PUL Throwaround: Teams Jockey For Playoff Position Over Weeks 5-8

Heading into the regular season's final weekend, a look back at how the past few weeks have shaken out.

New York’s Cassie Wong makes the catch ahead of Austin’s Kayla Ramirez during Week 7 PUL action. Photo: Sandy Canetti — UltiPhotos.com

Throughout this PUL season, Ultiworld will be publishing a weekly1 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.

As we approach the final weekend of the PUL regular season, let’s catch up on the past few week’s of action, where teams jockeyed for position in the playoff race. Half of the league’s teams have already finished up their campaigns and await results from this weekend to see where they finish.

The Scores

Week 5

Raleigh Radiance 20-11 New York Gridlock
Austin Torch 22-13 Indianapolis Red

Week 6

Nashville Nightshade 14-16 Indianapolis Red

Week 7

New York Gridlock 14-12 Austin Torch
Atlanta Soul 23-16 Nashville Nightshade

Week 8

Nashville Nightshade 14-21 Raleigh Radiance
Atlanta Soul 19-21 New York Gridlock
Columbus Pride 13-20 Raleigh Radiance

Radiance Run Over Shorthanded Gridlock

Carrying a short roster to their May 18 game in Raleigh, New York Gridlock needed a near perfect performance to pull off the upset. Unfortunately, they couldn’t pull it off, and fell to the Radiance 20-11. Though the game was closer than the final score might indicate, the outcome was never in doubt as Raleigh ran away with the victory from the start.

Raleigh began the game on offense using a side stack offense to isolate their cutters in one-on-one situations and tire out the top Gridlock defenders. After a relatively easy hold, the Radiance broke on the next point as Jenny Wei roasted her defender upline for the first of her three goals on the game.

Gridlock was able to get on the board as Cassie Wong boxed out her defender for a crucial hold to halt the early Raleigh run. However, the Gridlock defense could not match Wong’s energy, offering little resistance to the Radiance offense. Lindsay Soo busted deep to catch the next one, leaving Gridlock defenders in her wake. Like Wei, Soo had three goals on the day, as the pair tied to lead the team.

In contrast to New York, Raleigh brough consistent high-pressure defense from the entire team. A point block by Lyla Stanland gave the Raleigh defense the disc, then Stanland threw an assist to Wei to give the Radiance a dominating early 4-1 lead.

Gridlock settled down and was able to hold without turning over the disc for the first time as Tulsa Douglas and Andrea DeSabato marshalled the offense upfield. Despite tight Raleigh defense, the Gridlock cutters made a series of impressive contested catches to keep possession.

Raleigh piled on as a Lisa Pitcaithley huck fell into waiting cutter’s hands, and the Radiance end zone set was patient and effective. New York called a time out to refocus and rest and was able to score thanks to a DeSabato zone-breaking blade  to get out of reverse brick situation. Raleigh still ended the first quarter with a solid 6-3 lead.

Douglas, who led her team with three assists, ran the show for New York in the second quarter, breaking marks all the way up the field and giving Gridlock some life. New York was able to break on the next point to bring the score to 6-5, but that was the closest New York would come to gaining the lead. Raleigh was running consistent O and D lines, while New York had to mix and match more due to their smaller roster. At this point, Raleigh used their fresher legs to take control and put the game out of reach.

Soo layout

Soo had a flying layout block before hitting Pitcaithley for a huck, Wei hauled in another deep goal over Cassie Wong, and Sarah Dieter snagged her first score of the game as Raleigh went on a 3-0 run just before halftime. Gridlock was able to hold once, but the Radiance received to gain the last possession of the half, working the disc up to goalline before calling a timeout and setting up and isolation look for Wei to take half 10-6.

After the break, Radiance really took control of the game. Their fresher legs shone through when they pushed the pace, and their confidence and teamwork stood out when they threw a zone to run out the clock towards the end of the game. Anne Worth impressed as a downfield weapon who can control the offense and eat up yards in the middle of the field; Gridlock struggled mightily to contain her movement. Soo and Worth went back and forth on the Radiance hold out of half before Wei jumped a passing lane on the next point and continued for a break to stretch the Raleigh lead.

