Tuesday Toss: History, Revenge, and a Thrilling Week 6

June 4, 2024
By Evan Lepler

Sheesh, where do we even begin?!

Week 6 featured a 2024 season-high 14 games, a jam-packed slate which delivered a wide smorgasbord of unexpected storylines, including several stunners.

New York, the two-time reigning UFA champions, losing at home for the first time since 2018? Check.

Jeff Babbitt and Lukas Ambrose, last season’s MVP and Rookie of the Year, respectively, both scoring emotional road wins against their old teams? You bet. 

Pittsburgh setting a new standard for pristine possession preservation? Seriously, this happened too. 

And these headlines don’t even include a thrilling buzzer-beater featuring two AlleyCat OGs in Indy, a Carolina comeback that almost never happened in Texas, or Atlanta’s dazzling dismantling of the Summit in Colorado. 

Overall, three teams went 2-0, all overcoming adversity and exacting some version of revenge, eight different games were decided by one or two goals, and, by the way, there was also a team that trailed 10-2 and won! The sheer magnitude of intrigue is intimidating when contemplating how to contextualize all of the chaos, but thankfully, the Tuesday Toss was conceived and built as just that vessel. 

The Full Field Layout

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

The Week 6 suspense commenced on Friday night with Boston at New York, the Empire riding a 31-game home winning streak dating back to July of 2018 taking on a Glory team that was just 3-2 on the season and winless in seven matchups all-time against the current East Division kings. It also featured last year’s UFA MVP returning to the stadium he called home for seven seasons to battle against many of his former teammates, two weeks after coming up short against them in his new home digs in Massachusetts.

“We had a close game with New York a couple weeks ago at home,” said Boston’s Jeff Babbitt. “And we knew we could compete, and we knew that it was all [going to come] down to patience and having some determination that we could win the game. And we came out [on Friday night] really ready to go, and knew that every turnover’s gonna matter, and you saw us play a really clean game.”

Despite getting broken early and falling behind 3-1, the Glory erupted on a 9-4 run and never trailed again, scattering just nine turnovers in 48 minutes to match the franchise’s best performance ever in a 16-14 victory over the Empire. Babbitt finished with three goals, two assists, and one play-of-the-year caliber block, spectacularly denying Charles Weinberg what looked like a sure score against most any other defender in the league. 

“It’s bittersweet,” said Babbitt in a postgame interview on WatchUFA.tv. “It was weird coming back here, but it’s gonna be great to see a bunch of friends and fans I’m used to seeing at these games, and it was good taking it to them.”

Ned Dick and Ben Sadok anchored Boston’s offense by combining to complete 111-of-113 passes, while the Glory defense converted five of their six break chances, capitalizing on almost every opportunity that they created. On the final point of the game, Glory Captain Brendan McCann swatted Solomon Rueschemeyer-Bailey’s high-release backhand with a couple minutes left to basically squash any remaining chance of an Empire rally. 

The biggest takeaway, aside from the historical implications of New York’s nearly six-year streak coming to an end, was that it did not even feel like a huge upset. To the contrary, Boston was in control most of the night, managed to avoid a major meltdown, and got contributions from up and down the roster. They did not look overmatched; they battled like equals who confidently believed they could win.

“It was just very normal ultimate, played at a high level, and we came out on top,” said McCann. 

A couple days later, Sunday’s matinee against DC was a very similar story. Trailing 4-3 after one, the Glory used a 5-2 spurt at the start of the second quarter to jump in front. Trailing by one again early in the third, Boston got two more clutch breaks, led 12-11 heading to the fourth, where they proceeded to hold on four consecutive patient O-points to maintain their lead. 

“I was most pleased with our consistent focus,” said Boston Coach Sam Rosenthal. “We only had a few poorly played points this weekend, and we got strong contributions from everyone in the lineup. Our depth really showed.”

The Glory finally succumbed to DC’s relentless pressure with a red-zone giveaway that offered the Breeze a potential game-tying possession with 12 seconds left, but Andrew Roy’s blading half-field shot ticked off a Elliot Bonnet’s outstretched hand as time expired.

“I actually think Jeff Babbitt and me were not expecting a throw with this kind of shape from A-Roy, so we both didn’t have good positioning for it,” said Bonnet. “But it was the best throw he could throw and it was a really good decision from him. I wanted Babbitt behind me instead of in front because I knew he would box me out and I knew I wouldn’t be able to jump above him or go around him if I was behind. Then this fastball surprised me and I tipped it with my palm, so it’s a little bit frustrating.”

Ironically, it was somewhat similar to the final sequence of the Glory-Breeze matchup in DC back in May, when Babbitt momentarily got a leaping finger on the disc but ultimately failed to bring in Colin Sunde’s end zone prayer in Boston’s one-goal loss. But when Bonnet came up empty this time, the Glory had officially backed up their Friday night win over the Empire by downing DC for the first time ever too. 

“No question those were the two biggest wins in franchise history,” said McCann. “DC and New York are two of the best teams in the league, and to be honest, I think DC would have taken second each of the past few years if there was a fifth team allowed at Championship Weekend. So less to do with other teams, more as a testament to us: We are at that level now.”

