April 14, 2018
In an instant classic, the Austin Sol (1-0) held on for the 23-22 win over the visting Los Angeles Aviators (1-1) in a thrilling AUDL Game of the Week showcase. 19-year-old Kyle Henke came up with the gigantic adjustment grab at the buzzer to give the Sol the win in their 2018 home opener.
The hometown Sol stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the first quarter, but the Aviators patiently worked their way back into the game. By the beginning fo the second quarter, Los Angeles had trimmed Austin's lead to just one as the teams jockeyed throughout the rest of the contest. Both teams made big plays to try to swing the momentum, the the Aviators Brent George turning in the gem of the night near the end of the first half with a Superman-esque layout goal to pull LA within one.
But the Sol could not be deterred. It was a true team-wide effort, as 13 different Austin players scored a goal. Defensively, the team continued to come up with big blocks when it mattered most. Jerrod Wolfe came up with what was in retrospect the block of the game, as he helped the Sol convert a score at the buzzer to end the third quarter.
The win gives Austin its first ever win against a West Division team, and puts them in a tie with their in state rivals the Dallas Roughnecks (1-0) and the Atlanta Hustle (1-0) for first place in the South Division. Chase Cunningham led the Sol with five assists, while Ethan Pollack and Andrew Walch each scored three goals. The Sol will face the Roughnecks in Dallas next Saturday.