No undefeated teams remain.
June 13, 2018 by Charlie Eisenhood, Alex Rubin and Tanner Jurek in News with 0 comments
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.
Madison 20-17 Minnesota
Montreal 27-26 Ottawa
DC 25-24 Toronto (OT)
Philadelphia 30-21 Pittsburgh
Madison 22-21 Chicago
San Jose 21-20 San Diego
Atlanta 24-21 Nashville
Dallas 19-17 Austin
DC Hands Toronto Their First Loss of the Season
The final undefeated AUDL team fell in an overtime thriller this weekend as D.C. defeated Toronto 25-24. DC is officially a giant killer with wins over Raleigh and Toronto.
A short-handed Rush almost lost in regulation, as they trailed with just seconds remaining. Ben Burelle hit Nathan Hirst with only three seconds on the clock to knot the game up at 22. Then the Breeze came up just short of scoring a walk off game-winner: Joe Richards reeled in a Xavier Maxstadt huck but was outside the end zone, sending the game into overtime.
D.C. controlled the extra period. Maxstadt hit Christain Boxley for the layout score and then Alex Liu earned a run-through D off the pull to set up a goal from Matt Kerrigan to Nathan Prior.
The Breeze has now won three straight and holds the final playoff spot in the division. For Toronto, they are still controlling the East. The team has played a number of close games this season, but D.C. was the first team to come out on top. Toronto will get a chance to reassert themselves with back-to-back games against Ottawa and New York next weekend.
The League’s Top Plays Through Week 10
Madison’s Resiliency on Display in the Midwest
After taking a 24-16 beating at home against the Flyers, the Radicals had a bye week to lick their wounds before a big weekend against Minnesota and Chicago. The Radicals managed to steal victory from the jaws of defeat and turn what could’ve been a disastrous three game stretch into a 2-1 record with two big wins against Midwest Division opponents, despite playing without some of their top players in both games.
In one of the weirder Radicals/Wind Chill matchups I’ve ever seen, a game full of runs, heartbreaking mistakes, and big plays got the Radicals a win. With both teams missing some key players, it was obvious early that the game could fall either way.
Minnesota tried to set the tone with a two quick scores. That did not exactly happen. Madison came right back with four straight breaks that sent the Wind Chill searching for answers. The game of runs was started, but Madison looked to be in control.
The first quarter ended 6-4 with a lot of mistakes coming from both teams. In some foreshadowing for the 4th quarter, Minnesota’s offense was worn down while Madison was able to cycle in multiple offensive and defensive lines. Madison was much fresher than Minnesota.
The second quarter began and Minnesota came out throwing haymakers. Madison put up a quick score, but Minnesota put up three straight to tie it up at seven. With the game tied at 12, the Wind Chill found some breathing room and made the score 14-12. After trading points again after a Josh Klane score, there was some controversy on the field after Radicals coach Tim DeByl wasn’t happy about an awarded goal after an injury.
After nearly three minutes of stopped time, the Radicals sliced through the Wind Chill’s end of quarter defense too quickly to make the score 15-14 with 19 seconds left in the quarter. The Wind Chill were able to beat the buzzer and make the score 16-14 on a big huck from Ryan Osgar and a great catch from Colin Berry.
But the Wind Chill’s wheels fell off in the fourth quarter. A better rested Madison team knew they had to make up just a two point difference over the course of 12 minutes, and they did that and more.
Madison’s army of fresh legs made quick work of the Wind Chill’s lead, tying the game at 16 seemingly immediately. Both teams traded points before one of the longest and most pivotal points of the game. The Radicals’ fresh legs, defensive strategy, and talent proved victorious, and they went up 18-17 in a point that broke the Wind Chill’s back. The Wind Chill’s stars were gassed after a long point and couldn’t pull together anything to end the game. The final score was 20-17.
Super Swaggy with the Sideline Staredown
San Jose Survives Tough Challenge
Entering their Friday night game, the San Diego Growlers and San Jose Spiders each had one close win against the other. They came in tied for second place in the West, but San Jose’s win Saturday night determined the season series (and thus the relevant tie breaker) in their favor.
The Spiders broke first. After a nice block by Andrew Moore on a deep shot to Growlers’ star Travis Dunn, San Jose led a fast break up the entire length of the field for the early lead. They carried that momentum into two more breaks to take a statement first quarter. San Jose looked confident throwing over or through the Growlers zone and were able to turn up their intensity with tight person defense to generate blocks.
San Diego’s offense ran hot and cold. The Growlers’ lefty arounds helped them work the disc down the field instead of relying on deep shots to their athletes, and they chipped away at the Spiders’ lead to keep within two at halftime. Tim Okita and Scot Radlauer opened the offense by consistently being able to break their marks. The Growlers offense is best when its throwers are able to swing the disc across the entire field to attack from different spaces. When they get too huck happy, San Diego’s offense becomes hit or miss, but when they have the patience to work through a defense before taking their preferred away shot, they can compete with the best teams in the division.
