A dominant regular season. Sweeping the season awards. Two of the best players in the league. An aggressive defense. A highly efficient offense.
Did I miss anything?
Two years ago the Boston Whitecaps obliterated the competition in the inaugural season of Major League Ultimate, going an impressive 13-0 en route to the league championship. Leaving many to think their run was one of the more impressive feats in Bean-Town's sports history.
But in the off-season Boston's hopes had taken a huge hit. The team was going to have to play the 2015 campaign without two of Boston ultimate's finest in Danny Clark and Brandon Malecek. Two players that were instrumental in the team's identity and success.
With two big roster holes, Week 1 came around and more bad news came out for the group as Lee Farnsworth, Rusty Ingold-Smith, Jon Hirshberger, Will Neff, Jake Smart, and Robin Meyers (all players with professional experience) were going to miss their opening double header weekend. These athletes would all go on to not play a single game during the season and eventually all be labeled as 'Out for Season' on the IR. On top of that news, top O-line handler Josh Markette and highly regarded rookie, Tyler Chan, would miss the opening weekend. This all adding to the uphill battle the Whitecaps would face with two upcoming games.
At this point many writers, myself included, wrote off the team. They were 0-2 and the defending champs and Spinners got huge momentum building wins over Boston. In addition the Current were shaping up to mount a charge to defend their title.
It appeared no one took the team seriously until the final week of the regular season when Boston thumped Philadelphia 26-13 to claim home-field in the Eastern Conference Championship.
Most Valuable Player: Jeff Graham (21 G, 21 A, 7 B)
Offensive Player of the Year: Josh Markette (7 G, 24 A, 2 B)
Defensive Player of the Year: Christian Foster (17 G, 11 A, 14 B)
Rookie of the Year: Billy Sickles (15 G, 27 A, 5 B)
Coach of the Year: Sam Rosenthal (7-3 regular season record)
The Rainmakers only tied the game once at 1-1 and never got that close to Whitecaps again. This was due to Boston's perfect offensive line, scoring 17 goals and not being broken once. The team would go on to cruise to the 31-17 victory, scoring the most points in franchise history and tying a league record for points scored by one team in a game.
At this point I will ask what was more impressive: a 13-0 inaugural season domination or a 9-3 team that battled through adversity that had to fight and claw to the championship? I will leave that for the Bostonians to decide.
And back to my opening question: 'what does it take to become a champion?'
Well being from Boston sure does help.