Our little slice of heaven here between the lakes can scarcely compete with New York or the Bay Area for much of anything, but in the narrow world of Ultimate Frisbee, Madison is living large.
That's right, the Madison Radicals advanced to the semifinals of the American Ultimate Disc League playoffs with a 25-16 thumping of Indianapolis last Saturday at Breese Stevens Field.
The team now moves on to Toronto to meet the San Jose Spiders July 26. With a win, the Radicals would go to the title match July 27 for the second straight year against the New York Empire or the Toronto Rush, the AUDL defending champs.
The Radicals took control from the opening pull Saturday and threatened to blow out the undersized, overmatched AlleyCats early by turning up their zone defense. After a leaping catch for a score by Kevin Pettit-Scantling, the Radicals converted turnovers into three more quick goals to stretch their advantage. Scott Richgels capped the first quarter with a spectacular diving catch in the end zone to boost the lead to 9-4.
After a frankly pitiful second quarter in which the Radicals committed numerous silly turnovers and played indifferent defense, the team quickly regained control in the second half, scoring on each of its first four possessions and progressively extending the lead to cruise to an easy win. Counting the playoffs, Indianapolis is 0-8 against the Radicals in the past two years.
The team should be able to hold its own in Toronto. The Radicals came within two goals of the title last year and are arguably the deepest squad in the AUDL, with 20 players who had at least 10 goals or 10 assists this season. The Radicals are also strong on defense, allowing a league-best 15 goals per game. San Jose is an extremely tough matchup, though; the Spiders lost only one game this season and have perhaps three of the five best Ultimate players on the planet.