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Pittsburgh Thunderbirds Unable to Stop Madison Radicals – Drop First Meeting, 31-25

MADISON, WISCONSIN – It was 52 degrees at first pull at Breese Stevens Field in Madison, Wisconsin as the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds prepared to battle the Madison Radicals, whom the Thunderbirds have never defeated in Madison. With gusts of winds up to 15mph and a steady drizzle of rain, the elements played a major factor in the game.

 

Pat Earles recorded five assists and two goals, Max Thorne tossed two assists and grabbed three goals, and Ethan ‘Birdman’ Beardsley led the team in blocks, recording three on the night. The Radicals recorded 11 breaks in the game as the Thunderbirds had a team total of 29 turnovers.

 

It took awhile for both teams to get a handle on the environment. Mark Fedorenko couldn’t handle a slick disc as it bounced off his hands, but the Radicals would provide the Thunderbirds with two more opportunities the opening point before Peter Graffey of the Radicals ended the point with a sensational layout in the back of the end-zone to break the Thunderbirds to start the game.

 

On the next point, the Thunderbirds raised Graffey’s sensational layout grab with a sensational play of their own. Earles threw a deep backhand huck to Fedorenko who hauled it down 15 yards short of the end-zone. An alert Jon DeAmicis followed the play and had his man beat, but the disc floated and quickly turned into a 50/50 disc. DeAmicis was able to haul it out of the air over the Radical defender, which prompted the legendary “Jon ‘Diesel’ DeAmicis front-flip” for the Radical home-crowd to boo at.

 

The Thunderbirds were converting on offense but the disc on defense wasn’t bouncing their way. Half-way thru the 1st quarter, both Pat Hammonds and Joe Marmerstein made full extension blocks, but the wind gusts helped the disc stay live and find the body of a Radical player in the end-zone.

 

At the end of the first quarter, the Thunderbirds trailed by three, 7-4, a lead the Radicals would not relinquish.

 

The Radicals opened the 2nd quarter on offense as the stands still began to fill with the Radical faithful despite the fact the rain continued to drizzle. Radicals’ Pat Shriwise flung a 20 yard hammer to Colin Camp who had to snag it out of the air before Anson Reppermund could close the gap on the disc. The lead would widen to 9-4 after just the first two points of the 2nd quarter.

 

With 9:56 left in the 2nd quarter and needing some momentum, Xaiver Maxstadt got his defender to bite on a throw fake, opening up a huge 75-yard backhand bomb to Jacob Rovner to close the gap to 9-5.

 

On the ensuing D-point, the Radicals mis-communicated on a dump pass, Thunderbirds called a time-out to sub their O-line in, and Earles snapped a hammer to Scott Trimble to score their second consecutive goal of the quarter, closing the Radical lead to three, 9-6.

 

With 3:15 left in the 2nd, the wheels had begun to fall off for Thunderbirds. Several miscues on the offensive end opened up break opportunities for the Radicals, as they would tack on three more breaks, ballooning their lead to 13-7.

 

At the end of the half, the Radicals led the Thunderbirds 14-9.

 

The Thunderbirds would receive the disc at half-time and their offensive woes would continue. Trimble’s reset throw was knocked away and Madison quickly broke the Thunderbird offense to begin the 3rd quarter.

 

Maxstadt would provide a huge boost of energy however later in the quarter, throwing another 75-yard backhand huck with a high-stall count to a streaking Isaac Smith. Smith, sliding on the wet turf on his back, was able to haul it in and the T-Birds punched it in a few throws later, reducing the T-Bird deficit to four goals.

 

Each offense held in the 3rd quarter for both teams, with each team recording one break a piece. Down by four, down by five, down by four, down by five – the Thunderbirds desperately needed to rattle off some breaks at the start of the 4th quarter, down 22-18.

 

Starting on defense, the Thunderbirds had an opportunity to break the Radicals to start the 4th quarter after an up-line throw fell to the turf. However, Jack Hefferon’s pass was intercepted moments later and the Radical’s offense held.

 

With 9:48 left in the game, the Radical’s recorded their 9th break of the game, pushing the lead to six goals, 24-18. One point later, they recorded their 10th break of the game and the lead swelled to seven, 25-18.

 

With 8:00 to go in the game, a wild point ensued. Hefferon jumped in the air to blow up a Radical huck and deflected the disc away. However, the disc stayed up in the air and Shriwise tracked it down, laying out to preserve the Radical possession. Moments later, the Radicals turfed a throw and Earles hucked it back up field to Hefferon. The disc was blocked by Colin Camp but Hefferon this time tracked it down, laying out to preserve the Thunderbird possession as Camp came crashing back down to the Earth on top of Hefferon. After a few throws, Earles found Nicholas Gigliotti for the score.

 

At the 6:00 mark of the 4th quarter, the Radicals recorded their 11th break of the game and securing their largest lead of the game at seven goals.

 

The Thunderbirds were able to scratch a break across with 4:34 left in the game, but the comeback surge was stifled by the clock.

 

The Thunderbirds drop to 2-2 on the year and fall to 3rd place in the Midwest Division while the Madison Radicals improve to 4-1 and move up to 2nd place in the Midwest Division.

 

The Thunderbirds will take on the Detroit Mechanix (1-3) in Detroit, Michigan on May 27th.

May 20, 2017 | News, Pittsburgh, Team, Thunderbirds, Ultimate | 0

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