The Spiders, though, started the second half with a burst of energy, breaking the Growlers offense on the first five points, covering the first nine minutes of the second half without allowing a goal. San Diego was able to settle down and work their offense to scoring positions as the game shifted to the fourth quarter; the Growlers answered back with a 7-2 run of their own to bring the game back within two as the clock ticked down. Travis Dunn got a key handblock with less than a minute left, and though the Growlers were able to score to bring the game within one and keep hopes of overtime alive, they couldn’t force another turnover and lost 21-20.
With the win, San Jose jumped over an idle Flamethrowers team to claim second place for the time being. San Diego drops to fourth place but is just a game back of a playoff spot in the chaotic AUDL West.
Austin Remains Winless Against Dallas
At this point, it seems the Dallas Roughnecks have annexed some spacefront property on the sun.
The Austin Sol took another heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Roughnecks, 19-17, despite leading by three early in the game and controlling the pace for much of the contest. Dallas’ defense and athleticism, though, again rose to the occasion late in the game and pushed them over the edge to another hard fought road win.
Austin might need to try some of Michael’s Secret Stuff at halftime the next time they play Dallas, because they have just collapsed against Jay Froude and the Roughnecks every time.
Dallas moves to 8-1 and, with a soft schedule to close out their season, looks poised to claim the #1 seed in the South playoffs. Raleigh, sitting 1.5 games back at 7-3, would need to win out and get some serious help from the Roughnecks to have a shot at home field advantage.
FlamethroXers Win Cascades Cup
A few weeks ago, Seattle brought a mixed roster to San Francisco and won the Flamethrowers Cup. On Saturday, it was the San Francisco “FlamethroXers” who traveled and won the showcase game, 23-21.
Marisa Rafter was the main handler for the San Francisco offense, which primarily ran a split stack to create space to isolate their cutters in the middle of the field. Gina Schumacher had some incredibly athletic plays downfield, skying Adam Jemal to save a reset and going completely horizontal to catch a full field huck. San Francisco set up their offense to give their women openings to go deep, often keeping three men behind the disc, and taking advantage of their cutters ability to win their matchups in the deep space.
Seattle countered the effective Flamethroxers offense with a double team whenever a San Francisco thrower held on to the disc for more than a few seconds. The Cascades were able to force turns, especially in the classically rainy Seattle conditions, but had a hard time converting them into breaks.
On offense, Seattle ran a vertical stack, led by Kodi Smart, Qxhna Titcomb, and Mark Burton. Rohre Titcomb made her professional debut in the game after over a year recovering from ACL surgery. The Cascades excelled at generating quick movement, especially around the endzone, but didn’t have as much flow using the entire large AUDL field.
San Francisco did not run distinct offensive and defensive lines, and they were able to take advantage of having skilled distributors like Eli Kerns take over after a turn, notching a few early breaks to take a three point lead into halftime. Neither team went on a huge run, with Seattle always close but never able to catch up. The Cascades had a small comeback towards the end of the game to bring the score within one, but San Francisco was able to regain control and take the victory, 23-21.
Though you wouldn’t know if from the way they played, this game does not count in the AUDL standings. However, these two teams are now 1-1 in their mixed series with the road team winning each game. A rubber match, the Ranier Cup, is scheduled for July 21.
Midwest Playoffs Totally Up In The Air
The Midwest Divison playoff race looks clear right now, but I’m not so certain it will look that way at the end of the season. Right now, the Radicals are clearly number one with the Wind Chill and Alleycats jockeying for the second and third spots.
The Alleycats’ schedule gets much harder. They have one easy game left against Detroit before a slugfest of difficult games against Madison, Minnesota, and Chicago. Every game they’ll play against Chicago will be a must-win and vice versa for Chicago.
The Wind Chill’s next two games will be against Detroit and Pittsburgh. After that they’ll be heading through a gauntlet of tenuous games vs. the top of the division as well.
Chicago has dug themselves a hole, but they’ve only played eight games and have proven they can play with anybody in the division. If everybody is bought in, they could go on a run here to end the season. Look for an exciting playoff race in the weeks to come.
Ultimate’s celebrations have really come alive in 2018. Here’s a compendium of the best from around the AUDL:
Philly Dominates in Battle for Pennsylvania
The Phoenix entered the game with some confidence following a win over Ottawa the weekend prior and now have a win streak going with a 30-21 victory over Pittsburgh.
Sean Mott and Ethan Fortin led the way for Philadelphia. Mott had six goals and Fortin dished out five assists. Philly was ahead for most of the game, but the Thunderbirds kept it within striking distance well into the second half. Max Sheppard tossed seven assists in the losing effort but was also responsible for 10 turnovers. Needless to say, the offense, as it has much of this season, struggled to find a rhythm. The Phoenix pulled away in the fourth quarter, going on a 6-2 run to close the game.
After the weekend, Philly finds itself just one game behind D.C. for the final playoff spot in the East. Montreal is sandwiched between the two at 4-4. The race for the final spot is going to be fun. The Phoenix has the weekend off before taking on the Royal in a game packed with playoff implications.
Home team in bold. ↩