Power Rankings: Week 13

By Adam Ruffner 

Rank Team Record Trend Comment



11-1 - Raleigh completed the four game season sweep of rival Jacksonville on Saturday with their biggest win of the season, thanks to endless pressure from the Flyers defensive unit. The 13 goals Raleigh allowed were the fewest in franchise history, as well as being the franchise low for Jacksonville. Justin Allen led the way with four blocks, while teenage sensation Liam Searles-Bohs continued to demonstrate ability well beyond his years.



10-2 - Unlike last season, where no teams came within four goals of their final score, Dallas is figuring out ways to win tough, close games in 2017. June was an especially trying month for the team, as Dallas had to rally from behind to secure a lead in two of the games, while Atlanta kept hot on their heels throughout Saturday's nailbiter. Jay Froude and Abe Coffin combined for 15 assists and 19 goals in those three games, but their successes were often setup by the terrific handling tandem of Chris Mazur and Brandon Malecek, who combined for just 14 throwaways during June despite having over 250 touches between them.



8-3 - In past years, the Rush's reign of the East Division was dictated by the stellar play of their veterans, especially on defense where Geoff Powell, Jon Martin, and Mark Lloyd (among many others) made life difficult for opposing offenses. But in 2017, the young talent on the team are asserting themselves as major players, with Bretton Tan (15 blocks), Marijo Zlatic (12), and Iain (15) and Mike MacKenzie (13) taking up the top of the team's leaderboards in blocks. Mike and Marijo are playing in their rookie seasons, Tan is still a teen, and Iain is somehow the grizzled three-year veteran at the ripe old age of 24.



8-1 +1 Minnesota clinched their second straight playoff berth with Indy's loss last Sunday, but much of their season remains to be determined. The Wind Chill still have three games left against Pittsburgh and Madison, with tomorrow's Game of the Week matchup versus the Radicals likely to determine the regular season Midwest champion. Minnesota will likely need big games from offensive playmakers Ryan Osgar and Greg Cousins. Both have performed solidly against Madison in their two appearances this season, with Osgar throwing eight assists and scoring four goals, while Cousins has reeled in nine goals.



8-3 +4 It's amazing how quickly we forgot San Jose's back-to-back titles, but Saturday's win over San Francisco showed that the champion spirit still lives on in this Spiders team. Though much of the roster has changed since 2015, the Spiders continue to play the best team-based ultimate in the league, as shown by their offense not missing a beat despite lacking the throwing talents of MVP hopeful Justin Norden. In his absence, Chuck Cao and Sonny Zaccaro piloted the team to its second highest scoring output of the season with 29 goals. But maybe most impressive aspect of San Jose resurgence has been the dogged determination of their defense, led by Brandon Fein and Ethan Falat. The two defenders seldom enter discussions involving the league's elite, but if you're looking for a timely stop, there may not be any better candidates.



9-2 +1 With a season full of razor thin margins, the Radicals needed the 21-9 throttling of Detroit at home for their confidence. Sure, it's not a particularly great building block for a team of Madison's caliber and expectations, but decisive victories are important in shaping the team's psyche as the playoffs approach. And though his numbers don't leap off the page, Thomas Coolidge has been having stellar season on defense for the Radicals. He has just 12 blocks in 10 games, but his coverage is so airtight that his matchup often just doesn't get any opportunities of seeing the disc.



9-4 +1 The Breeze clinched their third playoff appearance in four seasons with their win over the Phoenix last Saturday, and are just one win away from back-to-back 10+ win seasons. What often goes unspoken about this franchise's successes is how much turnover—both on the field and on the sideline—this team has experienced and triumphed over during that time. They lost Tyler Degirolamo, Alex Thorne, and Brett Matzuka after the 2014 season; then head coach Alex Ghesquiere as well as stars Nicky Spiva, Tom Doi, Jonathan Helton, and Matzuka (again; typical) departed after last season's deep playoff run that came up one goal shy of the final four.



