Sunday, June 12, 2016

New York Empire at DC Breeze June 11, 2016

The D.C. Breeze won 27-26 (11-10 half) in dramatic fashion over the New York Empire last night.

With 5:20 left in the 3rd quarter, the Breeze had what felt like an insurmountable 5-goal lead. With less than 2 minutes left, D.C. had a 2-goal lead in the 4th quarter. With a 1-goal lead and 20 seconds in the game, Markham Shofner hucked a deep shot to the endzone which fell incomplete. New York seized the opportunity. With 10 seconds remaining, New York fbegan their their last offensive drive and completed a 40-yard hammer from Ryan Drost to Jeff Babbitt for the equalizer - tied at 24s.

Again, the Empire returned with a last second score to tie in overtime.

It was a wild finish. In the 2nd (sudden death) overtime, New York - who received the pull - scored what was thought to be the final score of the game. The home crowd fell silent. The Empire coach and players stormed the field for a brief second until everyone realized the a pick was called which negated the score and push them back 10 yards.
Keegan bites the disc after his game-ending goal is called back [screengrab via AUDL/ESPN3]
A few throws later, New York threw away their chance to score and win the game. Breeze took advantage of the Empire's turnover in 2OT with a Kolick hanging lefty backhand toward the endzone which Matt Kerrigan caught after a boxing out the defender. Kolick admitted later in a post-game interview with Bryan Jones that his game-winning toss was a "garbage" throw.

It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a still a 27-26 win over New York Empire, giving DC its 8th win of the 2016 AUDL season. Jeff Wodatch led the Breeze team with caught 5 goals, while Alan Kolick threw a team-high 5 assists. Matthew "Rowan" McDonnell had 5 defensive blocks.

It was a hot humid day in the nation's capital which led to a few players taking an injury due to cramping. Two Breeze players, Tom Doi and Nicky Spiva, played limited due to injuries sustained during the game.

The Breeze were without Coaches Ghesquiere (head) and Itoh (assistant), plus some regular players due to travel for the upcoming World Ultimate and Guts Championships in London.
  • The DC Breeze are now (3-0) versus the Empire in the 2016 AUDL regular season
  • All 3 of those DC wins have been 1-goal victories versus NY
  • Tonight's win is the first DC Breeze win when their game is broadcast by ESPN3 / AUDL Game of the Week
  • After Week 11, DC is (2-1) in 2OT games; both wins are against New York

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