With the comfort of a big lead, Raleigh was able to open its lines, letting fresh legs run rampant all over the field. In the second half, the Radiance shut down the Gridlock offense, able to close off deep looks and pressure the ensuing unders. A 3-3-1 zone threw off the Gridlock timing and forced New York’s primary downfield threat Linda Morse into the backfield. Morse, who usually fills the stat sheet was limited to one goal on 19 touches in the game. Raleigh’s stifling defense paved the way for their large margin of victory.

On offense, Radiance cutters took what they wanted downfield, often running right past tired Gridlock defenders. Pitcaithley led the team with four assists, and was valuable as a thrower who could push the disc quickly downfield. Radiance closed the game with a 6-2 run, sucking the life out of a Gridlock team that simply had no answers for Raleigh’s athleticism and energy.

With the win, Raleigh moved up to 2nd place in the PUL standings with a three-week break before their next game. New York, sat at 2-1 and was in 3rd place with a chance to improve in a Week 7 matchup with Austin.

– Alex Rubin

Athletic Torch Not Put Out By Wind, Pull Away From Indy Red In Second Half

On a windy May Saturday evening, Indianapolis Red traveled to Austin to take on the Torch in a PUL Week 5 matchup. The wind played a factor early, with a handful of turnovers on the first point before Torch was able to open the game with a break. They wouldn’t look back, never trailing throughout the duration of the game, and taking a 3-2 lead through a sloppy first quarter which saw neither team able to gain much of a foothold offensively.

Receiving to start the second quarter, Austin Torch held on a toe-tapping sideline grab from Sharon Tsao in the endzone. As the wind continued to bluster throughout the second quarter, Red and Torch traded holds as Julia Schmaltz established herself as a nearly unstoppable force in the Torch offense.

Schmaltz sky

Finally the Torch notched a break to take an 8-5 lead, working the disc across the field with a pace Red just couldn’t keep up with. A few holds later and Torch would take half with a 9-7 lead.

Coming out of half, Torch looked locked in. They quickly forced a couple of Red turnovers, and broke for a 10-7 lead. As Torch adjusted to the wind and gained confidence, their offense began to roll. Despite a handful of big plays that showed spurts of offensive brilliance from Indy Red, the Torch lead blossomed to 14-9 before the quarter would come to an end.

Again in the fourth quarter, Torch was able to strike first. They took the energy out of Indy Red with the goal, and would finish off the game uncontested. Austin pulled away, and took home a 22-14 victory.

Throughout the season, Indy Red’s Austin Prucha has proven herself as a dominant defender. She currently leads the league in blocks, and is consistently making athletic plays that change the dynamic of the game. Her matchups with Julia Schmaltz and Sharon Tsao throughout the game were battles of top-tier athletes that highlight what the PUL is capable of.

It also has to be noted that Austin Torch’s Anastasia Foster was a member of last year’s Indy Red team, and a consistent presence in the Indiana ultimate community over the last several years, playing for Indianapolis Rogue, Liquid Hustle, and more club teams. Getting to play against former teammates and friends on a nationally relevant stage is an amazing opportunity afforded by the PUL.

– Zakk Mabrey

Gridlock Hang On As Austin Hang Tough

New York Gridlock and Austin Torch came into their June 1st match up with pressure to perform: both teams came into the week with a 2-1 record, making this matchup an important factor for a spot in the championship weekend.

Both teams began with fast-paced offenses and matchup defense, but a gusty and variable cross-wind challenged throwers. Gridlock adjusted more quickly to the conditions, relying on their experienced handlers to advance the disc. This edged them ahead in the first quarter and gave them a three-point lead in the second quarter that kept them ahead all game. Torch found good offensive flow in the second half, racking up eight goals to Gridlock’s six, but the comeback came too late. Gridlock took the win 14-12, putting them in a better position to advance to the championship bracket.

Gridlock defenders Wei Gao and Amy Zhou made major contributions to Gridlock’s second quarter run, playing precise dump defense and forcing Torch into botched reset and swing passes. The Torch responded with well-positioned downfield defenders, with Kara Crouch and Lilly White in particular playing aggressive and heads-up downfield defense.

