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AUDL Week 7 Recap: Alleycats, Phoenix On The Rise

A Rochester Dragons player gets way up against the DC Breeze.
Photo by Pete Guion — UltiPhotos.com

With some surprising upsets, the playoff picture continues to evolve around the league. Two teams in each division have started to separate themselves from the pack at the midway point of the season, but the third spot is wide open for the taking.

EASTERN DIVISION

Rochester Dragons 16 -14 DC Breeze

In the last meeting between these two teams, the DC Breeze prevailed in a tight, double overtime finish on double game point. That history gave Rochester a lot to play for as they looked to claw back into the playoff race.

Rochester jumped ahead two breaks early to get to a 5-3 lead, but DC would get back into it, tying the game at 7-7. DC would retake the lead for the first time since very early in the game after a yardage penalty was assessed to Rochester for yelling at the referees.

In the fourth quarter, however, the Dragons took advantage of some Breeze miscues to go on a 3-0 run that would put them up for good — they would finish the game with a 16-14 victory.

Rochester has now won three of their last five games after going 0-4 to start the season. They leapfrogged the DC Breeze in the standings to move into fourth place in the Eastern Division, one and a half games behind the New York Empire (who have played three fewer games).

Philadelphia Phoenix 20 – 15 New Jersey Hammerheads

Matt Esser was unstoppable for Philadelphia, finishing with four goals, six assists, and five blocks, as the Phoenix took down the lowly New Jersey Hammerheads 20-15.

Philadelphia used a 6-0 run in the first quarter to take over the game and hold a lead throughout. The Hammerheads would cut it to two early in the second half, but another run — this time a four point one — assured a Phoenix victory.

Charles Harrity had a strong +5 game, with three goals, an assist, and a block on no turnovers.

Philadelphia Phoenix 17 – 16 Rochester Dragons

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead and eventually extending that to four by halftime, Philadelphia, coming off of a win against the Hammerheads, looked in control against Rochester.

The Phoenix held that lead throughout the third quarter, heading into the fourth with a 15-11 lead. Rochester would not go away, however. They scored three straight to start the fourth, and added another break just minutes later to tie the game at 16-16, with 0:35 seconds on the clock.

David Brandolph, who finished with seven assists and a goal, made a huge layout grab before finding Mike Reeves for the score. With just seconds remaining, the Phoenix were able to hold off a frantic last second attack from the Dragons to take the 17-16 victory, moving to 5-1 on the season.

MIDWESTERN DIVISION

Madison Radicals 27 – 23 Minnesota Wind Chill

With the College Championships in town over the weekend, Madison played host to the Radicals/Wind Chill matchup on Friday night. The Radicals would come away with the 27-24 victory, extending their dominance in the teams’ season series. The Radicals are now 3-0 against the Wind Chill.

Dave Wiseman had five assists, three goals, and a block for the Radicals, clearly the most impressive stat line from the game.

“Last week we switched Dave Wiseman to a main cutting spot and he’s an aggressive player and he’s an aggressive cutter,” player-coach Tim DeByl told the Radicals website. “So, I think that’s really changed the whole style of our offense. We are way more aggressive, we take way more shots and it’s paying off…We’re attacking down field more and using our legs against other teams.”

Windy City Wildfire 23 – 19 Detroit Mechanix

The Windy City Wildfire continued their winning ways on the road in Detroit this weekend, taking down a Mechanix team that’s tough to beat at home, 23-19.

Jonathan ‘Goose’ Helton had five goals, six assists, and a block to lead the Wildfire to their sixth straight victory.

It wasn’t a complete game for the Wildfire, who went down four points early at 11-7. But Helton scored once and assisted on another during a a 3-0 run that got them back within one.

The teams traded points until Windy City tied it at 15-15 with Cullen Geppert finding AJ Nelson in the endzone.

After trading to 17-17, a dominant defensive performance from that point forward helped the Wildfire seize the momentum and get four straight points. (Helton assisted on two and scored one).

That would prove too much for Detroit to overcome as the Wildfire moved to 7-1.

Indianapolis Alleycats 27 – 21 Cincinnati Revolution // Indianapolis 23 – 19 Cincinnati

In Cincinnati, the Indianapolis Alleycats ran off two straight wins against the Revolution over the weekend to jump into third place in the Midwestern Division.

Keenan Plew had five assists and three goals in round one,  and four assists in the second game for the Alleycats as they left Cincinnati having eclipsed their playoff position in the standings.

Cincinnati has lost three straight — all three coming to the Alleycats — and now sits just a half game ahead of Minnesota, who is in last place in the Midwest.

Each of these teams will have a tough test next week, as Indianapolis faces the Wildfire at home and the Revolution hit the road to take on Minnesota and Madison.

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