To start off the season the team lost the face of their franchise for three seasons, Chris Mazur. Mazur was (and still is) the team's all-time leader in goals (49) and assists (80). In addition they lost their next top eight scorers including Chris Kocher and John Wodatch, two young stars expecting to begin a youth movement to rebuild the Rumble. The top two players returning would be the YouTube personality Marques Brownlee and defensive superstar Jibran Mieser. Joining the team would 2014 Rumble player Quinn Hunziker and former Philadelphia Phoenix player Sean Mott.
There were not high expectations for this team to start the season. In fact, looking at where they started, being able to finish with the same record from the year before was an accomplishment for this squad. This team may be set up to succeed from one season to the next for the first time in their history.
Getting the group together and creating some chemistry would be the goal of New York this season. Winning and getting to the playoffs was not a viable option for the team and has not been since 2013. New faces in larger and different roles were going to take time to develop. One thing no one questioned was their athleticism, they had two of the best defensive players in the game, Brownlee and Mieser, and a young roster to build on.
Early on in the season many of the veterans from 2015, there were only nine, were placed on the offensive unit. Normally that is how it works with any professional, club, or college team for their top line, especially on a year with massive turnover. As the season progressed the lines began to change, the largest difference being Mott to the O-line and Brownlee being mixed up between offense and defense.
On a team with only a 45 percent offensive scoring efficiency, many players would see time on both sides of the disc. It let this team with 22 MLU rookies gain more experience rather than playing all your good cards in hopes of stealing a win. As a result there were 14 players who saw over 90 points of action on the season for New York, which averages to nine points a game.
Their offense consisted of a new group of guys leading the charge, Mott (13 goals, 18 assists), Charlie Patten (217/247 throws), and Scott Xu (15 goals, 12 assists). Between the three of those players they touched the disc over 480 times on the season. With Patten the middle guy, Mott and Xu would often take their chances at cutting downfield. Despite their size (both at 5'8") they managed to win multiple battles downfield. Other cutters, Brownlee (12 goals, 12 assists), 2016 Spirit Award winner Hunziker (5 goals, 10 assists), and Mason Compton (14 goals) each filled in different roles.
Throughout the season though there were countless unforced turnovers by New York. While they only had the third most turnovers in the league, their completion rate was the worst at 87.2 percent.
The biggest improvement was their defense. As always consistency is the biggest factor in professional ultimate and keeping a low roster turnover. When changes happen the biggest problem ends up being the productivity of the defense. Led by Matt Weintraub (23 assists), the Rumble improved their turnover rate by nearly seven percent to 53 and their defensive scoring rate by eight percent to 29. The team still struggles to score on defense but as shown by the statistics the more turnovers you force, the more opportunities there are to score. Brownlee led the league in blocks this year with 21 but many of those came while he was on the offensive line.
vs. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-0 PD: +3
vs. Washington D.C. Current: 1-2 PD: -1
vs. Boston Whitecaps: 0-3 PD: -32
vs. Philadelphia Spinners: 0-3 PD: -35
New York was the only team in the league to get more wins on the road than at home in 2016. That is saying something for a team that went two years without a road victory. In contrast though they became the first team ever to go winless at home (0-5). The first road win came against the Washington D.C. Current in Week 3 but even more impressive was their win in Week 6 when they traveled out to San Francisco.
They became the only team in MLU history to travel cross-country and get a win. In addition they extended the East coast's undefeated record against the West, which now stands at 6-0 with the Philadelphia Spinners winning the MLU Championship.
From opening pull the Rumble did not look like the team that had just traveled 3,000 miles and instantly rolled the San Francsico Dogfish. In the first half the Rumble were able to get seven breaks against the Dogfish and have a commanding 12-6 lead at the halftime break. The defense of New York dominated, forcing a turnover on 67 percent of their points and led to Weintraub having a season high seven assists.
While Xu (four goals) and Mott (three goals) brought in the scoring, the Rumble cruised to victory. The final score line may look to be a close game but the Rumble were rolling in the first half in perhaps only the second-best defensive performance against the Dogfish in 2016.
Team MVP: Marques Brownlee
(12G, 12A, 21B, 69/96 throws, 0.551 TPOP)
Team Star: Matt Weintraub (2 weeks)
Rookie of the Year: Sean Mott