For two teams with dominant deep cutters, the temptation to put hucks up into a questionable wind paired with smothering person defense from both teams culminated in a second quarter final point with ten turnovers and no score. Gridlock’s Lauren Woods and Lindsay McKenna broke this pattern of incomplete hucks, tracking down and dominating the deep spaces in their matchups.

Woods sky

Variations on zone defense dominated the second half of the game. New York alternated between cup and wall, where Torch ran a wall and focused on clogging the middle of the field. Torch adjusted their offense well to break through the Gridlock zone. Sharon Tsao was everywhere for the Austin torch, a seemingly uncoverable player showing off perfect cutting timing and racking up scores for Austin.

As the fourth quarter progressed, both Torch and Gridlock found pockets of unstoppable offensive flow, proving their team’s ability to adjust to tough wind conditions quickly.

Though Gridlock may now have a leg up in the championship standings, both teams demonstrated an ability to adjust to unpredictable conditions and changing defenses, setting them up well for their final games.

– Karoline Hart

Soul Deep Game Overpowers Nightshade With Late Run

Atlanta Soul faced off against Nashville Nightshade for a spirited, exciting Week 7 game sprinkled with big plays, great pulls, and smart decisions. Each team showed tenacity and spirit, but Soul managed to put the pieces together for a 23-16 win over Nightshade.

The game started with both teams seemingly a little nervous — there were frequent turnovers early on, due to miscues and execution errors from both sides. As the first quarter developed, things tightened up and the teams traded point for point. During the fifth point of the game, Nightshade struggled to finish in the red zone, and Soul took advantage by sending up a 40-yard huck to a well-timed cut for the first break of the game giving Atlanta a 3-2 lead.

Nightshade tied it up 3-3 after a hand block and then subsequent point by Mariana Rodriguez, who proved to be a dominant force throughout the entire game. Atlanta answered with a flick huck to two receivers who communicated effectively and brought down the disc to end the quarter at 4-3 for Soul.

Heading into the second quarter the wind began to pick up slightly, but the players on both teams easily adjusted their throws and were confident in their deep shots. The first point of the quarter was arguably a “hail Mary” look from Nightshade, but it was completed. The energy on the field continued to build as both teams rallied to get a leg up on their opponents.

Nightshade relied on strong handler movement and their cutters’ ability to get open under for big gainers. Recognizing this, Atlanta adjusted their defense to prioritize defending those unders, allowing them to put more pressure on the Nashville offense. But Nightshade was given a gift when Atlanta went offside on the pull, allowing Nightshade to tap the disc in at half. They capitalized on the opportunity, playing a quick, clean O-point.

Each team was digging deep to get the edge going into half, but after an incredible layout grab in the back of the endzone by Jin-Mi Matsunaga, Atlanta’s energy was palpable. Nightshade wasn’t phased however, and displayed their ability to rip through a zone put up by Soul through quick, precise disc movement. To finish the half, Atlanta continued to take big shots and were rewarded for it. A huck was reeled in by Shanye Crawford over a well positioned Nightshade defender, giving Atlanta a 10-8 lead going into half.

Crawford sky

Nightshade started the second half in a troublesome position, after dropping the pull and giving Soul the opportunity to pick up the disc less than 10 yards outside their endzone. Impressive handler movement and patience from Emily Karoblis and Kayla Emrick led to a point for Atlanta, putting the score at 11-8.

But as was the case many times in the first half, Nashville had a response, largely led by Claire Bidigare Curtis who managed to be everywhere on the field on both offense and defense. Her point featured an endzone block in the air to stop a Soul goal, several wide open deep strikes, a huge layout attempt to score, and catching the point from a cheeky high-release backhand. This display was not at all an anomaly for Curtis during the game, as she displayed her ability to time cuts perfectly and move the disc up the field without any trouble, time and time again.

The rest of the third quarter was marked by a continual growth in team morale and energy from Atlanta, and a constant push from Nightshade to close the gap. Soul attempted to slow down Nashville with a few zone looks, but Nightshade effectively moved the disc quickly enough to neutralize their attempt. Soul could not contain Nightshade from breaking through the first layer of defense, at which point the whole field was wide open for them to move the disc.

The last quarter of the game started at 14-11 Atlanta, and it quickly became evident that whatever Soul spoke about between quarters must have been awfully effective and inspiring, because they went full steam ahead in a gear we had not yet seen. Atlanta’s ability to get quick transition points proved difficult to contain, and their hucks continued to be completed due to nice touch by the throwers and nice reads by the receivers.

