It finally happened. After a historically bad start, the Madison Radicals notched their first win in the 2023 season against the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds.
On June 4, the Thunderbirds came to Breese Stevens Field in Madison, W.I. They had come into the came after previously beating Madison on a buzzer beater during the first game of the season. The Radicals came out seeing red on this second matchup between the two.
The game had opened up by the Radicals bringing the defensive energy immediately. Madison opened up the game with a break and didn’t stop there. Throughout the first quarter, they were able to accumulate four breaks on two blocks from Kelsen Alexander and Daniel Garlock.
The Radicals found themselves up 6-2 at the end of the first quarter and continued to dominate throughout the rest of the first half. The identity of the renowned Radical defense seemed to find itself again when they added four more breaks and one more block from Sam Stark in the second quarter.
Heading out of the first half, Madison was looking at their largest lead they’ve held all season with a score of 14-6. The third quarter was a bit more even-keeled between the two as they both scored five times.
As the Thunderbirds faced a deficit of eight with just a fourth of the game left. They began to claw back with four straight points, however time was their enemy as that took about eight minutes to do. It was too little too late as the Radicals were able to put three more points on them before the buzzer, ending the frame at 22-17.
Head coach Tim DeByl has been looking for his squad to put together both sides of the disc. That is exactly what they were able to do. Keeping an O-line conversion rate over 50% and creating eight blocks while forcing 22 turnovers.
The scene on the field was the younger core being stabilized by the veterans. Pat Shriwise returned to the field and seemed to make those around him calmer and more confident. In his return, he played 15 points with 177 total yards and three assists. Meanwhile, Daniel Garlock was able to get two goals, two assists and two blocks along with nearly 300 total yards.
The rookie duo of Sam Stark and Anthony Gutowsky continued to develop as Stark came away with two blocks of his own and a beautiful flick huck of 80 yards for a score. Gutowksy led the team in goals again with four, and this time he also led the team with 219 receiving yards adding on to his solid numbers already.
With the first win of the season, the Radicals now are 1-3 bumping above the Detroit Mechanix as the worst team in the Central Division. The loss for the Thunderbirds brings them their third straight loss and they currently stand at 2-3, just above Madison.
It was a much different team that we saw host at Breese Stevens Field this past weekend than the previous three weeks. Everything seemed to click for the Radicals and they will look to continue that momentum when they travel to Minnesota to play the Wind Chill on June 10.
The next home game is June 17th vs the Wind Chill in a home and away series. Get Tickets!