Who is now positioned well in each division?
May 12, 2022 by Alex Rubin, Theo Wan and Lucas Coniaris in Recap with 0 comments
Our coverage of the 2022 AUDL season is presented by VII Apparel Co., who provides premium performance apparel for the active world, featuring their proprietary GreenLine fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
After some clashes with top teams in every other division in Week One, the second week of the AUDL regular season brought the Central favorites together. Chicago showed everyone their spot won’t be so easily ceded to Minnesota. Meanwhile, road trips for Boston and Colorado proved telling about their prospects this season.
Welcome to the AUDL Throwaround, where we discuss the top stories, players, and highlights in the league.
Results & Standings
Week 2 Scoreboard
Week 2 Standings
Week 2 Stories
Colorado Summit Atop the West
For the second week in a row an AUDL expansion team opened its 2022 season with a 2-0 road trip. The Colorado Summit took down Seattle and Portland in succession to claim an early pole position in the west standings.
In their first game, Colorado needed just a bit of time to settle in. Falling into a 4-2 hole, the Summit battled back and punched in four straight goals to build a 6-4 lead it did not relinquish. Seattle scored just two of their twelve break chances against a tenacious Colorado O-line defense. Noah Coolman had one of the most unusual stat lines in any game, leading the Cascades in each category with five assists, three blocks, and five turnovers. For Colorado, Jonathan Nethercutt (four assists) and Alex Atkins (four goals) formed an early connection, and Quinn Finer’s 2G/3A/2B line showed off his well rounded game.
Not content with just the one win, Colorado showed no signs of wear in their second game of the weekend against Portland. A first quarter that saw each team punch in two breaks quickly became a back and forth affair. As the wind and rain picked up, the teams settled in for long points and a lot of downwind scores. The game reached an apex as Colorado tried to hold on to possession on a long point while up one point with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter. An unfortunate turfed pass from Quinn Finer to a wide open receiver gave Portland the disc back and Jon Lee’s flick to Sam Franer tied the game with 20 seconds left. Colorado improbably almost scored as time expired on an Alex Atkins midfield greatest, but Dave Sealand blocked the final pass and the game went to overtime.
Both teams scored just once in the extra period as the rain contributed to sloppy but exciting play. Each team had the disc clang off the hands of a receiver in the end zone in the final minute of overtime, but neither could hold on. Receiving to start the sudden-death double overtime, Portland worked the disc two-thirds of the way up the field, but Atkins intercepted a cheeky upline throw and Colorado suddenly had a chance. After a timeout, Colorado found a shot it liked, but Jack Hatchett outraced the Summit receiver to earn Portland the disc back. Portland then called timeout, but turned the first throw on a miscommunication in the reset space. Jonathan Nethercutt picked up the turnover and found a streaking Mathieu Agee for the final score of the instant classic.
Nethercutt had nine assists against Portland and 976 total yards. Most impressive was his 64/66 throwing line in some of the most difficult throwing conditions in recent memory. For Portland, Leandro Marx’s five assists, six goals, and 872 yards would normally be the lede were it not for Nethercutt’s otherworldly performance.
Chicago Takes Control of Central Over Minnesota
The first rematch of the Central Division title game between the Chicago Union and hosting Minnesota Wind Chill was a windy test of patience and throwing prowess. A gusty upwind/downwind made for a slow, zone-heavy game, and upwind breaks became the deciding factor in a hard fought matchup between division favorites.
Both offenses held steady until 6-6, when Minnesota forced a turn and subbed in their offense to convert the first break of the game, with Rocco Linehan hitting Abe Coffin for the goal. Breaks come in bunches, and a short field turnover earned Minnesota a second break, winning the quarter 9-7. But Chicago leaned on their backfield stars in Pawel Janas and Dalton Smith and settled back into the game to win both the second and third quarter, entering the fourth up three. Pawel anchored the O-line with a game-high 49 completions and 477 throwing yards.
Minnesota made a push early in the fourth, scoring two breaks off of great defensive pressure from Jimmy Kittlesen to tie it at 19-19. Chicago, forced to go to their second offensive unit, found success with a huge Dalton Smith hammer out of a double team to find Nate Goff. Smith had been stellar for the D-line offense, grinding out resets and breaking marks like the wind wasn’t there. His efforts led to the game-deciding five upwind breaks for Chicago. Then nerves started to show for Minnesota, and their offense dealt with two drops that allowed the Chicago D-line to put the game away.
The reigning divisional champs maintain their undefeated record, leading the Central division at 2-0. Minnesota will need their young stars to remain calm in the face of adversity, else they run the risk of repeating their 2021 final against a steady Chicago squad.
Chicago got a breakout performance from Sam Kaminsky, a new face on the O-line. He led the field in +/-, totaling five goals and four assists. Expect to see Kaminsky’s usage increase as Chicago puts more trust in his game. A bright spot for Minnesota was the return of Quinn Snider, who totaled seven goals, one assist, and one block to hit a team-high +/- of 8.