The final turning point for the game, sealing the deal for Atlanta came midway through the last quarter when Cate Woodhurst had the play of the game with an impressive layout block and subsequent point for the bookends.

Woodhurst bookends

Nightshade’s energy shifted at this point and they could not seem to rally themselves to get back to their first half level of play. With the clock winding down, they did manage to complete a huge huck and an impressively read catch to put the final score at 23-16.

Throughout the game Nightshade made getting through a zone look easy, and Soul put on a show of huge hucks and well-timed cuts. Atlanta pulled off the win by being able to maintain their energy and execution throughout all four quarters. The win leaves Atlanta at 2-2 for the season and in contention for a playoff spot, with their next matchup at home against New York Gridlock. Nightshade, now at 0-4 for the season, will finish their campaign by hosting Raleigh Radiance in Week 8.

– Kelsey Hayden

Radiance Capture First Game of Back-to-Back Road Swing, Besting Pride in Columbus

In the first game of a back-to-back road set, it didn’t take long for Raleigh Radiance to take control in their game against Columbus Pride.

Thanks to some shaky offense from Pride in the first few points, Raleigh opened with five unanswered points, effectively cementing their Week 8 victory in the first quarter. Columbus was initially too eager to shoot the disc, trying blady, unnecessary hucks to get past Raleigh’s defenders. The Radiance women were happy to bring those discs down and start their march down the field. Going the other way, Radiance did an excellent job of throwing leading passes for their cutters to chase down. Pride’s defenders did not have much of a chance to get blocks as they were often two steps behind Raleigh’s offense.

Pride’s salvation came off a floaty huck from Sophia Knowles. What appeared to be a 50/50 ball in the endzone was confidently retained by Iris Javersak, who used her body positioning to remain under the disc the entire time and finally get Columbus on the board.

Raleigh never let off the gas, though, and closed out the quarter leading 6-1. Their contingent of UNC students, fresh off a successful college season, were particularly effective at moving the disc between themselves. Dawn Culton, Anne Worth, and Elisabeth Parker hounded their defenders, and kept the disc moving quickly after causing the turn.

The second quarter fared much better for Columbus. Raleigh’s offense had not seen the field much in the first quarter, and weren’t as crisp with their throws as the Radiance defenders. Pride started the quarter with a hold, and immediately followed it with a break, thanks to newly minted USA U24 star Zoe Hecht tearing into the endzone. The momentum continued to play in Pride’s favor, as a poor reset pass gave Pride a short field to work with. Columbus’ handlers worked it up to the high side, and snapped an inside flick to Knowles for the goal and their second straight break.

Raleigh would right the ship on the next point, firing off a huck to Jenny Wei in the endzone, and scored again after Columbus committed a turn right in front of the endzone. Raleigh took the opportunity to call a timeout and bring their offense back on the field. Out of a set play, Worth — fresh off being named the D-I College Offensive Player of the Year —raced deep, and corralled a high flick huck from Jessie Jones. The team would get the disc to Lindsay Soo in a few short throws and she guided Rebecca Fagan into the endzone for the break.

The breaks kept coming for Raleigh, as they packed two more on quick succession. Columbus couldn’t buy a huck against Raleigh, and without their deep game, they lacked the spacing needed for their cutters to operate in the center of the field. Columbus also favored poaching off their defenders into the openside cutting lane, a strategy that Raleigh exploited brutally by making perfect breakside throws despite the wind.

After going down 10-5, Pride started to play within themselves more and gave in to jamming passes upline. Surprisingly, it worked more often than not, and the teams began trading points, until 11-6. With 39 seconds left on the clock, Pride got a little too trigger-happy again, and a blade from Jezierski couldn’t beat the wind buffeting it down. With time winding down, Raleigh’s Ashley Powell called a timeout, and Radiance carefully worked the disc to the midfield. Worth then blitzed into the endzone, and was rewarded by a blady flick from Powell for the goal, taking Raleigh into half up 12-6.

