The first American Ultimate Disc League game in Santa Barbara provided plenty of excitement Friday night at San Marcos High’s Warkentin Stadium.
The benefit game for the San Marcos band went down to the wire, with the hosting Los Angeles Aviators pulling out a dramatic 24-23 victory over the Oakland Spiders.
With the score tied at 23, the Aviators got a spectacular defensive play from Lukas Ambrose. He hustled to catch up with an open Oakland receiver and swatted away a long throw from Max Williams to give the disc back to L.A. with a minute left.
The Aviators moved down the field and, with 2.5 seconds left, took their only lead when Marcel Osborne caught Brandon Van Dussen’s pass for the goal.
The Aviators made a huge mistake on the ensuing pull (kickoff). They tossed the disc out of bounds, allowing Oakland a short field to make a last-second game-tying play. The Spiders had a player open, but L.A.’s Mitchell Steiner broke up the pass to prevent an overtime and secure the win.
The victory ended the Aviators’ regular season at 7-5. The Spiders are 7-4 with one remaining game on Saturday in San Diego.
The Spiders lost to San Diego, creating a tie for third place. The Aviators wound up making the AUDL West playoffs.
Down 6-2 midway through the first quarter, the Aviators cut the lead in half when Michael Kiyoi, the San Marcos music director and a player of the L.A. team, fed Osborne for a goal at the 4:28 mark.
The hometown fans, many of them San Marcos music students and their parents, started chanting his name after goal.
Kiyoi’s supporters saw him score two goals in the game. His first came on a fast-break pass from Osborne to make it a 7-5 game with 1:26 left the first quarter.
He caught a long throw from Sean McDougall at the 1:05 mark of the second quarter to make it 14-11.
L.A. regained possession after an incomplete pass and McDougall scored with no time left on the clock. He outfought an Oakland defender in the end zone for the goal, cutting the deficit to 14-12.
McDougall and Sam Cook each scored five goals to lead the Aviators. Dexter Clyburn had five for the Spiders. L.A.’s Van Deusen and Oakland’s Mac Hecht were the assist leaders with seven apiece.
Oakland came out strong in the second half, breaking up two L.A. possessions and getting goals from Matt Burke and Gordon Sommer to go up 16-12. On the second pass break-up, an Aviators player was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Aviators regrouped and scored four unanswered goals to tie the score at 16 at 5:01 of the third period. Zac Schakner caught Milan Ravanell’s pass for the tying goal.
There were six more ties before Osborne’s game winner.