7-4 +2 For the second consecutive season, the Aviators dominated in the month of June, going 4-1 while averaging 25.4 goals per game, with three of those victories coming on the road. Bryan Nguyen collected 21 goals during that stretch to bring his season total up to 43, putting him in a tie for third in the league. The true difference maker, though, has been Tim Beatty, who deserves MVP consideration given his combination of power and precision from the handler spot. He has one of the most dangerous flick hucks in the game, and isnt afraid to pull the trigger. The difference between Beatty and every other gunslinger is that Beatty completes an ungodly amount of his hucks; in June, Beatty racked up 18 assists, 247 completions, and just three throwaways. On the season, he has 511 completions to just 12 throwaways, making him the only player to register in the top five for both raw completions and completion percentage (minimum 200 passes).



7-4 -5 If you had told me before the season the FlameThrowers would add Ashlin Joye to their already stacked roster midway through the year, and then lose to the Spiders for the second time in four games, I would've laughed you out of the room. But the competitiveness of the West has made a fool of me more than once this season, and now San Francisco, too. The FlameThrowers have now given up 62 goals in their past two games—both losses—and have now given up 28+ goals four times this season, which is the most of any team in the West.



7-4 -4 Jacksonville was down just 10-9 before Raleigh went on a 9-0 third quarter run, the longest stretch of consecutive goals by any team in the AUDL this season. The Cannons have always struggled with consistent defensive pressure, which has lead to them participating in a lot of shootouts during the last three seasons. But to see their normally efficient offense crater in such dramatic fashion was truly surprising, even while missing stars such as Cole Sullivan, Chris LaRocque, Jeremy Langdon, and Mischa Freystaetter.



7-4 - The Royal have maybe the least convoluted path to the playoffs among teams that have not yet qualified: A win tomorrow night against New York at home secures Montreal's first playoff berth since 2015. The Royal split their two previous meetings this season with the Empire despite scoring just 24 goals combined in those games, so even a modicum of offense on Saturday would do heaps for Montreal's chances of winning. And after his stellar 43-assist, 42-goal individual performance from a season ago, the more team-focused captain Kevin Quinlan might be ready for his first big breakout game of the 2017 season.



4-5 +2 It's do or die time for the Empire, as explained in the above blurb. The twin towers of Ben Jagt and Jeff Babbitt have been ruthless in the team's past two games on the defensive side of the disc, combining for 15 blocks and making every opposing thrower weary of testing deep space. But even with their impressive play, New York as a team could barely squeak out a win against the Outlaws at home, and now they must save their season on the road in the most inhospitable environment in the league for opposing teams.



5-6 - In the midst of a three week bye, the Growlers will have to hit the ground running when they return to action July 8 when they host the surging Aviators. The former Aviator Hunter Corbett has been San Diego's most effective player against Los Angeles this season, throwing six assists and catching 10 goals in the teams' two previous meetings in 2017. But if the Growlers want a shot at overcoming their most heated adversary, they'll have to figure out a way to generate more than the seven blocks per game they've been averaging against LA.



5-4 +2 With Sunday's 18-16 victory over the AlleyCats, the Thunderbirds completed their season sweep of Indy, winning by a collective five goals in three games. The win all but guarantees Pittsburgh a spot in their third straight postseason, so long as they win at least two of their five remaining games. And though his offensive production has tailed off dramatically since he led the league in 2015 with 69 goals, Ethan Beardsley (14 goals in 2017) has yet to miss an appearance in the team's 41 games as a franchise.



5-5 -3 It's felt like a lot more time has passed since Seattle beat SF to improve to 4-1 on May 13, going just 1-4 in the month of June, with three of those losses were by three goals or fewer. Seattle doesn't give up a lot of goals, but they still struggle to generate turnovers, producing a meager 9.3 per game in 2017. Mark Burton is on track to easily surpass 60 assists on the season, which would make him the first player in AUDL history to have back-to-back seasons of 60+ assists. But Seattle is in real danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014.