Boston Suffers Roadblock North of the Border
In week one, the Boston Glory rode on the shoulders of Orion Cable, Tannor Johnson, and Jeff Graham who combined for 11 of Boston’s 25 goals in their victory over the Philadelphia Phoenix. With none of them making the trip, the Glory would be looking for production elsewhere as they made their way to Canada to play the Ottawa Outlaws and Montreal Royal back-to-back. In addition, Boston had more players missing as the vaunted New England D-I college Regionals was happening the same weekend.
With only 17 rostered players and one assistant coach (Mike Miller) who was dressed, the Glory found themselves in tough against a very hungry Ottawa squad. Boston had all the momentum in the first, squeezing two straight breaks out of the Outlaws offense, taking a 6-4 lead. From that point on, it was Ottawa’s game as they earned buzzer-beating catches at the end of the second and third quarters, respectively. Ben Sadok was his usual self, finishing with seven assists and three goals and crossing over on defense multiple times. Like in their games against Philadelphia, Boston continued to struggle on D-line offense, and what made matters worse was they were missing some of their opening day defensive handlers. Ottawa made it a more exciting finish than they would have liked, letting Boston back in the fourth. The Glory had a chance to tie up the game, but a scoober from Sadok was picked off and Ottawa claimed their first 1-0 regular season start.1 The Outlaws had a balanced attack with at least 12 players scoring a goal and 10 throwing assists in the 21-19 victory.
The shortened roster had no rest as they would have to go and play the Montreal Royal less than 24 hours later in a midday battle. Boston once again fielded 17 with a couple replacements in toe with Anders Olsen and Cameron Warriner suiting up, but losing Ben Horrisberger and Chris Bartoli from the night before. In an eerily familiar start to Saturday’s game, the Glory took a 6-4 lead into the first quarter, only for the Glory’s opponent to turn it up and take a lead into the fourth quarter. Montreal used their opportunities in the third, scoring on both break opportunities to take a 17-13 lead. The two teams traded points and Boston fell to Montreal 21-17, going 0-2 on the road trip. Perhaps it was the tired legs or perhaps it was the Montreal crowd, but Boston was not their usual self on offense, converting on just 39% of their holds. Montreal did their best Ottawa impression, showcasing a balanced attack with 12 players also scoring goals.
There’s potential for a hot start for Ottawa, as they have a chance to go to 2-0 with their upcoming road game against the Toronto Rush. There’s no rest for Boston as they now return home to take on the first place New York Empire this coming Saturday, with a loss putting them at an uncomfortable 1-3. Montreal has their own test this weekend, going against the Philadelphia Phoenix and DC Breeze on their first double header road trip of the season.
Phoenix on the Rise?
You don’t normally say a team has had a good start with a record of 0-2. In the case of the Philadelphia Phoenix, the results show the potential for growth and what could be this coming season and beyond. After losing a tight matchup with the Boston Glory last Saturday, the Phoenix came up short by a mere two points to the East division leading New York Empire. It was a slog in the first quarter as both teams combined for three points total, including one point that took almost seven minute with the rainy conditions playing a large effect.
Despite being down by deficits of three at the end of the second and third quarters of the game, Philadelphia did not go away, showing a resilience that will bode well for them during the rest of the season. Devin Foster led the Phoenix rally, grabbing a floaty hammer over a group of players before dropping the assist to Dmitry Suvorov for the first Philadelphia break of the game. A few minutes later, Philadelphia generated its second break of the game with less than 30 seconds on the clock as Foster would fly in for a poach block to help minimize the lead to one. The two teams traded scores from that point forward and Philadelphia was unable to generate its third break of the game. The defensive lines struggled offensively as both teams only combined for five breaks total. The Empire have to feel good about their ability to stave off rallies late in games, while the Phoenix have to be excited about where they are at, and at the same time wondering what could have been. Both teams will continue to through the gauntlet in the East as the Phoenix host the 2-0 Montreal Royal, while the New York Empire travel to play a reeling Boston Glory squad.
Around the League
- The Carolina Flyers easily dispatched Tampa Bay Cannons on the road without giving up a single break.
- The Madison Radicals survived a windy game against the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds, who welcomed back Thomas Edmonds to the tune of a 44/44 throwing with one assist and four goal stat line.
- The Indianapolis AlleyCats were immune to the tough weather that plagued offenses around the country as they safely took down the Detroit Mechanix from the comfort of their indoor field with a season high 33 points. Keegan North tallied nine assists and five goals in his first game back with the Alleycats after spending last season in Chicago.
- The San Diego Growlers escaped Oakland with a two point win in a very physical game played in heavy wind. Missing most of their college-aged players who were competing at D-I regionals, the Oakland Spiders were aggressive with their sideline traps and played an effective game in the wind to nearly pull off the upset.
AUDL Power Rankings:
|1||New York Empire||-||1|
|6||Minnesota Wind Chill||-2||4|
|8||Salt Lake Shred||-1||7|
|9||San Diego Growlers||-1||8|
|18||Los Angeles Aviators||-||18|
|25||Tampa Bay Cannons||-||25|
Highlight of the Week
Another week, another SportsCenter highlight, but again, we look elsewhere. Portland’s Daniel Lee combined power and finesse to sky for this catch and still get the toe inside the end zone.
They started 1-0 last year but it was the Canada Cup and not the regular season. ↩