Recap: Breeze Split Weekend Doubleheader, Lose Division Lead

JUNE 3, 2024
By Marley Pope

The DC Breeze split their weekend schedule, beating the Toronto Rush (1-4) at home Friday night before losing to the Boston Glory (5-2) on the road Sunday afternoon. The loss to Boston knocks the Breeze (4-2) out of first place in the East Division, as Boston swept the weekend with wins over New York and DC, beating each team for the first time.

In the first matchup of the weekend, the Breeze finished a three-game homestand against the Toronto Rush with a three-game win streak.

DC controlled the game from start to finish en route to a 26-19 win. The Breeze’s offense hummed at an impeccable pace, tallying season highs in goals and hold percentage (90%).

“We are always self-reflecting for how to make the field bigger offensively by honing our system and how players work within that system. We aren't done yet,” Breeze head coach Lauren Boyle said.

Returning to the Breeze after winning a national championship with Brown University, Jacques Nissen scored five goals, with three coming in the first quarter.

“Jacques's IQ of the field brings us to a new level as he knows how to make a defense look silly with where to attack spaces and utilize his range of throws to continue the attack,” Boyle said.

Toronto executed offense in the first quarter with five goals and completing four hucks, but DC finished six of seven red zone opportunities and two break chances to score four of the last five goals in the opening frame to lead 8-5.

The Rush called a timeout with 1:56 in the half after DC completed a break chance. The Rush found success when they completed hucks, but when they couldn’t, turnovers ensued leading to four DC goals off of breaks.

In Jonny Malks' first Breeze game in three weeks, he tallied a hat trick of goals and assists in the first half to lead all players in points to push DC ahead 13-9 at halftime.

“Jonny can do it all. He can be centered to off the pull, be an initiator for downfield movement, a driver for our reset flow. Jonny makes a big field feel bigger with all his tools with the disc in his hand and with his movement downfield,” Boyle said.

DC came out of halftime with the first two scores, one from each line to extend their lead to six. The Breeze’s offense continued seamless play with crisp passing and well-timed cuts downfield. Toronto rarely created any issues while on defense and failed to convert on any Breeze mistakes with just one break score in 18 tries.

Another converted break for DC pushed their lead to a touchdown with 4:23 left in the third quarter. The Breeze reached 20 goals before the end of the third quarter with rookie phenom Elliot Bonnet’s second goal.

Malks finished with 10 points in his return and DC found themselves in first place in the East Division after the Glory’s win over the Empire. Sunday’s matchup against the Glory offered DC a chance to cement their place as the division leader.

Both teams traded goals in the opening quarter but DC’s three holds gave them a 4-3 lead. Malks continued his stellar play with two assists and 100 throwing yards. Boston worked harder for their goals due to the Breeze’s pressure, which included three contact fouls.

Boston’s Peter Boerth came out the gate strong with two goals and one assist with 154 total yards in the early going. The Glory converted a break chance to regain the lead with 8:56 remaining in the second quarter.

A diving goal by Ben Sadok capped a 4-1 run by Boston to lead 7-5 with 5:06 left in the first half. The Glory created offense with both lines and converted in the red zone.

After a DC turnover while on the break, Boston quickly responded with a 75-yard dime from Jonah Stang-Osborne to Boerth. The Breeze tied the game at eight with time expiring when Kevin Healey skied to secure a last-second heave.

DC opened the scoring in the second half with a contested catch in the end zone by Cole Jurek. Again Boston responded with two in a row, where an interception by Luke Webb sparked a break chance.

The Breeze orchestrated a break chance to the doorstep of the end zone, but a Boston block prevented DC from scoring. The long possession with multiple turnovers ended with a Glory hold to lead 11-10. DC’s Jeff Wodatch answered with a huck catch, securing his third goal and tying the game with 1:18 left in the third quarter.

After scoring at the end of the third, Boston extended their lead with the first goal of the final frame. Bonnet made a key block on a Glory break then scored his fourth goal to cut the deficit to one, 13-12.

“Elliot is doing a great job attacking big spaces for us. He also plays with infectious joy which helps us stay loose,” Boyle said.

For the rest of the fourth quarter, DC failed to create any extra chances until the final seconds. With a last-second opportunity, a long-range pass to Bonnet tipped off his hands and the Breeze narrowly fell to Boston for the first time in franchise history.

The Glory’s red zone success (81%) and double the amount of breaks to DC (two vs four) was the difference. Sadok tallied four assists, 367 throw yards and three hockey assists to facilitate the offense for Boston. Orion Cable scored four times, two of which came in the fourth period to lead Boston to a key win.

DC struggled to reach their standards offensively with just a 72% hold rate and 56% red zone conversion rate. Nevertheless, the Breeze scored 15 goals and were in the game every minute. Bonnet led all players with 414 total yards and was inches away from a dramatic catch to send the game to overtime.

The Breeze returns home for a monster matchup with the New York Empire on Saturday, June 8. First pull at Carlini Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are available at