WPL Week 4 Match Reports

Wendy YoungCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2009


Welcome to the Week 4 Match Reports by YSC Interns and YSC Guest bloggers! Thanks again for the match reports and keep up the good work everyone. I am still waiting for two match reports but will update as soon as I receive them.

Washington DC Furies vs Keystone
By: Margaret McElligott

On a windy day on their home pitch, the Washington Furies nearly upset Keystone, but dropped the close match, 24-19. They did not trail until the final five minutes of the game.

The wind’s impact was apparent from the start, with Keystone kicking into a strong headwind. The teams traded lineouts and the first scrum of the match made clear that Keystone’s pack vastly outweighed the Furies, who made quick adjustments to account for the difference.

The Furies pressed deeper into Keystone territory, helped by four early penalties on the visitors. A smart decision by Keystone to call fair catch inside the 22 gave the team an opportunity to clear the ball, but the Furies brought it back down. Flyhalf Mere Baker used a deceptive fake on the left side in the 13th minute to flash between Keystone defenders and dish to outside center Beth Noto for the first try of the match. Fullback Emily Miller made the conversion to give the Furies an early 7-0 lead.

Keystone responded with a furious, pounding attack into Furies territory, using packs of large-bodied forwards to advance the ball and punish the Furies’ defense. Two penalties on the Furies pushed them back even further, but Keystone was called for holding on inside the 5-meter line, giving the Furies a little more breathing room. In the 25th minute, Keystone flyhalf Ines Rodriguez found a gap in the Furies’ defense, darting through space and finally offloading to flanker Alison Worman for the un-touched try. The conversion was no good, with wind a constant problem, and the Furies maintained a precious 7-5 lead.

And soon the lead would grow. The Furies struck back within three minutes, when Baker created a hole up the right side and Miller touched the ball down for a try in the far-right corner of the try zone. The conversion was no good, bringing the score to 12-5.

Keystone pounded the ball back down to a scrum at the Furies five-meter line, but the Furies defense held. In the 35th minute, Keystone poached the ball off a Furies scrum and Devon Boyle got the try up the left side. Ines Rodriguez made the conversion, bringing the match to a 12-12 tie.

The Furies would get one more good look before the half, but Baker’s looping kick to the far right side of the try zone bounced out the end before the pursuing backs could chase it down.

Keystone took advantage of the wind at the start of the second half, sending their kicks sailing into Furies territory, but sloppy play by the backs—dropped passes and knock ons—gave the Furies the opportunity to clear the ball. The Furies kept up the pressure, tackling Keystone players behind the gain line and forcing them into errors. Starting with a kick by lock Liz Hirschhorn, the Furies moved the ball downfield with team support and would be first to strike in the second half. In the 54th minute, Noto broke free to score the try and Miller made the conversion to put the Furies out in front again, 19-12.

Keystone responded. The visitors moved the ball for the long series of phases at the try line and were held up in the try zone. In the 65th minute, Farrah Douglas scored on the right side off the scrum, but Keystone missed the conversion and trailed the Furies, 19-17, with 15 minutes left in the match.

The closing minutes were fast and furious. A brilliant kick by Keystone rolled into touch just outside the Furies’ try line. The Furies successfully defended twice before Keystone’s Kim Magrini scored off the back of the scrum in the 76th minute, putting her team ahead for the first time that day. Rodriguez kicked the conversion and Keystone led, 24-19.

It was all they would need. The Furies pushed hard in the final minutes, but Keystone’s defense held for the win.

“We definitely played more aggressively, but I think the biggest difference was that we started to believe as a team that we could play at that level,” Furies head coach Nancy Fitz said. “I think that we’ve definitely turned a corner…People started to believe that, yeah, I can beat that person and we can beat that team. And from an execution point of view, we made fewer mistakes and we did a better job capitalizing on theirs.”

Keystone vs DC Furies
By: Ashley Nesby

Keystone won its game against the Furies. But it wasn’t pretty. The intense wind caused many errant passes and mishandling of the ball. As was expected, and has been shown in their previous matches, the Furies came out extremely physical and played hard from the minute the whistle blew. Keystone was more relaxed in their play and paid for it.

The teams traded try for try all match long. The Furies, with the wind advantage, scored the first try of the match which they converted, taking the lead 7-0.

Keystone wasn’t shocked or phased as they knew te potential that the Furies had to score if given the chance. Playing their style of rugby, utilizing every woman on the pitch, Keystone was able to force itself back down towards their line. A little more than halfway through the first half, flanker Allison Worman broke through the Furies defense for the unconverted try, putting Keystone on the board, 7-5.

The Furies, playing a very confident game, scored yet again in the right corner, increasing their lead to 12-5.

In keeping with the “I score, you score” theme of the day, Keystone fired back-this time taking full advantage of their forwards’ ability to dominate over their opposites. In the closing minutes of the first half, flanker Devon Boyle stole the ball off a Furies scrum and powered through the defensive line for the try. Ines Rodriguez made the conversion to tie the game, 12-12.

