Sorry I am a little late this week on the match reports, the Interns were on time but I had a busy day at work yesterday. See below for the writeups for Week 3!
September 27, 2009 @ Portland
Theme: Team morale boost, what it means to be a part of a team
Score: 44-10 Berkeley
Proponents of rugby, let alone, women’s rugby, in the United States have been moaning about lack of public awareness, wavering sources of funding and faltering numbers of experienced players for ages. Women are doing proverbial line-outs, teasing the edges of a precipice that could either lead us soaring upward toward success, allowing for a chance to drive toward the goals we all have for the Women’s Premier League or fatally downward farther away from the public eye. After watching the Jesters from Oregon Sports Union battle it out against the Berkeley All Blues this past Sunday, it is clear to me that rugby, though still struggling to rectify the aforementioned problems, is taking flight. One must ask; however, if these issues are still plaguing leagues and clubs across the nation, then why the newfound success?
Following the struggle to park an aging Mercedes wagon in an overwhelmingly packed OR.S.U. lot I managed to find a spot on the hill overlooking their pitch. That is right. The hill--- which is to say, there was no room in the bleachers. The masses of fans were not lacking there.
Very quickly, the dirt on my jeans was no longer a concern as I watched the driving forces of Oregon’s women march down the field. Their rucking as clean as always, they proceeded to reclaim possession even after moments where we the spectators feared they had lost it. Their determination delivered a lead on the All Blues that is almost unheard of. Maintaining this was difficult and they were eventually overwhelmed; reaching the half at 27 to 5.
Following a try made by Berkeley, Oregon set out to give them hell; winning line-outs , driving through scrums and showing their rucking prowess. All paying off once Beckett Royce scored a try in the far corner. Unfortunately the kick was not successful and Oregon was back in the thick of it. The All Blues continued to score ending the match 44 to 10.
Despite the overwhelming numbers being put on the board by Berkeley, O.R.S.U.
had presented a strong front which had not been seen earlier in the season. Scrumhalf Marshall expressed her praise for the new turn her team is making saying that it was great to see them unaffected by Berkeley’s powerful performance. U.S.A. Eagles players Ashley Kmiecik and San Juanita Moreno agreed, while expanding to say that they felt their team was in such a place that they along with other advanced players no longer felt as though they are coaching. Oftentimes, players have been put in a position where they are no longer responsible for just their place on the team but are instead pressured to instruct others around them. Situations such as this have caused disjointed relationships between players, breaking bonds, and providing an unsteady environment for team development as a whole. With the intimidating realization that the Women’s Premier League is just that --- THE PREMIER LEAGUE FOR WOMEN WHO PLAY RUGBY --- those that are not Eagles are stepping out from the background. Teams are becoming an army of 15 and not a band of choice individuals fighting alone. Backs are now supported by forwards and forward’s efforts are no longer in vain due to the faulty communication of their back-lines.
Becoming a team breeds good morale. Good morale leads to effective playing. Effective playing naturally gives opportunity to success. When teams exist so can fans, sources of funding and aspiring athletes, all fueling the future of the organization. This is working for the Oregon Sports Union and can for teams across the nation. The American revolution in rugby must start with its players; be fit for your team, communicate with your team, fight for your team. If your team is all it can be, so will you.
Keystone vs Beantown - Match Report
by: Ashley Nesby
As was promised by the rain, the game started out with both teams mishandling the ball quite a bit. Albeit frustrating, this gave both packs the opportunity to feel each other out. It was evident from the first scrum that they were evenly matched and their open field play would be the determining factor.
Beantown was able to get into their rhythm first, scoring an unconverted try at the sixth minute, giving them the 5-0 lead. Less than four minutes later, they scored yet again making another unconverted try and pushing the score to 10-0.
Keystone made a decision to play down Beantown’s end and never looked back. They too found their rhythm and were able to execute their game plan. Their march down the pitch was aided by the repeated penalties against Beantown for off-side infringements. At the 24th minute, one such infringement led to Ines Rodriguez’s penalty kick, making the score 10-3.
Keystone was able to play around the fringe with their forwards, allowing their backs to set up for the score. Less than two minutes later, they did just that. At the 25th minute, their hard work paid off. After multiple phases of play, Keystone forced gaps in Beantown’s defense which Rodriquez capitalized on and broke thorough for the score. Rodriquez converted her try, tying the game at 10 all.
As was expected, Beantown didn’t back down. They were able to move the ball and move play forward utilizing the whole of their squad. At the 28th minute, Keystone was penalized and Beantown was successful in their attempt to kick for points, pushing their lead to 13-10.