Indeed, the East now likely goes through Boston. At 5-2 after these marquee Week 6 wins, the Glory are a half-game ahead of their closest East rivals. Furthermore, they have victories over every other team in the division, and their remaining five games are all against inferior opponents whom they have already beaten once. Even with three remaining road games, the Glory have a much easier schedule going forward than either New York or DC, who are both currently 4-2 and have not played each other yet. The Empire and Breeze will square off in DC this Saturday, in New York on July 20, and the East’s perennial powers also each have another daunting interdivisional date against one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the league, with 6-0 Salt Lake and 4-0 Carolina traveling to New York and DC, respectively, at the end of the month. 

Consequently, it’s tough to imagine either the Empire or Breeze surpassing Boston in the regular season standings unless the Glory seriously stumble. The playoffs should still feel like a tossup, as the top three all feel quite close, but there’s definitely a different dynamic for the 2024 Glory, one that we have not seen during the franchise’s first three seasons, when they collectively went 16-21. 

Of course, it’s overly simplistic to say that Jeff Babbitt has singlehandedly transformed Boston. Clearly, the team’s depth and collective buy-in are better than ever. The Glory have a great mix of youth and experience, with explosive athletes, tall defenders, and skilled playmakers. But I very much doubt that Boston would be in first place right now without Babbitt’s presence and leadership.

“Jeff’s been great for the team,” said Rosenthal. “We knew we were getting a high character teammate on top of a talented one, and his impact is showing in many ways—guys buying in and committing, extra workouts, throwing sessions and film review, and people making sacrifices on and off the field to win as a team.” 

Statistically, Babbitt also currently sits tied for second in the league in both blocks (11) and plus/minus (plus 32). 

“He brings an aura of excellence and composure to our team,” said McCann, when asked about Babbitt. “I think a lot of our young guys can look to that and learn from it. He didn’t come to Boston go 7-5; he came to win a championship.”


The other two teams that went 2-0 this past weekend were Carolina and Seattle, though both endured some turbulence along the way. 

The Flyers built an early 3-1 lead at Austin on Friday, but trailed 11-9 early in the third and were down 11-10 when lightning halted the game with around 21 minutes remaining. With a cancellation curfew not too far away and an ominous radar showing more lightning, it initially appeared that the Sol were about to earn an abbreviated win.

“Most of me wanted to continue playing and earn a legit win, but some of me wanted to get out of there with more energy to take to Houston the next day,” said Austin’s Kyle Henke. “From what the radar told us, we weren’t going to play til 9:50-10 PM, which was very close to the cancellation deadline. But the lightning stopped and the rain started, and we were game on by 9:30 PM.”

Indeed, Mother Nature had granted Carolina new life, and the undefeated Flyers capitalized on it. 

“We came out of the delay with a focus that the home team clearly did not have,” said Carolina Captain William Coffin. “Specifically strategically, there was a certain sense or urgency after the delay due to the unknowns of the weather through the night. That urgency as a D-line seemed to take Austin by surprise, which led to a few relatively unchallenged goals. Once we were in control, we had full faith in our O-line to maintain the lead calmly, which is something that this team has been incredible at through our last few years.”

Tied 15-all early in the fourth, the Flyers delivered four straight scores over a six-minute stretch to put the game away, with Carolina ultimately prevailing 20-17. Drew Swanson’s three blocks and Christian Belus’s three goals led the D-line, while Elijah Long and Allan Laviolette helped carry the Flyers offense.

Meanwhile, disappointment was the dominant feeling for the Sol, who were frustrated by their performance after the delay. 

“We couldn’t throw and catch,” said Henke. “The urgency was there, but the execution was not.”

Carolina continued its multi-win weekend by methodically wearing down overmatched Dallas on Saturday, leading 7-4 after one, 12-8 at half, and 16-12 through three before widening the gap over the final 12 minutes in a 21-14 victory. Laviolette tossed six more assists, Anders Juengst caught six goals and finished plus-eight, and Belus added three more blocks. 

“In Dallas, we focused a lot on our defense pregame, knowing that we would be playing more defensive points than offensive points,” said Coffin. “However, we gave a lot of credit to our O-line at the end of the game for remaining unbroken. After a physical and painful four-hour slog the night before, our offense really showcased their stamina and defensive resilience, which I think is one of the best in the league.” 

Now 4-0, the Flyers will host Austin and Houston the next two weekends before traveling to Atlanta, DC, and Pittsburgh later in June. 

Meanwhile, the Seattle Cascades showcased their newfound road mettle by earning a pair of one-goal wins at San Diego and Los Angeles. Since dropping 19 of 20 road games over the span of four years, the Cascades have now earned victories in five of their last seven outside of Seattle dating back to last season, a dynamic that has completely transformed the team’s postseason potential. 

But that does not mean they are puffing their chests quite yet.

“I think in the big picture we still feel like we have a lot of growing to do,” said Seattle’s Garrett Martin. “We’re playing well enough to win games, but I think we all know there is a higher level that we can reach.”

