Despite chilly temperatures and a stiff southwesterly wind in Toronto, the DC Breeze put up a massive fight in their second game in a week vs the Toronto Rush yesterday, coming up one point short for the 2nd game in a row against the reigning division champions. The Breeze started on defense and settled into a comfortable point exchange with Toronto for the first fifteen minutes of the game. Jonathan “Goose” Helton (00) helped break that pattern, hitting Jeff Wodatch (45) in the endzone to bring the Breeze up 3-2. Toronto quickly turned that lead around, scoring twice to overcome the Breeze 4-3.
After another round of point exchange, Breeze cutter John Agan (21) turned up his defensive game and got the block on Toronto. The team transitioned quickly to offense and Chuck Cantone (84) hit Agan deep for a bookends score.
With the score at 5-4, the Breeze settled into their groove, adding three points to their lead with goals by Agan and 2016 newcomer Bob Liu (1). Staying hot on DC’s heels, the Toronto Rush pulled out two more points to tie the game at eights. The two teams stayed neck and neck ending the first half tied 10-10.
The two equally talented teams matched score and intensity coming out of the half. After a quick offensive point for the Breeze, the point exchange continued until Wodatch assisted by Alan Kolick (99) and Jon Pressimone (63) assisted by Alex Jacoski (33) helped the Breeze mount a breakaway. Leading the Rush 14-12, the Breeze continued to amass points while keeping the Rush at bay. The Breeze took the third quarter with a 17-16 lead over Toronto.
A dropped pull cast a dark cloud over Toronto’s fourth quarter start as Nicky Spiva (36) easily completed an assist to David Cranston (42) to capitalize on the error for a quick break. Despite the rough going early int he 4th, the Rush swiftly made up a 3-goal deficit to tie the game at 20-20, putting the Breeze on offense. Undaunted, Goose assisted Jonathan Neeley (6) to regain a small margin, making it 21-20 Breeze.
With the minutes draining away in the fourth quarter, Toronto staged a comeback to tie it up again 22-22 with 1:42 remaining. The final minutes of the game saw more high stakes point exchange. With 1:14 remaining in the quarter, the Breeze found themselves with a deficit 23-22 but came back with :50 remaining to tie the score at 23s. Now on defense, the Breeze failed to shut down the Rush’s offensive line and Toronto scored to make it 23-24 with about 0:30 remaining. The Breeze failed to work the disc upwind as time ran out, ending the 2nd consecutive one point loss to the Rush.
Staff Writer Libby Camberlin
Next game: Sunday, May 1, 1pm at Montréal Royal
Waiting for the Anthems:
Win or lose, there’s always time for the fans (w/ Brett Matzuka):