The Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (2-1) enter the second matchup of their five-game road trip this Saturday, May 20 when they face off against the Madison Radicals (3-1) in Wisconsin. The Midwest Division rivals in the American Ultimate Disc League come together at Breese Stevens Field at 7:00 p.m. ET.
These contenders last met Saturday, July 23, 2016, in the playoffs in the Midwest Division final. Madison claimed a 20-16 victory at home to advance to the AUDL Final Four. The duo meet again this season on Saturday, June 17, in the Steel City.
Fans of the Black and Gold has enjoyed Pittsburgh’s racking up 80 points in three meetings while permitting 73. Coming off a bye week, the T-birds last game was a 26-24 loss Saturday, May 6, on the road to the Seattle Cascades.
You will find Mark Fedorenko at the top of the Thunderbirds box score with 15 goals followed by Tyler DeGirolamo with 13. Pat Earles is off to a great start with 19 assists on just 87 completions. Max Thorne is just two behind with 17 helpers.
Between the regular season and the playoffs, Madison is 5-1 against Pittsburgh going back to the T-birds inaugural 2015 season. The Radicals this season have 85 points in four contests while allowing 77. Their last match was a 23-20 win on the road Saturday, May 13 over the Indianapolis Alley Cats (1-5).
Colin Camp has produced 13 goals for Madison while Andrew Meshnick and Kevin Brown share the lead in assists with 11 apiece. Meshnick also has the most minutes played at 137.
Evan Lepler in his Thursday Thoughts column on the league’s website examines what players are available this week for both squads. The T-birds should have DeGirolamo back from a groin injury that kept him out of the Seattle meeting. Max Sheppard, who put up eight goals in Pittsburgh’s Week 1 match against the Chicago Wildfire, is also back. He missed the prior two contests because of college commitments.
Madison is expecting Peter Graffy, and Sterling Knoche to both be available after playing in only one game each. Tom Annen takes the field for his season debut while retired Scott Richgels has been brought back for this crucial matchup with the Boys from the City of Bridges.
Nathan Jesson at Ultiworld.com has the Radicals at No. 11 and the T-birds at No. 12 in this week’s AUDL Power Rankings. He is concerned about the fact that Madison has trailed at the half in all of their games this season. Perhaps against Pittsburgh, their comeback will fall short.
Prediction: The prognosticators at Massey Ratings project a 25-21 win for Madison with the over/under at 45.5. I think Pittsburgh claims its first victory in the Badger State by the score of 22-20.
Next Up: The T-birds head to the Great Lakes state Saturday, May 27 for a 4:00 p.m. contest at Bishop Foley Catholic High School in Madison Heights, Michigan against the Detroit Mechanix (1-2).
Video From TheAUDLChannel On YouTube.com – Looking Back At Top 10: Pittsburgh Thunderbirds 2016…