4-9 -1 Losing to Dallas by two, and then the next day to Austin by one on a last-minute score is a brutal way for Atlanta to experience their first losing season as a franchise. The Hustle offense—the third fastest scoring unit in the league—continues to produce: Matt Smith leads the league with 54 goals, and Nathan Vickroy is the first player to reach the 40-assist, 40-goal mark this season in the AUDL. And while the Hustle defense has done a great job at slowing teams down, forcing opponents to take 12.7 throws per score, fifth best in the league, they could not keep them out of the endzone.



3-8 +1 Philly continues its season of firsts, capturing their first franchise win against Ottawa on Sunday with a bundle of highlight plays. Marques Brownlee had his best game of the season, throwing three assists and scoring three goals without committing a turnover, while Sean Mott was dealing with the disc, tossing six assists to bring his season total up to 46. But the most impressive performance of the day came from Matt Esser, who led Philly with four blocks, and helped the Phoenix allow the fewest goals since the 2014 season.



3-8 +1 Austin finally got the better of Atlanta for the first time since May 15, 2016 thanks to some late game heroics and the energy of their home crowd. And while the Sol are still mired in a losing season, they have a chance to cause some ruckus in the South playoff race with upcoming matchups against Jacksonville and Dallas. And Austin found two more offensive weapons in Matthew Bierschenk and Doug Richardson, as they emerged as the team's two most reliable scorers in June, each contributing 11 goals.



2-8 -2 Ottawa's winless road trip eliminated them from playoff contention for the third consecutive season, but their game against New York showed a lot of promise. Even while missing a significant portion of their roster to the Beach Worlds competition in France, the Outlaws hung tough as Nick Boucher had a career day, tossing a personal best eight assists on 56 completions, while Laurent Loiseau caught six goals to quietly bring his season total up to 23 in just seven appearances.



3-7 - After qualifying for the playoffs in each of their first three years as a franchise, the AlleyCats have now failed to reach the postseason in each of the last three seasons, or ever since the Thunderbirds joined the division in 2015. All seven of Indy's losses in 2017 have come against Madison, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh; the 'Cats are just 2-18 collectively against those teams since the beginning of the 2015 season. Indy has shown it can compete with each of those teams, but their biggest obstacle appears to be mental toughness, not talent, in their matchups against the best in the division.



3-7 - I've spent a lot of words discussing Pawel Janas here, but what makes him so effective as a thrower is the other half of the connection in downfield dynamo Michael Pardo. With a nine goal performance on Sunday against Detroit, Pardo upped his 2017 total to 45 goals, good for second in the league. Opponents know Janas is targeting Pardo—the second leading goal scorer on the Wildfire has just 15 this season—but there is little they can do to stop the two, particularly if Pardo gets in isolation deep. And though it's highly unlikely, Chicago still has an opportunity to return to the playoffs for the first time in two seasons.



1-11 - Vancouver's loss on Saturday set a new record for most losses in a season for the franchise, surpassing their previous mark of 10 in 2015. Morgan Hibbert led a stingy Riptide defense with five blocks against Los Angeles, but the offense sputtered down the stretch in the second half due to a handful of unforced errors. It was the team's third consecutive loss at home, and sixth in their last seven dating back to the end of the 2016 season.



1-10 - This is Detroit's best team since their inaugural season in 2013 when they almost made the championship game. But last weekend's 0-2 road trip through Madison and Chicago secured Mechanix's fourth straight season with at least 10 losses.



0-9 - It's been three weeks since we've seen the NightWatch in action, and with such a young roster and many additions to integrate following the collegiate season, it will be interesting to see what strides the team has made in their matchup against Austin at home tomorrow night. If Nashville can develop some defensive schemes to generate more turnovers than their league-worst 7.7 blocks per game, they might be able to avoid the winless season that's looming on the horizon.

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