend goal. Los Angeles scored on offense then converted their first and only break of the contest, which was certainly too little too late. With the clock winding down and the game out of reach, the SoCal rivals traded goals, with San Diego earning a dominant and convincing victory, 24-15.

The Growlers were led by KJ Koo (6 assists, 2 goals) with a +8 performance, and Marshall Crawford (2 goals, 3 blocks) and Travis Dunn (5 assists, 2 goals, 1 block) contributed big +5 games as well. 

Next up, San Diego will travel to Colorado and Oakland for a critical road double-header as they fight for playoff contention.