Worth goal

Columbus started to close the gap in the third quarter. After grinding out two breaks, they forced Raleigh’s offense to change their angle of attack, shooting deep more aggressively and avoiding throwing into the headwind. Columbus’ own handlers settled in and were making much better choices in the wind. The teams traded holds for most of the third, with Raleigh only earning one break the entire quarter. Still, their lead was too large, and Pride still trailed 15-9 as the quarter came to a close.

Not much changed for Columbus in the fourth. Their offense was still markedly better than it had been in the first half, especially with Jezierski’s hammers taking shape and Knowles’ give-and-go handler movement putting Raleigh’s defenders on the back foot. The problem was that Raleigh’s offense was just too clean. Anne Worth was unchallenged downfield, picking her spots and getting open with ease. She was matched by Powell in the backfield, who was in no rush but always made the right pass.

Radiance closed out the game 20-13, having held the lead since the first point. It’s clear that the chemistry from their UNC players is their best weapon and won them that game. Anne Worth will also be a scary prospect for any team going forward. Raleigh secured their spot at the PUL Championship Weekend with thes win, and had a chance to retain the second seed with a win the following night.

– Graham Gerhart

Gridlock Win Back-and-Forth Thriller to Secure Playoff Seeding

With playoff placement on the line, New York Gridlock traveled to Atlanta to take on the Soul and came away with a 21-19 win in a game that could have gone either way. This match was the definition of a back-and-forth affair as the teams traded small leads throughout the entire game before New York pulled away and secured the crucial win to lock in playoff positioning.

Gridlock took advantage of an early Atlanta miscue, using a patient vertical stack after the turn to punch in a break on the first point of the game. India Stubbs came out firing for Atlanta on the next point, hitting Kate Travaglini on an early stall huck to set up an endzone play; Travaglini found Erynn Schroeder for Soul’s first hold and the first of Schroeder’s four goals. Each team worked through some turnovers to hold as the players settled into the game before Atlanta got its break back from a long Kayla Emrick huck to Travaglini. Not to be outdone, Sarah Johnson ripped a Gridlock huck out of the sky and continued to Tulsa Douglas to score the late first quarter goal. With each team coming out swinging, making big plays, and going on goal-scoring runs, this was shaping up to be a fun game as both teams were looking to lock up an advantageous playoff seed.

As the first quarter clock wound down, Amy Zhou came away with a monster block on the corner of the goal line, taking away one of the few Paula Seville break throws that did not find its target. After New York worked the disc up the field, Zhou found Veronica Kolegue-Spalaris for the final goal of the quarter. Gridlock took a one-break lead 4-3 after the first quarter.

Atlanta wasn’t going to give New York a big lead with Gridlock receiving to start the second quarter. Schroeder’s wall of a mark forced a low-throw turnover and Emrick found Lizzie Jones as the Soul once again earned back their break to bring the game back on serve. Gridlock sent out many of the same players on the next point, and they frankly looked tired. A backfield miscommunication and an underthrow later, and Sam Stovall-Jones hit Cate Woodhurst for the break and Atlanta’s first lead of the game at 5-4.

Atlanta sent out a zone to slow down the Gridlock offense and keep momentum, but Cassie Wong boxed out Stubbs to reel in a long huck over the zone for the hold. After an unforced Atlanta turnover, New York used excellent vertical stack spacing to open up easy unders; Gridlock cutters were churning out yards until Kolegue-Spalaris caught her second goal of the game on a half-field away shot. Atlanta sent out a D-line on offense — perhaps learning from Gridlock’s earlier mistake — and they promptly walked up the field gaining large chunks of yards at a time before putting in the hold. New York answered right back, though, and the teams settled in to the cagey affair amidst the big momentum swings.

Gridlock sent out a three-person wall of their own to try and disrupt the Soul offense, but Atlanta chiseled its way through the front line of the zone before finding Travaglini through the space in the middle of the field; she continued to Samantha Hill for a quick hold. Gridlock held again before Seville, who had four assists on the game, and Maddy Frey, catching one of her three goals, worked their way over, around, and through the New York zone for another hold. Atlanta broke on the next point as Schroeder snagged a touch throw ahead of a closing defender, then played a perfect give-and-go with Travaglini for the goal.

