Ever since the end of the 2016 season, there has been one goal on the mind of DC Breeze players: take the division from the Toronto Rush. The Breeze will get that chance Sunday at 1:00pm ET when they once again take on Toronto with the East Division title in the balance.
DC Breeze at Toronto Rush
Sunday August 13, 1pm ET — audl.tv/live
Last season’s campaign ended in the same East Division Final in Toronto, with the Rush winning 23-21 in an overtime thriller. Advancing to the Final Four Championship Weekend for the fourth time in a row, the Rush represented the East in the AUDL’s annual showcase weekend. It is that overtime game that many Breeze players still have on their minds almost every day. Both sides were aggressive and clearly doing everything possible to win the Division Title. At points, the play became chippy.
More than 365 days later, the two teams find themselves in familiar territory. DC the #2 seed and fresh off a playoff win, and Toronto the #1 seed fresh and playing at home. The rematch is upon us. This is the chance not only for revenge, but to be the only team since 2012 not named the Rush to represent the division at Championship Weekend.
There’s no doubt it will be tough though for the Breeze. The team is 2-1 against the Rush in 2017, with the home team winning every contest. Each time, there were significant roster holes for the road team. Hosting the event, Toronto (11-3) is fully loaded. Their leading goal scorer, Andrew Carroll (37 goals, 19 assists) is primed to continue his hot streak against the Breeze. Carroll averages 4.5 goals, an assist, and a block per game against the Breeze this year.
Other stars, Cameron Harris (35 goals, 42 assists) and Jeff Lindquist (22 goals, 29 assists), look to carry this veteran crew to another division title. As the top seed in the East, they are once again the favorites.
Unlike earlier this season, the DC squad traveling to Toronto is as fully loaded as it can be. Thanks to the difficult game and long weather delays on Friday night against the Montréal Royal, though, the team had to get on the bus a mere 10 hours later after quite a few hours less sleep than they had planned. On top of that they will be without their leading scorer from the opening round playoff game, Joe Freund (20 goals, eight assists). There will be fresh legs however in Markham Shofner and Keven Moldenhauer. Also, David Boylan-Kolchin (20 assists, 16 blocks) is a late substitute for David Cranston, who suffered a knock Friday night and didn’t make the trip.
During their three contests this season, Toronto was unable to fully overcome the aggressive zone that DC puts on the handlers. On the other side of the disc, nearly unstoppable, Tyler Monroe has had his way with the Rush defenders, scoring eight goals and throwing 13 assists in three games. Alan Kolick has also been strong against the Rush with eight goals and 11 assists.
Both teams run a horizontal stack as their main offense. DC in the past tried to force Toronto downfield and to the middle of the field. Toronto has forced DC to the sidelines in each of their contests, but at home DC took advantage of their athleticism to excel under the circumstances.
First pull is at 1:00pm ET and can be watched for free on AUDL TV. The winner moves on to Montréal for Championship Weekend August 26 and 27. A win by the Breeze would mark the most successful season in franchise history.