The Week 6 sweep saw Seattle narrowly prevail in each game, but the stories from the two nights were not exactly identical.

“The scores were similar, but the games felt very different,” said Martin. “We were up almost the whole San Diego game by three or so goals and really started to bleed at the end. It felt like the classic took-our-foot-off-the-gas and they capitalized on our mistakes and made it a close game. Against LA, we were actually trailing the entire game until we opened the fourth quarter with three straight breaks, giving us a two goal lead that we were able to maintain the rest of the way…I think the LA game is a perfect representation of pressure paying off. They didn’t give us many break chances in the first three quarters, but once they made mistakes, the floodgates were open. I also think our offense found its flow in the LA game.”

Sunday in LA also gave former Aviator Lukas Ambrose the opportunity to knock off his old team, and his late-game block on the goal line helped to seal the deal. 

“Obviously, it’s awesome for Lukas to beat his old team and I’m sure it felt good for him,” said Martin. “I hope I get the same experience later this year [when we play Salt Lake]. With that being said, though, I think even for Lukas this was just another game for us. Another hill to climb towards our bigger goals. The climb continues regardless of opponent or outcome.”

Across the two one-goal wins, Seattle completed 13-of-16 hucks (81.3 percent), lifting their season success rate to 72 percent, which currently ranks number one in the league. The Cascades also went 22-for-27 (81.5 percent) in the red zone this past weekend, and they presently are ninth in the UFA in this category. At 5-2 overall with three home games left—and one of their remaining two road games is against winless Portland—the Cascades appear poised to snap their eight-year playoff drought. 


The Atlanta Hustle only earned one win in Week 6, but that’s probably just because they only played one game. Give the Hustle any other matchup aside from another trip to Carolina, and I like Atlanta’s chances to get it done. 

The Hustle invaded Colorado’s Golden home and immediately took control with their energy and enthusiasm, breaking the Summit on the game’s opening two points to make a strong first statement. Even though Colorado converted buzzer beaters to cap each of the first three quarters, the Hustle consistently remained in charge of the pace, space, and sky, never trailing for a single second in their 18-16 victory. 

“We faced a lot of tough downfield pressure,” said Atlanta’s Brett Hulsmeyer, who led the Hustle in nearly every statistical category. “We kind of hucked our way out of it at the beginning of the game, which is really hard for them as a defense when we’re hitting and completing 50/50s because then they have to adjust and play way more over the top. So in the fourth quarter, when we want to just run the ball and throw a million passes, we can just do that, which I felt we did excellently.”

Hulsmeyer finished with 582 total yards—253 throwing and 329 receiving—along with four goals, three assists, and 42 completions, all numbers that were tops on his team. He did much of it against Colorado defender Mathieu Agee, who Atlanta veteran Michael Fairley said was on his list of the top three defenders in the entire league, further emphasizing the quality of Hulsmeyer’s dynamic all-around performance.

“Brett’s an incredible player,” said Fairley. “He’s grown up so much since he joined the Hustle in 2019, and we’re so lucky to have a deep threat like him that can set the pace for our offense.” 

Presently, Carolina’s Anders Juengst is the only player on a team with a winning record who’s averaging more scores per game than Hulsmeyer, who picked up certain tricks from fellow big man Mischa Freystaetter last season to help him round out his game and evolve into an MVP candidate. 

“Working with Mischa last year really helped Brett learn how to use his body in space,” said Fairley. “Not just taking what is given by the defense, but also just pushing that from a 10-yard under that someone gives him to a 20-yard under, which really helps our offense continue to flow down the field. He and Mischa share a lot of similarities. They’re big, they’re tall, and they’re fast.”

Late in Friday’s game, the Summit recorded just their second break of the night with 1:56 left, inching back within two, but the Hustle, even as seeds of doubt crept in their minds, never let Colorado inch any closer.

“They kept throwing punches,” said Atlanta Coach Tuba Benson-Jaja. “They kept getting all the end of quarters and kept them in the game. It felt good to not collapse in the end. We’ve been known to do that in the last several years. My guys brought the energy. Guys like Fairley were all over the place.”

In Atlanta’s three wins, all against teams that made the playoffs a season ago, the Hustle are averaging just 10.3 turnovers per game. Defensively, their consistent ability to create pressure and convert breaks has certainly lifted the team’s ceiling. 

“There’s a lot of energy on this D-line, man,” said Fairley. “Justin Burnett, high-flyer. Lukas McClamrock. Brad Fleming every single game’s gonna get a layout block [...] I’m sure probably we’ll be talking about end of quarters this coming week, especially before Austin comes to town on Friday. But this is what Tuba and GM John Boezi wanted. They wanted us to be battle-tested, so this win feels good. It feels good to come into their house in a great atmosphere, a great venue, a great team in Colorado, and to come out ahead really lets us know where we sit when we have a full roster.”

Coming up later today in "Seven On The Line", Travis Carpenter’s Unforgettable Week, Pittsburgh’s Near Perfect Game, Philly’s Crazy Comeback, and all the rest of the Week 6 suspense around the UFA.