Schroeder give-and-go

That break gave Atlanta a 9-8 lead with under a minute left in the half. The Soul were able to come away with a block on the final possession, but a goalline turnover gave New York great field position and Gridlock scored to tie the game at 9-9 going into halftime and seize the momentum after a tight first half.

Out of the halftime break, Atlanta played small ball, working the disc quickly in small spaces before Seville threw a looping backhand to Frey to punch in the hold. A backfield turnover from Gridlock gave Atlanta possession, and Schroeder threw a long hammer to set up endzone offense; she ended up catching the goal to give Atlanta its largest lead of the game, 11-9.

Schroeder hammer

Andrea DeSabato, who led Gridlock with three assists, looked very comfortable running the New York offense out of both horizontal and vertical sets. She launched a huck to Judy Jarvis to bring Gridlock back within one. Throughout the whole game, DeSabato’s break throws opened up easy scoring opportunities for her downfield receivers. She was also particularly effective cutting upline, saving possessions for New York by initiating upfield flow. Ending the ensuing marathon point, Kolegue-Spalaris caught her third huck of the game to bring Gridlock even at 11 apiece. On the ensuing point, New York scored its third straight goal to retake the lead on an impressive Luisa Neves around backhand.

Stopping the bleeding, Woodhurst worked the Atlanta offense upfield before throwing a backhand break for the hold, tying the game at 12. Coming out of a timeout, Douglas launched a huck to a wide open Wong for another goal. With the clock winding down, Atlanta threw into a poach on its own goal line. Gridlock held for the final possession of the quarter, and Zhou threw a wide around backhand to Kristie Kelly for a crucial insurance goal putting New York up two goals entering the fourth quarter. At this point the game could go either way, and both teams were putting up big plays, but New York took all of the momentum just as they did to end the first two quarters.

Gridlock scored a clean hold to open the final frame. Douglas, who threw three assists and caught two goals, found Brittney Kaplan after New York worked the break side of their vertical stack to create a three-goal lead. Gridlock wasn’t finished scoring. After an athletic Kolegue-Spalaris block, Neves reeled in a huck and continued to catch the goal after a short reset.

The run broke open the game. New York scored four in a row on the back end of a 7-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to secure a four-goal lead with under ten minutes to play. As they made their run, Gridlock’s throwers locked into their resets. Throws that had gone awry and imprecise cuts leading to unforced turnovers earlier in the game were now being completed. On defense, Gridlock’s handler defenders sagged into the throwing lanes, forcing Atlanta’s handlers to second guess their looks and slow down the quick pace Soul prefers and had success with earlier in the game.

Atlanta was able to string together a few holds, but the Soul had trouble slowing down Douglas and a Gridlock offense that was content to grind out long points and run down the clock. Atlanta became desperate to get a block as the clock wound down, and New York took advantage of their aggressive pursuit of every cut and finding open hucks to Linda Morse, who led the team with four goals, and Jarvis late in the game. The Soul’s pressure finally caused a turn, as Atlanta scored twice in the final minute to bring the game within two, but the clock ran out before they could continue the comeback.

Gridlock rode their streak of fourth quarter breaks to a 21-19 victory, placing them in third place in the league standings. With the close loss, Atlanta holds on to fourth place, though as host their place at Championship Weekend is assured no matter what happens in games during the final weekend of the regular season.

– Alex Rubin

Raleigh Prevail as Nightshade Finish Season Winless

Looking to clinch their first win, Nashville Nightshade completed their season with a home game last weekend against a Raleigh Radiance squad trying to further secure their second place standing. In the end it was the visitors who left happy, heading back to North Carolina with a 21-14 win as the home side finished their season winless.

The game started quickly, with the score sitting at 2-2 in under two minutes. Both teams started the game looking strong — there were no turns in the first four points of the game. This torrid pace continued throughout the first quarter, with both teams displaying textbook offensive flow based around quick handler movement and swings across the whole width of the field.

The first break of the game came during the eighth point, after a long huck by Nightshade was picked off by CJ Bunch on Radiance. Radiance capitalized on the turn by throwing a long huck to the endzone line and completing the goal with a quick give-and-go. This was quickly followed by two more breaks, giving Radiance a 6-3 lead. The rest of the first half, both teams failed to match their initial game cleanliness as the turns became more common and the points became longer. The second quarter ended with Radiance ahead 13-8.

