Recap: Breeze Sweep Doubleheader Road Trip

JUNE 25, 2023
By Aidan Delehanty

The DC Breeze were on the road this weekend going 2-0 on their lone doubleheader road trip against the Montreal Royal and Boston Glory. On Friday, the Breeze faced off against the Royal, beating them in the second straight week by a score of 25-18. A mere 24 hours later, the team drove down to Boston to continue their winning record against the Glory, winning 20-16.

This is the Breeze’s longest win streak this season at three games, moving their season record to 6-2. Though they are still in second place in the East Division standings behind the undefeated New York Empire, it puts a significant two-game gap between them and the third seed, the Boston Glory (4-4). While three teams make the playoffs, the No. 2 seed is guaranteed a home playoff game in the first round.

The weekend opener against the Montreal Royal was highlighted by Alexandre Fall as the top goal-scorer for the Breeze with four goals. He was backed up the entire game by Jeff Wodatch who had four assists, two goals and a team-high 283 receiving yards.

Overall, the team stats against the Royal featured many season-highs. The D-line conversion was 83% (10/12), their Red Zone conversion rate was nearly perfect at 95% (18/19) and the completion percentage finished at 97% (252/260).

Following their first contest against Montreal at home last week, AJ Merriman said that for the second half of the season, the Breeze needed to focus on, “just spending time together and getting reps together.” After looking at the stats from this week, it seems as if Merriman’s aspirations were fulfilled. The numbers truly show that the team is gelling at a high level just past the midway point of the year.

The Breeze also seem to have gotten out of their third-quarter ruts. For most of the season, the team has let opponents take over in the third quarter and suffered from a lack of energy on the field. However, the Breeze were not only able to outscore the Royal in the third quarter, they more than doubled their points, winning the quarter by a score of 7-3.

After trampling the Royal, the Breeze traveled down to Boston on Saturday to continue their domination against the Glory. The Breeze only won by four points, a result that was likely attributable, at least in part, to playing and traveling the day before. Winning doubleheader road trips is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in the AUDL, but the Breeze were able to overcome the adversity and win both games on the weekend.

Against the Glory, the Breeze were not as effective on defense with a D-line conversion of just 35% (6/17). Their red zone conversion dipped to 78% (14/18), and the O-line conversion was just 56% (14/25). The team stayed relatively consistent in their completion percentage at 94% (320/341).

The top goal-scorer for the Breeze against the Glory was the unofficial mid-season AUDL All-First Teamer, Christian Boxley with four goals and one assist. Another top player for DC against Boston was Johnny Malks with three goals, one assist and one block.

The Breeze will stay on the road again this week for their long-awaited rematch against the top-ranked New York Empire on Friday, June 30th. This will be their possible redemption game after their close loss in Week 3 of the season, 18-17. The game will be played at 7:00 pm ET at Joseph F. Fosina Field.

After that, the Breeze will return to DC for their penultimate home game of the season against the Boston Glory on July 8th at 7:00 pm ET. The game will take place as always at Catholic University of America’s Carlini Field. Tickets are available here.