Week 11 What to Watch For: Nashville Hosts the Hustle

Do you remember Week 3, NightWatch Nation? It was April 16th and 17th ,Nashville had just polished off an overtime win in Atlanta following a tough loss to Jacksonville, and the NightWatch were 1-2 on the young season. Hopes were high and things looked better going into the home opener against the undefeated Raleigh Flyers. What a difference two months can make. Since that Week 3 win, the NightWatch have dropped 6 straight and look to be playing the role of spoiler from here on out. With Atlanta (4-5) 4th in division and fighting for their playoff lives, this could be a prime opportunity for a scrappy NightWatch team to go 2-1 on their geographical rivals and knock them out of the playoff picture.

Saturday, June 11

Atlanta Hustle @ Nashville NightWatch

Where They Stand: Nashville (1-8, 7th in South); Atlanta (4-5, 4th in South)

Last Matchup: Nashville beat out the Hustle in a thrilling overtime game, which ended on a Ray Davenport score as time expired. Nashville played its most complete game of the season in Atlanta that day and looks to remain competitive against a team that is locked in the playoff race.

Key Players:

Jake Wright leads the NightWatch to the tune of 35 goals and a 99% catch rate. He looks to be closing in on Paul Lally’s franchise record 50 goals from a year ago and has been on the highlight reel for the NightWatch all season long.

Since Week 6’s win against Raleigh, Atlanta has dropped 3 straight despite Dylan Tunnell’s consistent contributions. In 7 out of Atlanta’s 9 games, Tunnell has either shared the lead or led the team in assists, including an outstanding 10 assist effort in the Hustle’s last win against Raleigh on May 7. Stopping Tunnell will be a huge key to a NightWatch victory.

Key Matchups:

Player Pierce has been described as a player that can pierce the defense with his precise throws. With him joining Tyler Conger and Blake Waldron on the handling line this weekend, will they be able to find space against a tough Atlanta defense. Nashville’s cutting squad, including Jake Wright, Ray Davenport, Tom Radcliffe, and Paul Lally have their work cut out for them. Craig Stewart mentioned Robert Runner as someone who’s “always fun to play against,” and that speaks of the respect Nashville has for Atlanta’s point man on defense.