AUDL Throwaround: Wind Chill Edges Wildfire In 2OT, Flamethrowers Iced by Rush

The Dallas Roughnecks celebrate a score against the Austin Sol.
The Dallas Roughnecks celebrate a score against the Austin Sol. Photo: Daniel Thai –

Throughout this AUDL season, Ultiworld will be publishing a weekly Throwaround, a chance for you to catch up on the amazing, funny, and interesting moments that you might have missed from the weekend’s games.

A championship rematch, another tight one between Atlanta and Tampa Bay, double overtime between Minnesota and Chicago, and so much more to cover after Week 4 in the AUDL. Strap in for this week’s Throwaround.

The Scores1

Madison 27-12 Detroit
Minnesota 24-23 Chicago (2OT)
Atlanta 19-18 Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 26-21 Montreal
Toronto 28-18 San Francisco
Raleigh 31-26 Nashville
New York 28-16 Ottawa
Indianapolis 27-18 Pittsburgh
Dallas 23-21 Austin
Washington D.C. 26-19 Ottawa
Los Angeles 25-16 San Jose

Wind Chill Beat Wildfire In Double Overtime

The Minnesota Wind Chill defeated the Chicago Wildfire 24-23 in a double overtime thriller Saturday night. But they had to win it with a double score.

A referee mistake awarded the disc to the Wind Chill at the start of the second, sudden death overtime with another coin toss, despite the rules stating that the Wildfire should have received since Minnesota received to start the first overtime.

“Something was definitely off, because I thought we were supposed to receive since Minnesota got the disc [to start the first overtime],” Wildfire owner CJ O’Brien told Evan Lepler. “I was sort of frozen, not wanting to be ‘that guy’ that claims to know all the rules. I didn’t feel good about it though, so I ran back to the locker room and grabbed the rulebook right as we were pulling it to Minnesota. Minnesota punched it in cleanly for the score, and that’s when I ran onto the field with my arms up and flagging down the head ref. I showed him the rule, and he agreed we had done it wrong. We called Minnesota’s coach onto the field, along with their owner, Ben Feldman, our coach, Adrian King, and talked it out.”

They eventually agreed to restart the point with Chicago receiving. Minnesota wasn’t phased: Greg Cousins got a block and, post-timeout, the offensive line closed out the game for the second time.

Given that Chicago lost Kurt Gibson early in the game to a hamstring strain, it was a strong effort for the Wildfire on the road. As usual, Pawel Janas was the engine of the offense.

Expect future tight matches between these teams. Both teams had a 94% completion percentage, and the Wind Chill had a 58% offensive productivity rate while the Wildfire were at 57%.

-Tanner Jurek and Charlie Eisenhood

San Francisco Falls Flat in Championship Rematch with Toronto

San Francisco played host to a rematch of the thrilling 2017 AUDL Championship game in the Stadium Game of the Week. The Flamethrowers came into the game 1-1, splitting a pair of one-goal games with the San Jose Spiders, while Toronto has looked like the best team in the East Division going 2-0 over New York and Philadelphia last weekend. Their strong play traveled well.

The Flamethrowers changed their lines a bit, starting Eli Kerns and Greg Cohen on defense, but their offensive prowess after a turn wasn’t needed as Toronto scored the opening goal just 15 seconds in, with Andrew Carroll blowing past Kerns deep. That play set the tone for the night, with Toronto’s brutally efficient offense getting whatever it wanted against the Flamethrower defense.

Elliott Chartock took over as the central figure of the San Francisco offense, with Antoine Davis and Marcelo Sanchez taking the lead downfield. Davis and Sanchez carried the team on offense, but seemed to be forcing shots against tight Toronto defense. Kerns came over to the O-line to take some pressure off of Davis and Sanchez, completing some impressive, difficult throws, but wasn’t the release valve the Flamethrowers needed to stay in the game.

On the other side of the field, Toronto was firing on all cylinders. Thomson McKnight was the reliable centerpiece around which Andrew Carroll, Isaiah Masek-Kelly, and Cam Harris flowed. AUDL color analyst Chuck Kindred also noted that Toronto cutter Ben Burelle “is a superhero.” Burelle was seemingly always open, able to run past whichever defender San Francisco trotted out to stop him. His sense of timing and quick movement into space allows him to thrive in the Rush offense.

The Toronto offense might look boring or predictable—mostly using downfield movement from a split or vert stack to initiate play—but it was relentless Saturday night. San Francisco’s defense wasn’t able to lock down Toronto’s creative throwers, allowing the Rush to throw past a mark with ease. Toronto’s offense focused on keeping disc between hash marks; Rush throwers often looked off open gainers down the sidelines in favor of an around throw to keep the disc in the middle of the field, opening up lots of space for continuation breaks and leaving San Francisco’s defenders isolated from sideline to sideline. The Flamethrowers didn’t earn a break until almost eight minutes into the third quarter. No matter what they were able to do on offense, that would not be enough as the Rush pulled away for the win, 28-18.