At the start of the second half, Keystone again made the decision to play in Beantown’s end. They didn’t have to be there for long before they were successful in their attempt’s to keep Beantown on their heels. At the 42nd minute, Rachel Hammond burst through Beantown’s defensive line and dotted down the try, putting Keystone on top 15-13.
With such a slim lead against a good side, Keystone knew that its attack couldn’t settle and its defensive wall would have to be just that-impenetrable. They were able to play most of the match in Beantown’s end and not allow their offense to settle into any kind of rhythm. When the final whistle blew, Keystone was happy with the win, but knows they didn’t play their best. It’s back to the drawing board this week at practice to prepare for the Furies match next Sunday.
1. Ashley Nesby
12. Angie Brambley
By: Becca Fritz
Beantown’s sideline was a tough place to be this past Sunday. It was
the third WPL match for both Beantown and Keystone. The morning started out cold and rainy, the weather carrying over from the night before left the field a bit soggy for the twelve o’clock match.
The first half of the match was a little hard to watch. Beantown was struggling defensively, allowing a total of fifteen points to slip through the cracks. Offensively, there were also many issues with communication and trouble making connections. Despite the issues, they were able to score twice and land a penalty kick bringing them up to thirteen points total.
The second half was a stalemate, neither team scored again.
After the game, Richard Ashfield, one of Beantown’s coaches had this to say about the match:
“I think Keystone had a game plan which they stuck to and executed well. [Beantown] struggled at the breakdowns as well as working as a unit this past weekend. Hopefully it will be a wake up call”
The final score was 15-13, Keystone.
Beantown will head to New York next Sunday to face New York Women for the second time this Fall.
1 Shannon Wallace
2 Emily Jones
3 Mari Wallace
4 Jamie Burke
5 Sharon Blaney
6 Kristin Bonomo
7 Liz Terry
8 Melanie Denham
9 Kitt Wagner
10 Kelly Seary
11 Renee Astphan
12 Emilie Bydwell
13 Amy Daniels
14 Yancy Graf
15 Katie Dowty
16 Rachael Gorab
17 Erika Mullen
18 Shelley Dunlop
19 Katy Augustyn
20 Jackie Hwang
21 Ashley Snyder
22 Jamie Howard
23 Sarah Harris
Furies vs New York Match Report
by: Margaret McElligott
Final Score: N.Y.: 56 -- Furies 0
The Washington Furies and New York Rugby Club took to the pitch under cloudy skies Sunday at Colmar Manor Park in Bladensburg, Md., for their first meeting of the WPL season. The Furies started off strong in the first half, marching downfield with the forwards producing clean balls for scrumhalf P.J. Fiore. After a series of lineouts near the 22, New York was able to clear the ball, but the Furies responded with strong runs by the backs and loose forwards and solid rucking by the pack. New York had chances early, but several knock-ons blew opportunities to counter-attack the Furies in transition.
New York found its groove as the half wore on. Strong kicking by the backs gave New York better field position and pushed the Furies deep within their own territory. After a long series at the try line, including one ball held up in the try zone, New York’s Vanesha McGhee broke free to score the first try of the match in the 16th minute. Hedwig Aerts’s extra kick was good – as were all of her points-after attempts on the day. In the 23rd minute, New York prop Phaidra Knight eluded the Furies’ backs as she rumbled more than 20 yards for New York’s second try. McGhee would go on to score two more tries for New York in a half that started strong for the Furies, but ended with a lopsided 28-0 score.
Shortly after the start of the second half, Furies captain Liz Dilley was called for her third penalty and was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Down a man, the Furies were pushed back to their try line, finally allowing a score by Katie Brethel just as the 10-minute penalty on Dilley expired. New York’s Rachel Brafman would score in the 64th minute, sealing the win for her side.
Both teams used their subs as the match wound to a close. Two more tries in the last five minutes put the finishing touches on a balanced attack for New York, with Maura Weikman successfully kicking both conversions.
“New York’s a really good team,” said Furies head coach Nancy Fitz. “We knew that. And I think we actually played better than we have the previous two games. Ironically, I think we had a lot more offense Sunday, even though we didn’t score, and we scored in our two previous games.”
“We’re improving,” Fitz said. “It’s just tough against such good competition.”
