Whew, what a season! NightWatch Nation, we feel for you. What started as a year filled with hope and dreams has closed out with disappointment and anguish. We’re now 75 days removed from the last Nashville win and times have been rough at NightWatch HQ. But, there remain a few bright spots. One, the Charlotte team that comes to town this weekend has been Nashville’s closest competitor talent-wise in the division. Two, the team has been competitive in a far tougher division than we saw a year ago and, despite the losses, management and Coach Balch are quite optimistic about the future of Nashville professional ultimate team. And three, and this is probably the most profound—we have set a record for attendance, NightWatch nation appears stronger than ever, and the fan response to the team this year has been unbelievable. So, from all of us here at the Nashville NightWatch… Thank you!
Saturday, July 2
Charlotte Express @ Nashville NightWatch
Where They Stand: Nashville (1-11 7th in South); Charlotte (4-7, 6th in South)
Last Matchup: Charlotte has Nashville’s number. Despite a seemingly even on paper matchup, the Express rolled over the NightWatch 28-19 on last Saturday, June 25. The NightWatch defense was gashed consistently, while the offense was not able to provide the answers to Charlotte’s defensive pressure.
With the defense having struggled almost the whole season, the onus is on the offense to step up in order to cover for the other side’s deficiency. Enter Tyler Conger, who captains the team on the offensive side and brings the competitiveness, savvy, and ultimate intelligence to the offensive side of the game. Conger led the team against the Express the last time out and seems to be capable of foiling Charlotte’s defense. His handling skills alongside that of Blake Waldron’s will be key to making sure Nashville can match Charlotte’s offense output.
It’s pretty clear that the Express offense runs through Jesse Liebermann, with his 33 assists and 366 completions. He’s even got 7 goals to match, proving his versatility as an offensive force. Given Nashville’s woes on defense, look for the success or failure of Liebermann in orchestrating the Charlotte offense to be a key towards how this game goes.
Whereas Nashville has struggled on defense, the Express’ offense has been less-than- stellar. Nashville has the talent to matchup with the Express on both offense and defense. With Michael Volz’s stellar debut and explosiveness on offense, the NightWatch again have a dynamic scoring threat to matchup alongside Jake Wright. The question is, will that be enough to hang with Charlotte, who hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire on defense—and on the field in general?