July 12, 2019
by Matt Rezin
We've got 9 of 10 playoff bids decided as we head into the six game final weekend of the 2019 AUDL season. The only bid up for grabs at this point is the 3rd spot in the Midwest, who will face the Chicago Wildfire in the Midwest divisional semifinal game. Hope is still alive for the Wind Chill who have already played their last regular season game, if the Thunderbirds lose to both the Wildfire and AlleyCats they lose the playoff bid to the Wind Chill. Check out Evan Lepler's breakdown of the various scenarios in this week's Tuesday Toss. Wind Chill supporters will be tuning into the Stadium Game of the Week and AUDL.tv to keep tabs on the situation.
Saturday, July 13
Philadelphia Phoenix at Ottawa Outlaws - 6:00 PM/ET
- Sean Mott (PHI) — Mott leads the Phoenix in assists this season and he's helped the Phoenix to some great upset victories, yet Mott's season numbers pale in comparison to his career averages. In recent years he also lead the team in goals, with 40 or more in consecutive seasons. Perhaps this season, with reliable cutters to throw to in teammates Mehta and Sands, Mott was able to stay back and survey the field this year instead of having to make things happen himself.
- Alec Arsenault (OTT) — Arsenault has been making big plays for the Outlaws all summer, reliably scoring a few assists and goals in any game when he's active. The last and only time Ottawa faced Philadelphia in early May (5/5) Alec was unavailable for the road trip so he hasn't faced off against Mott this season other than at the all-star game. Watch for him to put on a show this Saturday evening, though he's a cutter Arsenault gets his hands on the disc almost as much as the Outlaws handlers, he's got 220 catches (4th) and 167 completions (5th) in his 9 appearances.
Pittsburgh Thunderbirds at Chicago Wildfire - 7:00 PM/ET
- Thomas Edmonds (PIT) — Playoff bound if they can win a game this weekend, the Thunderbirds are having a season to remember winning 4 of their 6 home games. If Pittsburgh had two all-star representatives in Madison, Edmonds would have been the sure choice after Sheppard. Edmonds is second on the team in assists with , and in third in goals. The Thunderbirds offensive unit seems primed for a run at the playoffs, first they'll have to overcome either the Wildfire or AlleyCats this weekend to earn their playoff bid.
- Max Sheppard (PIT) — I have to point out Sheppard's huge 12 assist, 4 goal performance in the Thunderbirds week 14 squeaker in Detroit where they won 24-23. Max is playing the best ultimate of his life as we enter the playoff season.
- Kurt Gibson (CHI) — Making his season debut after a shoulder injury sidelined him, AUDL commentator Kurt Gibson will make his return to the ultimate field with cleats instead of a microphone for the first time in 2019. A veteran of many championship AUDL teams, it will be nice to see Kurt take the field again on Saturday night as the Wildfire play to ensure that they host the Midwest division semifinal game.
Tampa Bay Cannons at Raleigh Flyers - 7:00 PM/ET
- Andrew Roney (TB) — The Cannons most recent game was in week 13, when they welcomed the Flyers to Tampa Bay and played well to only lose to the powerful Raleigh squad by two points. Roney had one of his best games of the season, throwing 70 completions with only one throwaway and 11 of those completions were for assists! As they hit the road north to Raleigh this weekend the Cannons will look to their all-star handler to take a game off of the South Division Champion Flyers.
- Noah Saul (RAL) — With the first spot in the division locked up the Flyers seem to be resting some key players to have them ready for the playoffs. Luckily for Raleigh they have a deep enough bench that whoever they throw out will have a shot to win against most AUDL opposition. A host of handlers have gotten attention for the Raleigh Flyers this season as new additions like Bobby Ley and Eric Taylor have made waves. Veteran handler Noah Saul remains second on the team with 25 assists and he's active this weekend to welcome the Cannons to town.
Sunday, July 14
Detroit Mechanix at Madison Radicals - 1:00 PM/ET
- Joe Cubitt (DET) — In week 14, the Mechanix welcomed the Thunderbirds to town and very nearly earned their first win of the year. They led most of the game but only fielded 15 active players, so eventually the grind of the long game and large field in the AUDL was too much and the game slipped away in overtime. Cubitt played a huge role in the week 14 performance, as one of the Mechanix who played in 30 or more points (6 players, including 46 from Kevin Coulter and 39 from Andrew Sjogren) Cubitt had 8 assists and 2 goals in the game. With Coulter and Sjogren staying home for the road trip Cubitt will be running the show for Detroit.
- Kevin Pettit-Scantling (MAD) — With 5 blocks in week 14's game against Minnesota, Pettit-Scantling kept the Wind Chill from gaining momentum in a sloppy and sweaty game in Madison. Those blocks also bring him into a tie for the lead on the Radicals with Sterling Knoche. As the Radicals face their final game of 2019, I expect to see KPS especially motivated and using all of the pent up energy from missing the playoffs to keep Detroit winless on the season.
Philadelphia Phoenix at Montreal Royal - 3:00 PM/ET
- Mike Arcata (PHI) — As the Phoenix finish their 2019 campaign with a 2 game road trip weekend, Arcata will try to recapture the magic of his week 13 performance in Philly's road win in Toronto. Having his best game of the year, Arcata pulled down 5 goals, 2 assists and a block without turning the disc over to aid in possibly the biggest upset in Phoenix franchise history. With Fortin, Weaver, and Sickles inactive for the road trip to Montreal Arcata will find himself in the middle of the action yet again.
- Kevin Quinlan (MTL) — In a tough season for the Montreal Royal, their team captain has put up one of his best AUDL seasons. In his 8th career season, Quinlan scored more assists (50) than he has before, in fewer games, as he took the reins of the Montreal handling corps. In week 14's tightly contested in against the Outlaws, Quinlan again led the squad with 8 assists. This weekend the Royal are playing for divisional results as Philadelphia comes to town. Unless the Phoenix drop their Saturday game against the Outlaws, they'll be playing against the Royal Sunday for fourth place in the divisional standings.
Pittsburgh Thunderbirds at Indianapolis AlleyCats - 4:00 PM/ET
- Anson Reppermund (PIT) — The Thunderbirds blocks leader with 19 this season, Reppermund uses his 6'2" frame to take up space in the defensive backfield and make it hard for cutters to find room. Only Sam VanDusen has taken the field for the Thunderbirds defense on more points this season. As the Thunderbirds eye a return to the playoffs, in week 15 their defense will attempt to suppress both of their potential playoff opponents.
- Cameron Brock (IND) — Cam grabbed his 500th career goal last weekend. He's got the league record in goals by far and his total will take awhile for future stars to beat. Brock has played in 118 games to reach that 500 goal milestone for an average of 4.2 goals per game. After the game Cam recounted his journey to pro ultimate in an engaging series of tweets (captured as a journal entry on the league website) especially focusing on how the sport and community in Indianapolis has effected his life since joining the team. With first place and a playoff bye in hand, Brock and the AlleyCats will look to play spoiler for the Thunderbirds.