In the second half, Raleigh continued to assert their dominance while Nashville struggled with red zone throwaways and midfield miscues. Despite the best efforts of Nightshade handlers Noel Holmes and Kelsey Foster, Nightshade could not manage to punch one in. By the midway point of the third quarter, Raleigh had widened the gap to 18-10. After some increased defensive intensity from Nightshade to hold for the last few points, the quarter ended 18-11, Raleigh.

The final quarter looked like an entirely different game in comparison to the first. Most points had multiple turnovers, thrower’s precision was notably reduced, and perhaps because of the fast pace game at the beginning — or the fact that Raleigh was on the second night of a back-to-back road set — players on both sides were beginning to look sluggish and less effective. Both teams managed to score three more goals, with Raleigh taking home the victory.

The result unfortunately leaves Nightshade with no wins this season. Raleigh finished their road trip with a 2-0 record and are ranked second headed into the final week of the season.

– Kelsey Hayden

Highlights from the Past Few Weeks

In their Week 6 matchup, Indianapolis Red produced some incredible layouts, including a sideline grab by Lauren Boyle and an endzone block from Kristen Baxter.

Red layouts

Cara Crouch just keeps doing Cara Crouch things.

Crouch layout

Kate Travaglini remains one of the more underrated players in ultimate. Check out this gorgeous throw to space from the Soul’s Week 7 match up with Gridlock.

Travaglini huck

In addition to straight standings by record, the league has begun releasing Power Rankings based on the USAU algorithm, thanks to an assist from frisbee-rankings.com guru2 Cody Mills.

Power Rankings

With a touch of tongue-in-cheek self awareness, the league shared stats leaders through Week 7.

Stat leaders

To celebrate Pride Month, the PUL is selling limited edition gear from VC Ultimate to support local LBGTQIA charities in PUL cities.

Pride jerseys

Playoff implications heading into the final week.

Here are the active rosters heading into the final week of the regular season.

Latest Ultiworld Power Rankings

Rank Team Change Prior
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 +1 4
4 -1 3
5 +1 6
6 -1 5
7 - 7
8 - 8

After four weeks of no changes, Week 8 results see New York jump ahead of Atlanta and Austin sneak past Columbus.

Have contributions to add to the PUL Throwaround? Email us at editor@ultiworld.com and we’ll add them to the next Throwaround.


  1. Sorry for missing a few amidst the madness of the College Championships! 

  2. And recent D-I College Coach of the Year Runner up 

  1. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started covering the AUDL for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years, but now spends his time playing pickup around the Los Angeles area. You can reach him through e-mail (rubin.alex14@gmail.com) or Twitter (@arubes14).

  2. Kelsey Hayden
    Kelsey Hayden

    Kelsey is originally from Goulds, Newfoundland, and currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She plays with a women's club team and is the team manager for an open club team. Kelsey is excited about the FWD program — she's very interested to learn the ins and outs of how to create engaging content, while also learning more about the sport she's grown to love.

  3. Graham Gerhart
    Avatar

    Graham Gerhart is a Senior Staff Writer at Ultiworld, focusing primarily on the Women's and Mixed divisions. Graham graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa after playing 4 years with the UCT Flying Tigers. He now lives and works full time in San Diego. Follow him on twitter @JustGrahamG

  4. Karoline Hart
    Karoline Hart

    Karoline Hart runs a small vegetable farm in upstate New York. That really should be enough physical activity for anyone. But with a lifelong passion for sports, she makes time in her summer to play as much ultimate as possible. She most recently played the 2018 season with Boston Snake Country and is helping form a women’s team, Rebel Rebel, in Upstate New York this summer. She hopes to spend this summer learning how to create engaging sports narratives so she can use those skills to draw attention to the unseen and underrepresented members of this sport.

  5. Zakk Mabrey
    Zakk Mabrey

    I helped start my HS intramural ultimate club as a junior at North Central HS in Indianapolis. At Indiana Wesleyan, I served as club president for three years, and was a captain. Now graduated, I live in Indianapolis, run D-III Midwestern Invite, and help with various other tournaments and ultimate projects within the state, while writing for Ultiworld. Catch me on Twitter @tnlzmabrey

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