Philadelphia digs itself a hole, undefeated showdown awaits
July 12, 2023 by Alex Rubin in Recap with 0 comments
Week 11 featured some games with playoff spot implications, and some perhaps unexpected outcomes. Pittsburgh kept themselves in contention with split results in a home-home showdown against Chicago, Minnesota slide above Indy with a head-to-head win, but the story of the week is Boston’s one goal win over Philadelphia. The Phoenix were favored by many to claim the third playoff spot, but with the loss they find themselves on the outside looking in.
Scores and Standings through Week 11
Glory, Glory to the Playoffs
For the first time in franchise history, the Boston Glory have a legitimate shot at making the post season after a tight 21-20 victory in Philadelphia on Friday. The win puts the Glory one game ahead of Philadelphia in the standings with just winless Montreal left on its schedule. Philadelphia still plays second place DC, and needs a minor miracle to get back to the postseason.
The story on paper is the Phoenix’s late game comeback. Boston’s early 7-4 lead carried them throughout a comfortable game. With the score 20-17 in Boston’s favor, the Phoenix made their move. Nate Little and Noa Chun-Moy each recorded key blocks and Sean Mott crossed over to help the offense move the disc to secure back-to-back breaks that nearly tied the game. Boston pulled one back with a huck to Tyler Chan, and the Phoenix were unable to complete their season-saving comeback.
Rather than the fourth quarter excitement, the focus this week was on the refereeing and the Phoenix’s Twitter account’s not-so-cryptic indication that the game was unfairly lost.
Heartbreak and anger. And everybody who was there or who watched it on https://t.co/WedGZeIGwY knows why.
In this key play, Jordan Rhyne made what looked like a clean block before it was called back for a foul. Players and fans complained after the game that the referee calls felt tilted in Boston’s favor.
— Philadelphia Phoenix (@PHL_Phoenix) July 10, 2023
Both teams played a clean game, with just 21 total turnovers. With both offenses converting at a high clip, the D-line efficiency stood out as a difference maker. Boston finished six of their seven break chances with a score, while Philadelphia only converted four of their eight chances.
Calvin Trisolini played the offensive game of his career, totaling a game high 625 yards with four assists. Simon Carapella and James Pollard traded finishes for much of the game, each finishing with seven goals.
Boston can clinch its first ever playoff spot with a win over Montreal on July 21st. Before that, Philadelphia will meet DC, needing a win to keep their season alive.
Is there a specific AUDL team that will be most affected by having players gone for the next few weeks at U24 as the season winds down? – Guss on Discord
NOTE: this was asked and answered before the recent U24 tournament that Team USA swept.
Well, I waited long enough to answer this question now that the World Flying Disc Federation U24 tournament is underway, but the short answer is yes! I mean look at DC this weekend. They had to play New York without Jacques Nissen, AJ Merriman, and Fred Farah. Danny Landesman and Calvin Stoughton both start for the Summit. Paul Krenik, Turner Allen, Albert Yuan, and Kevin Pignone are other AUDL contributors missing time. There isn’t such a glut of talent missing for long enough to truly affect the competitive landscape of the league, but it certainly affected DC this week. The Breeze normally are able to remain competitive with New York throughout an entire game, but they fizzled out in the fourth quarter this time around. Would Merriman’s defensive intensity or Nissen’s precise execution on offense make a difference to the point where it could flip the result – maybe!
In short, this is the price the AUDL has to pay to play during the summer months when there’s less competition for TV time, the weather is nicer in colder ultimate hotbeds, and the club season hasn’t really kicked off yet. Every so often a tournament comes around that takes a chunk of players away. I’m hopeful that one day the league will cooperate with the various governing bodies that make up ultimate and could give off-weeks like the FIFA international windows so that players wouldn’t have to make a choice between missing a key pro game and playing in a once-in-a-lifetime tournament.
News and Notes
- Pittsburgh and Chicago split a home-and-home series, inching the Thunderbirds closer to playoff contention.
- Minnesota’s convincing five point win over Indy gives them the driver’s seat in the Central Division.
- Detroit lost again.
- Austin had more trouble than expected against Houston and Dallas, but pulled off two Ws.
|1||New York Empire||-||1|
|2||Salt Lake Shred||-||2|
|11||Minnesota Wind Chill||-||11|
|12||Los Angeles Aviators||-||12|
|20||San Diego Growlers||-||20|