Keystone took advantage of the wind in the second half and sent booming kicks into Furies territory. Unfortunately, they were not able to capitalize on the field position and turned the ball over. It was the Furies who scored first in the second half as well, pushing their lead to 19-12.

Keystone wasn’t done yet either. Their offense took it to the Furies defensive line and was able to get into the try zone twice-only to have the ball held up both times. However, the third time was the charm as Farrah Douglas burst through for the try. The conversion was no good and Keystone still trailed 19-17.

With less than ten minutes left in the match, a beautiful kick by Rodriguez put Keystone within 5 meters of the try zone. With less than 10 minutes left in the match weighing heavily on their minds, Keystone knew it was now or never. They decided the time was now. Kim Magrini scored off the back of the scrum with less than 4 minutes remaining.

Keystone’s defense made sure that was the last score of the match and held on for the win. They’ll use the upcoming practices and weekend off to correct the issues highlighted during this close match. Next up: Keystone vs. New York on Randall’s Island on October 18.

Amazons v ORSU
By: Garrett Hoffman

The weather was cool and damp for the ORSU vs. Amazon kickoff on Sunday. The Zons started off strong with a drive that provided a nice backline attack setting up a Lynelle Kugler try at the 3:00 mark in the far corner. But three minutes later the Zons committed two key offsides penalties that put ORSU in penalty kick range putting the score 5-3 at the 6:00 mark. The ORSU team followed up the restart and put up a long stronghold within their 10 meters producing four unsuccessful Amazon drives until ORSU kicked out to the 22 which the Zons recovered. With two forward offload passes Kugler again found space and offloaded to Jenny Kruger who dished off to Colleen Tjosvold just before being tackled into touch and Tjosvold touched down for 5. The conversion kick was slotted by Nicole Benjamin putting the score at half 12-3.

The second half started out with the ref’s whistle getting involved in the penalty parade for both sides. ORSU got two quick calls setting up an Amazon penalty kick by Radtke that put the score at 15-3. Then the colors really started flying as ORSU outside center got her second not releasing yellow card which turned red and sent her off at the 47:00. In just 5 short minutes the Amazons would be down a player as the Tonnie Wulff took a ref issued time-out for ten minutes. With subs and blood subs flying off of both benches the second half was quite active and put several players out of position on both sides. ORSU’s Beckett Royce took advantage of the disorganization and made a huge 50m break through two Amazons only to give a bad pass that bounced into the hands of Rebecca Radtke who timed a perfect offload to a jet set Tjosvold who burned up the sideline for a 70 meter try at 67:00. 17-3 Amazons.

With the sense of urgency on the Zons to get one more try for that beloved bonus point and ORSU playing aggressive defense, the contact points got a bit chippy and the ref started singing his whistle and sending out yellow greeting cards again—this time the ORSU #12 got hit with the sin bin just as the Zons were pushing ORSU back. With a Amazon scrum on the five meter line the Zons put on a great offensive push—Radtke to Kugler with a well won forward ruck which set up Radtke to deliver to Kruger for a drive rucked again by forwards giving Abby Rager another beautifully clean ball to spin to Radtke yet again who dove in on the far corner just as game time expired. Final score Amazons 25 – ORSU 3.

ORSU vs Twin City Amazons
By: Angelique Jackson

The match began on even footing with the Amazons driving Or.S.U. down the field continually with their awesome rucking. Score. No kick but that is alright as the match was young. Though, for the Jesters it may have only confirmed their worries as the U.S.A. Eagle Ashley Kmiecik was not playing and San Juanita Moreno had twisted her ankle badly only the week prior. Due to Kmiecik’s absence flanker Beckett Royce had moved out of the forward line to fill-in as the fly-half.

Though their lines were fractured, the Jesters sauntered on confidently till San Juanita was given a yellow card for not rolling away. The half arrived with San Juanita in the bin and the score 12 to 3 in favor of the Amazons. Just after the break, scrumhalf Ramey Marshall was carded and San Juanita was carded for a second time after apparently again failing to roll away, officially sending her out of the match and leaving Or.S.U. at thirteen players to fifteen. Fortunately, Oregon has been scouting the local universities with some success. Liz Kilgore, a rookie to club ball, confidently moved in to temporarily substitute as the Scrumhalf. Under her direction, the team proceeded to fight a hard battle leaving a lot of ground behind them.

The Jesters were left wondering if San Juanita Moreno will be suspended from next weeks Women’s Premier League match against the Valkyries?

Final score: Amazons 25 ORSU 3

New York vs Beantown
By: Becca Fritz

A rainy Saturday gave way to a beautiful seventy-degree Sunday; perfect Rugby weather for second match between the Red Sox and Yankees of the rugby world, Beantown and New York Women.

