Matching his career high in goals, Tyler Monroe had yet another stellar performance for the DC Breeze at Hotchkiss Field Saturday night. With seven goals and five assists, Monroe could not be stopped by the visiting Ottawa Outlaws as the Breeze cruised to a 29-24 win. All seven of Monroe’s goals came in the first three quarters of the game. It appeared that he could attack anywhere he wanted on the field. With the talented throwers on the team, and their aggressive mentality, Monroe was a viable deep option all evening.
“Early in the game I feel like maybe they didn’t watch the film of me or something because they were letting me go deep. By the end of the game I found someone on my back,” said Monroe. “I know it really helps me having guys like Woo [Justin Solis] and Alan [Kolick] who can come in and do the leg work so I can really focus on scoring goals, which I really feel like is where I excel.”
With a limited roster in the game, the George Washington University senior played both sides of the disc and even picked up a few break goals in a performance worthy of the annual Breeze College Night. American University won the contest and free pizza for all their students in attendance, but thanks to Monroe GWU took honors on the field.
One of the breaks goals came late in the third when the Breeze (2-1) were looking to put Ottawa away. Cutting the deficit to only four, the Outlaws were back in the contest with momentum building. Following an O-line score, the Breeze scored back-to-back breaks to push the lead back to seven. That last point was Monroe’s final goal. The Breeze worked the disc around the face of the end zone until Rowan McDonnell (three goals, three assists, two blocks) sent a blade to the slashing cutter for the score.
A scary moment for the team came midway through the final quarter when Monroe almost scored his eighth goal of the contest. Bidding through the end zone, Monroe took a hard fall and had to leave the game. Fortunately Monroe would return to the game, indicating afterward that it was only a stinger.
Early in the game, the Breeze took control with two breaks in the opening moments. D.C. would never relinquish the early lead, and would never let the Outlaws get closer to a 2-goal disadvantage.
“It goes down to game planning. Will [Smolinski], and actually a lot of the players, put in the hours to watch the other team, and that allows us to get that first jump,” said head coach Darryl Stanley.
With limited numbers, the offense had some unfamiliar additions. Solis (cutter) and Ryan Nam (handler) played integral roles in the offensive rotation for the first time in 3 years as they both return from the 2014 squad, and Chuck Cantone was used as a reliable hybrid. Solis would break through for a strong performance (two assists, 14/14 throws). Nam quietly had a goal and assist and was 21/22 filling in for Markham Shofner.
“They’ve already been practicing with us [on] offense all season,” said Stanley.
Kolick and Max Cassell tallied four goals and two assists apiece while defensive specialist Delrico Johnson registered three blocks in an all-around solid outing. In all this was yet another full team performance: of the 19 players who played in the game, only three did not record at least one goal or assist.
Alec Arsenault and Derek Alexander attempted to keep the Outlaws (0-1) alive, but the supporting cast had a limited production. Alexander always found himself with a disc, completing 49 of his 53 throws on the day and ended the game with eight assists (a third of the team’s points). Arsenault (five goals, two assists) eventually got going for the Outlaws, but it was too little too late for the tired legs of an Ottawa team coming off a 10 hour bus ride from Canada.
This was the first game for the Outlaws, the last team in the AUDL to get their season started. Ottawa travels to Philadelphia Sunday for a match up against two teams looking for their first win.
The Breeze face the Outlaws again June 18 in Ottawa as the team will look to sweep the season series. Ottawa took care of business last year at home, beating the Breeze 27-22. However, the Breeze won a thriller in 2015, nipping the Outlaws on a last second goal to celebrate U.S. Independence day in Canada’s capital city.
Now in a tie for first place in the Eastern Division with New York and Montreal, next week’s matchup with the Empire becomes a critical early season battle.
Next Home Game: Breeze vs New York, May 6, 6:30pm
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