By: Jenny Menke with Kat Vater
It was a game not to be missed as the Minnesota Valkyries and Twin Cities Amazons met in Eagan, Minnesota, on September 27. Spectators who made it out on Sunday were ensured a hard-hitting, fast-paced game, based on a long-standing rivalry between the two local women’s teams.
From the first whistle, the Amazons attacked with their forwards, driving deep into Valkyrie territory and touching down just 3:45 into the match. The conversion was missed, leaving blue and orange with a 5-0 lead over the Valkyries. With resolve, maroon took possession of the ball and cut into Amazon territory, capitalizing on a penalty and going for posts. The successful kick was made by Dez Markovich, who raised the score 5-3. Playing a very heads-up game, Libby Berg saw opportunity off of a green-zone lineout and dove in for the try, elevating the Valkyries to an 8-5 lead. With another successful conversion and a penalty kick at 20:00 by Markovich, the Valkyries had begun to make their mark. The homecoming crowd came to their feet as Tracy Call scooped up the ball Markovich left just inside the touch line after a penetrating run. As many expected the judge to raise her flag, Call played to the whistle, maneuvering past bodies as touching the ball down for the second try of the half. With a difficult angle, the conversion was missed and the half settled at 18-5 in the Valkyries’ favor.
Sarah Reuter found the space outside on a try seven minutes into the second half. Ten minutes later, going wide off of a strong scrum, Hannah Stolba and Tracy Call set up Mel Kanuk for the Valkyries’ fourth try. Markovich was unable to convert either try, but the Valkyries had taken off with the game, leading a convincing 28-5. As they had to do all game, the forwards worked tirelessly to maintain possession against the Amazon pack. Focusing on getting the second supporter to the ball, the big girls drew in the defenders and opened the half-gap for back row player Gabe Fidelman to run in the ball between the posts. Fullback Dez Markovich made the conversion and maroon jogged back to the line at 68:30. Not two minutes later, the Valkyries were again under the posts, Christy Ringgenberg finding Reuter out wide after a string of successful phases. Ringgenberg was not able to make the conversion, but the 45-5 final score made a statement about the depth of the Valkyrie squad and the heart of the team.
The Minnesota Valkyries next play the Berkeley All-Blues in San Francisco on October 4, 2009.
1. Libby Berg
2. Laura Gill
3. Jen Triemstra
4. Jenny Menke
5. Sarah Walsh
6. Garnet Towne
7. Kristin Zdanczewicz
8. Jillion Potter
9. Katy Hertel
10. Mel Kanuk
11. Tracy Call
12. Kristy Lear
13. Christy Ringgenberg
14. Sarah Reuter
15. Dez Markovich
16. Rachel McCabe
17. Angie Heifort (for 1 at 54:00)
18. Meredith Mrachek (for 15 at 68:00)
19. Sarah Chobot (for 4 at half)
20. Gabe Fidelman (for 8 at 58:00)
21. Hannah Stolba (for 12 at 43:00)
22. Marta Zweber
23. Justina DeBruzzi
By Garrett Hoffman
The Valkyries and the Amazons have a long-standing rival. Whenever these two elite teams are scheduled to meet the stakes are high, the training is tough, and the emotions run high. Sunday was no exception. The Amazons hit the pitch hard, scoring within the first five minutes. Prop Rachel Maas made a diving try after a long forward push. Unfortunately for the Amazons, this would be their only points of the match. While seemingly evenly matched the entire game, the Amazons had trouble finishing and the Valkyries capitalized on the Amazons’ mistakes. The Amazon back line was stopped dead in their tracks by an almost impenetrable Valkyrie defense. It was a tough battle fought by both teams but in the end the Valkyries pulled out the victory 45-5 in Eagan.
8/31/2009: WPL Videos
8/31/2009: ORSU vs Mudhens Friendly Match Report (pre WPL season, by Intern Angelique)
9/1/2009: Overview of WPL Teams (YSC Intern Ashley)
9/3/2009: Coaching Spotlight: Keystone
9/7/2009: WPL Week 1 Match Reports
9/8/2009: WPL Spotlight: Coach Jan Rutkowski and Player Kelly Seary from Beantown
9/8/2009: Week 1 WPL Videos
9/10/2009: WPL Spotlight: Coach Ryan Dunnett and Player Caroline White from New York
9/14/2009: WPL Week 2 Match Reports
9/17/2009: WPL Spotlight: Keystone: Player Profile Rashida Stamps
9/21/2009: Week 2 WPL Videos
9/29/2009: Week 3 Match Reports
10/5/2009: Week 3 WPL Videos
10/6/2009: Week 4 Match Reports