The DC Breeze pulled away in the final minutes to beat the New York Empire yesterday, 28-25. The Empire (2-4) went on a 5-1 run late in the 3rd quarter to overcome a 19-15 deficit and tie the game at 21, but the Breeze (5-2) found another level of effort from that point and would not give up another break in the game. Instead, the two teams traded goals until the Breeze managed two more late breaks including a David Bloodgood block to pull away for the win. Tyler Monroe was named the player of the game for the Breeze with 4 goals and 5 assists, while Rowan McDonnell also shined with 3 goals and 6 assists. Chuck Cantone and Markham Shofner had 4 goals apiece.
The Breeze started the game on offense on a pleasant but heavily overcast day on Randall’s Island just East of Manhattan. The O-Line worked the disc up the field patiently but threw it away, only to get it right back for Jon Neeley to find Jeff Wodatch for the 1-nil lead. The teams traded goals throughout the rest of the 1st quarter with one break each as Q1 ended 5-5.
The Empire used the first possession and a quick break to go up 5-7 early in the 2nd quarter, but the Breeze answered right back thanks to a block by David Shields to tie it at 7s. The game was tied 9-9 before Johnny Walden‘s bookends made it 10-9 Breeze, followed by a John Agan block for another break to make it 12-10. The half ended in dramatic fashion when New York’s hail mary fell into the hands of an Empire receiver with only 3 seconds left, only for the Breeze to answer back in exactly the same fashion as Shofner’s 80 yard huck off the pull bounced off several players and eventually landed in the hands of McDonnell to make it 14-12 Breeze after time had expired.
The Breeze started the 2nd half on offense and also managed one more break versus none for the Empire to reach 20-16 midway through the 3rd quarter. But then New York got wind in their sails to rattle off 4 of the next 5 points and tie the game at 21 going into the 4th quarter.
The teams traded goals from there until an Empire throwaway led to another Breeze break when Zach Norrbom found Tyler Monroe in the end zone to make it 25-23. Monroe then found Shofner for another O-line goal, and Rowan assisted to Norrbom for yet another as the offense stayed in form to maintain the 2-point lead and make it 27-25. Bloodgood got a critical block on the ensuing possession, and after a few dump passes the Breeze took a timeout to get the O-Line back in with hopes to seal the game. They did just that, as Monroe eventually assisted to Shofner again to make it 28-25 with only a few seconds left in the game. The clock ran out after the final pull.