Like any good Beantown-New York match-up, the game moved incredibly fast and was very physical from the very first kick-off. One spectator commented that “each ruck is like a mini war”. It may have been these “wars” that caused NY to lose both their starting flyhalf and number seven, Hedwig Aerts and Phaidra Knight, respectively, to injury in the first half. It was around this time that Vaneesha McGee, New York’s number fourteen was sin-binned. With their defense weakened, Beantown scored the first try of the game. In the remaining sixty-something minutes, Town scored another two times. This being said, neither team allowed the other to stay within their half for very long. When New York made it to our try zone, “we did exactly what we said we were going to do, we didn’t let them scoring get to us. Instead, we used it to fuel the fire, it was pretty sweet to watch, actually” said one B-side player after the women from Boston beat out the ladies from The Big Apple, 19-17.

In two weeks, Beantown will host Keystone for their fourth WPL match of the season.

1 Shannon Wallace
2 Mari Wallace
3 Sharyn Wacht
4 Jamie Burke
5 Sharon Blaney
6 Kristin Bonomo
7 Liz Terry
8 Melanie Denham
9 Kitt Wagner
10 Kelly Seary
11 Yancy Graf
12 Emilie Bydwell
13 Amy Daniels
14 Renee Astphan
15 Katie Dowty
16 Emily Jones
17 Rachael Gorab
18 Erika Mullen
19 Katy Augustyn
20 Jackie Hwang
21 Ashley Snyder
22 Jamie Howard
23 Kate Orlin

NYRC v. Beantown
By: Jillian Brooks

On a perfect fall Sunday afternoon, one made for apple picking and foliage peeping, two teams, Beantown and New York Rugby, took the pitch for what was a highly anticipated battle. Rivalry much? Yikes. Needless to say, that among the fans and Manhattan city line was a crisp intensity in the air, waiting for the right moment to set itself loose on the pitch. That moment arrived immediately with the first crushing tackle of the game.

The teams fought back and forth for the better part of the first half, nearly thirty minutes of volleying. Finally, Beantown’s Amy Daniels broke the defense to put the first points on the board. Following the Beantown try and a devastating injury to a New York player, Maura Weikman entered the game to kick for points putting the score at 3-5. Quickly after the field goal, Vanesha McGee added a try to the New York side, and Weikman again knocked in field goal. With New York up at half, 10-5, both teams set to the sidelines to hydrate, discuss strategy, and adjust to injuries.

The second half was under way quickly with Yancy Graf of Beantown scoring to tie up the game, and Ashley Snyder nailing in a deep kick to put Beantown up, 10-12. It seemed before those points were even tallied on the score sheets, New York’s Jenna Flateman responded with a try of her own. Weikman knocking in another conversion, New York was up 17-12 early in the second half. Another quick response try came from Beantown’s Emily Jones, with conversion from Ashley Snyder. Beantown found themselves on top on the scoreboard once again, and that’s where they would remain for the following twenty minutes of the game.

In addition to the players, the trainer’s seemed to get quite a workout of their own. Both teams having several key players leave the game prematurely. To say this match up was entertaining to watch would be an understatement. It was brilliant rugby. New York is set to match up against Keystone in two weeks time, a game that proves to be as intense as this one.

Point Totals:

Amy Daniels
Yancy Graf
Emily Jones
Ashley Snyder (2 – conversions)

Vanesha McGee
Jenna Flateman
Maura Weikman (2 conversions, 1 PT)

Valkyries vs Berkeley
By: Phoebe Boone

The All Blues played their toughest match of the season on Sunday against a revamped Valkyries side. With flyhalf Steph Bruce out and wing Nathalie Marchino moving to outside center, they were a bit curious to see if the success they've had so far this season would continue. But the changes in their back line did little to slow the All Blues attack. Ruth Bryson did a superb job at flyhalf and her defensive pressure was crucial to the All Blues success. The first 23 minutes of the match were nail biting as both teams attacked and defended incredibly well, both pushing for tries. But Bryson found space out wide in the 23rd and 25th minutes and tries were scored by outside center Nat Marchino and wing Vix Folayan after recovering Bryson's kicks over the Valkyrie wings.

But the Valkyries weren't going to let the All Blues have the the match. Valkyrie flyhalf Hannah Stolba crossed the line in the 31st minute and converted her own try, making the score 10-7. Two more tries were traded before half: one from All Blues inside center Kelly Griffin who found a hole in the center and sped her way into the try zone, and one by Valkyries winger Tracy Call out wide. Score at half was 17-12 (the closest half time score the All Blues have seen all season).

But the All Blues found their rhythm after the restart and the entire team was rejuvenated when the forward pack walked a scrum into the try zone for 8-man Blair Groefsema to touch the ball down. Stolba found her way across the line again in the 49th minute, making the score 24-17. But the All Blues didn't give up and posted two more tries before the game was through. Marchino saw her second try in the 58th minute and Folayan completed her set after fullbacvk Ashley English broke through the line, offloaded to Griffin and Folayan picked the ball and ran up the sideline to score.

Final score: 34-17. More photos from the match can be found here.

WPL Match Reports/Coach & Player Interviews

8/31/2009: Master WPL Scoreboard
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


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