Photo by Brian Canniff – Ultiphotos.com
Ultimate is a sport of big moments – the long downfield huck, the layout goal, the end zone sky and the list goes on. Over the past four years of Major League Ultimate, those moments have been captured by our partners at Ultiphotos. In our new series, Caught in Action, we will look at some of the great moments from MLU’s history and how they have been captured by the talented photographers at Ultiphotos.com. This week, we take a look at a huge moment in the 2016 Eastern Conference battle, as captured by Brian Canniff.
Through the first half of the 2016 MLU Season, it was becoming clear that the Eastern Conference crown would likely come down to either the Philadelphia Spinners or the reigning champion Boston Whitecaps. As the two teams were set to meet at the for the second time in Week 6, the Spinners sat atop the standings, undefeated at 5-0, while the Whitecaps trailed them at 3-1, with their only loss coming in Philadelphia during Week 1. With a win, Philadelphia would jump out to a big lead and become the overwhelming favorite to host the Eastern Conference Final, but if Boston defended their home field in Medford, the race for the east would heat up very quickly.
The Spinners came out firing, building a 4-1 lead in the opening five minutes of the 1st quarter. Boston, however was not willing to concede. After scoring twice on a hold and their first break of the game, the Whitecaps pinned the Spinners deep in their own end zone, forcing them to work the disc around the goal line. An overly floaty pass from Philadelphia’s Himalaya Mehta, was read perfectly by veteran Boston defender Shaun Doherty. Doherty, redirecting mid-cut, went fully-horizontal and out-positioned Philadelphia’s Matt Glazer for the disc, bringing it in for the Callahan and tying the game at 4-4.
As Doherty and Glazer clashed, Canniff snapped the shot from the near sideline, perfectly capturing the effort of both athletes. While Philadelphia would regain the lead, the Whitecaps would eventually take the game in overtime, handing the Spinners their first and ultimately only loss of the season. (BOXSCORE – WATCH GAME)