San Francisco has had a tough opening schedule, facing their Bay Area rivals twice before this championship game rematch. After this brutal loss, they find themselves surprisingly towards the bottom of the division, but they certainly have the talent and experience to get right back into the playoff picture. In the wild west, where the standings can flip flop in just one week (look at the San Diego Growlers!), all is not lost for the Flamethrowers. But, adjustments will be needed on offense and defense if they want to make another Championship Game appearance. They host the first place Growlers next week.

– Alex Rubin

New York & Philadelphia Get First Wins

Following a strong showing in its first game of the season, Philadelphia showed that it belongs in the East division with a win over Montreal on Saturday.

Philly showed flashes of potential last year. Now, the Phoenix seem like they are capitalizing on those successes and continuing to build. Philadelphia dropped its season opener by just one to the Rush in a game that came down the wire. The Phoenix showed a resilience that indicates they’re going to be difficult to put away.

The core of Scott Xu, Sean Mott, Himalaya Mehta, and Ethan Peck did a lot of the damage for the Phoenix against the Royal. Xu paced the team, completing 54 passes on the afternoon. Mott continued to give defenses fits—he has nine assists to go with seven goals on the young season. Mehta and Peck were a two-man wrecking crew against the Royal. Mehta scored five goals and Peck had an unreal eight assists to lead the way on offense.

Montreal and Philly traded to open the game, reaching 3-3. The Phoenix turned on the afterburners to close the quarter and never looked back; Philly led at the end of the first 8-4. The Royal clawed back and trailed at half by just three, but they would never be able to draw any closer than two points the rest of the way. Philadelphia led by as many as six in the second half and cruised to a five-goal victory, 26-21.

There were a few bright spots for Montreal as Cam Burden registered three blocks on defense, showing some promise on the defensive end. The rookie has shown as a solid player for this team. Miguel Goderre also showed up with four assists.

Just north of this clash, New York took on Ottawa for the Outlaws first game of the season, and it seemed like Ottawa was a little rusty. New York converted the first break opportunity it had and held that two-goal margin for the rest of the quarter. Harper Garvey hit Beau Kittridge for the buzzer beater to stretch the Empire lead to 9-5 at the end of one.

The Outlaws hung around through the second quarter and pulled one back by the end of the half to trail by just three at the break. Ottawa ground it down to just a two-point lead at 13-11 in the early stages of the third quarter before New York scored five unanswered to pretty much put the game away. The Empire blew out the Outlaws in the second half 16-7 and won convincingly, 28-16.

– Chris McGlynn

Atlanta Remains Undefeated, Coach Roca Remains (Pleasantly) Cartoonish

It was another tight affair between Atlanta and Tampa Bay, a follow-up to Atlanta’s narrow 17-15 Week 2 victory, and the Hustle came out on top again. While Tampa Bay never captured the lead, Atlanta’s lead never exceeded three and the game was tied 16-16 late. Atlanta spread out the stats, with Austin Taylor, Matt Smith, and Parker Bray all notching three assists. Smith also caught the break that pushed Atlanta back in front late.

Tampa Bay coach, Andrew Roca, continued to bring his A game through his outfits, this week dressed as Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. His costuming nearly paid off, narrowing the points gap from their first face off.

Who will Roca channel next week, as the Cannons strive for their first win of the season against the Nashville Nightwatch?

– Keith Raynor & Allyson McCarthy


San Diego Steals Win over Seattle

Last week, the San Diego Growlers flew to Seattle and upset the Cascades; this week they needed to defend their home turf in an immediate rematch. In a close affair that never exceeded a two-goal margin, the Growlers were again able to pull out the 29-28 victory, putting them alone atop the West division. Sean Ham and Travis Dunn led the way for San Diego, with six goals and nine assists, respectively.

The big story for San Diego is their strong rebound after looking abysmal against LA in their opener. Since then, they’ve come away with a home and away sweep of Seattle. If they continue their strong run of play, which has them in a surprising first place, they could perhaps sneak a victory against some of the stronger teams in the division and challenge for an unexpected playoff spot.

For the Cascades, Mark Burton was his typically busy self, totaling 57 completions and nine assists while working in strong tandem with Alex Duffel, who had 61 completions of his own without a turnover. Despite the strong road showing, Seattle now finds itself in last place in the West after dropping two in a row to the team generally picked preseason to finish at the bottom at the division. After an impressive win over Minnesota in Week 1, the Cascades are trending in the wrong direction. Luckily for both teams, the rest of the West, save Los Angeles, didn’t look particularly impressive this week. If there is any division where a team can fall behind and still have a chance at a playoff spot, it is probably the West.

-Alex Rubin

Women’s Play Gets Thriller in Nashville, First Detroit Game

Many of the game’s between the women’s semi-professional teams have been blowouts, but Raleigh Radiance and Nashville Nightshade put on quite a show in Raleigh’s debut. The Radiance notched the final goal in sudden death double overtime on a backhand to Carmen Tormey to seal the 15-14 victory.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Riveters played their first game, hosting Indy Red. The host team fell behind 11-5 at half and the Red were able to extend that lead after the break to win 20-11.

