By Josh Kirshenabum
For the second straight day, the San Jose Spiders (2-4) dropped a close matchup to a fourth-quarter team, falling late to the Los Angeles Aviators (3-2) by a score of 33-31.
Ethan Falat and Sonny Zaccaro led the Spiders with five assists apiece. Zach Sabin led all players with seven goals.
Just like yesterday at San Diego, the Spiders started off on the front foot, jumping out to an early lead. Right off the bat, San Jose went up 3-1 before Los Angeles came back on offense to trade points. The Aviator offense came to life, scoring quickly on multiple possessions to keep it close. With four and a half minutes left in the quarter, the Spiders came up with a stop, then came right back to push the lead back to two at 6-4, but then after another defensive stand, they gave the disc up on their own goalline, and Los Angeles took advantage to make it 6-5.
Another LA goal tied it at 6-6, but the Spiders came right back with a goal from beyond midfield to retake the lead. From there, the teams traded points, and San Jose took an 8-7 lead into the first break.
The Aviators tied the game up right away in the second quarter, but San Jose held pace on its first possession, with Zach Sabin getting up to come down with a hammer to take a 9-8 lead. The Spiders extended their advantage before the break, with Zaccaro finding Jackson Stearns on a long huck in the end zone to take a 16-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Spiders came strong out of the gate in the second half with Stearns diving in the end zone to build the lead. However, the Aviators came back to score six of the next seven goals and take their first lead of the game nearly six minutes into the quarter at 19-18. San Jose got going again offensively, and the two teams traded points the rest of the period, with Los Angeles leading 22-21 going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter became a slugfest, with both teams going toe-to-toe on each possession. San Jose tied the game up at 24-24 with just over nine minutes remaining, and from there, the game ramped up even further in intensity. Los Angeles added an insurance goal in crunch time, taking a 32-30 lead with 37 seconds remaining.
The Spiders needed just 16 seconds to reply, clawing back to within one at 32-31, but the Aviators got one final score to ice it with five seconds left.
San Jose will come back to Northern California next week, facing San Francisco at home. The game is set to start at 7 p.m.