Recap: Breeze Comeback Falls Short at Home in Rematch Against Flyers

JUNE 3, 2023
By Aidan Delehanty

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Week six of the 2023 AUDL season saw the DC Breeze suffer a second tough loss at home, as the team fell to the Carolina Flyers by a score of 20-19. The Breeze struggled at the beginning of the game, giving up a break on the first point and trailed 5-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Despite some early miscues, many Breeze players still had quality performances in the game. Benjamin Oort was once again the Breeze's highest point scorer, notching four goals, including back-to-back goals late in the fourth quarter to bring his team within one goal; Oort also added two assists. 

Another standout player for the Breeze in this game was former Pittsburgh Thunderbird, Thomas Edmonds who has had a great start in his first campaign with the Breeze, after playing four seasons in the Steel City. In the third quarter, Edmonds made one of the top plays in the game.

After making a block at center field, Edmonds took off toward toward the endzone and was able to get favorable position and sky his defender to receive the goal thrown by Troy Holland. Edmonds finished the game with two goals, three assists, and one block. 

Head coach Darryl Stanley said in his halftime interview that the game was "a battle of patience” and a “hold fest.” The O-line for both teams had many opportunities to make great plays, but neither defense had much success disrupting the opposing offense, and the Breeze defense wasn’t able to come up with the stops they needed to take away the Flyers' success. Despite scratching and clawing to keep themselves in the game, the Breeze were never able to regain a lead after they led 4-3 with 4:28 on the clock in the first quarter. 

“We’re mostly focused on the defensive side of things. We just got our opportunities and weren’t converting,” defensive player AJ Merriman said in a post-game interview. This was shown by the Breeze not being able to break 50% on their defensive conversion rate. This was the team's second-lowest D-line conversion rate this season at 44%. 

This is the last time the Breeze will see the Flyers in the 2023 regular season. They may have the opportunity for a rubber match later in the summer at Championship Weekend in Minnesota.

“I’m glad we’ll go into the playoffs battle tested as opposed to unbruised,” Colin McLaughlin said, after reflecting on the night.

The Breeze have their final bye week of the 2023 regular season in week seven, and their next game is again at home on Friday, June 16th against the Montreal Royal. First pull is scheduled for 7:00 PM EDT at Catholic University of America's Carlini Field. Tickets for the game are available here.