-Keith Raynor

Madison Easily Beats Detroit & Indy Throttles Pittsburgh

Madison beat Detroit 27-12 in completely dominant fashion from start to finish. The Radicals kept their offensive line the same for most of the game, but cycled 13 players in on defense almost equally for the entirety of the game. Detroit’s going to have to make some changes in order to rebound from their 0-3 start.

The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds have taken a big step backwards so far this season, losing 27-18 to the Indianapolis Alleycats on Saturday. The Alleycats have some offensive weapons including Keenan Plew (seven assists vs. Pittsburgh), Cameron Brock, and Rick Gross (both with five goals in the game). Pittsburgh has some weapons too, but look for them to stay near the bottom of the Midwest.

-Tanner Jurek

D.C. Back on Track with Thrashing of Ottawa

Ottawa continued its road trip with a visit to D.C. for a battle of two national capitals. The Americans came out victorious.

The Breeze struggled in their season opener, dropping a two-point game to Montreal. It looked early on that they might find themselves in a tight contest yet again on Sunday. Ottawa led at the end of the first quarter 6-5. Derek Alexander ran the Outlaw offense, picking up six assists on the afternoon.

D.C. took back control of the game in the second quarter, but Ottawa once again hung around and the halftime score sat at 12-10. The second half quickly became the Rowan McDonnell show, with the Breeze veteran accounting for 10 points in the game. “Super Rowan” had five goals and five assists to pace the blistering D.C. offense. Xavier Maxstadt also impressed in his Breeze debut, with five assists of his own.

In the end, the Breeze cruised to a seven-point win. Ottawa looks like they have the top talent to compete early, keeping both their games close in the first half, but they lack the depth to contend into the second half. D.C. played a strong second half, but the key moving forward will be if they can play a complete game. If they find that balance, this team could be scary.

– Chris McGlynn

Second Half Comeback Powers Dallas Past Austin

The Austin Sol came out strong against the Dallas Roughnecks, taking an early lead that they maintained throughout the first half, heading into the break up 11-9. But, after trading points coming out of halftime, the Roughnecks went on a 4-0 run to take their first lead. The Roughnecks rode that streak the rest of the way, winning 23-21 and asserting their dominance over their in-state rivals. Carson Wilder turned in an exceptional performance for Dallas, tallying four goals and five assists in the comeback victory.

But, really, the Walchclaw stole the show:

– Allyson McCarthy

No Place Like Home for the Aviators

Los Angeles came away with a 25-16 win Sunday afternoon over the San Jose Spiders to move to 2-2, good enough for second place out West. The game was close throughout the first half (San Jose led 9-8), but LA pulled away with a 6-0 run spanning the first 6:30 of the third quarter.

This was not a pretty game to watch. Both teams were missing key players: the Aviators played without O-line standouts Eli Friedman, Tim Beatty, Tom Doi, and Jesse Cohen, and San Jose was missing starters Justin Norden and Mark Lin. The first quarter was a tense defensive struggle, as both teams were adjusting to reshuffled lines and struggled to calibrate their hucks in the wind. Tyler Bacon stepped up for Los Angeles to initiate their offense, and LA’s role players performed admirably to keep the team in the game after falling in an early 3-1 hole. Soon, the wind turned into a cloudless heat and a sense of sluggishness was evident.

At halftime, the Aviators made two important adjustments: shifting their marks to take away easy downfield gainers and swapping in Chris Mazur for Eric Lissner on the O-line. Lissner effectively corralled San Jose’s Sonny Zaccaro (who was held to just two assists and no goals), and Mazur was able to add another dimension to the offense working with Bacon. Each tied for the team lead, contributing three assists.

In the second half, the Aviators prove to be clearly the better conditioned team. They ran all over the Spiders, outscoring them 9-3 in the third quarter. Matt Theologidy marshalled the defense, breaking up hucks and running the offense after the turn. Sean McDougall made several impressive deep catches, leading the Aviators with six goals. He made decisive cuts all over the field against a tired San Jose defense, his speed too much for them to handle. LA defenders were flying all over the place and didn’t seem as affected by the early season heat as their Northern California counterparts. Chris Mazur punctuated the game with an impressive layout and a loud celebration late in the fourth quarter, symbolizing the energy the Aviators still had, which the Spiders could not match as the game wound down.

-Alex Rubin

  1. Home team in bold. 

  1. Tanner Jurek
    Tanner Jurek

    Tanner Jurek is a recent college graduate and digital strategist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He covers the midwest division of the AUDL. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter (@tannrj).

  2. Ally McCarthy
    Ally McCarthy

    Ally McCarthy was introduced to the ultimate community by her dad and her passion for ultimate grew at the University of Maryland playing on Helpful Corn, captaining her senior year. She is currently sharing her passion for ultimate by working to build the women's ultimate community in Morocco. She is a policy analyst based out of DC, and covers the south division of the AUDL. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@allymccarthy7).

  3. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

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