Monthly Archives: November 2001
Stony Brook, N.Y., August 11, 2001
The New York Sharks played their home opener against the Syracuse Sting in Stony Brook, Long Island. New York had been in the grip of a heat wave but it seemed to have been broken as the temperature at game time was a modest 78 degrees. But the skies were overcast, the air was very humid and the threat of rain persisted throughout the day.
There were various media groups to mark the home opener. Players and staff were surrounded by reporters to get the latest on New York’s women professional football team. Here is a picture of Aaron Flaum of the New Haven Register who came out to Stony Brook to shoot a photo essay on Sharks linebacker Monty Shepardson.
The Sharks were playing in their third game of the season and trying to get their record above the .500 mark. The Syracuse Sting on the other hand were playing their first game of the season, having byes for the last 2 weeks. The Stings were formerly the New York Galaxy and relocated to upstate New York after the 2000 campaign.
This was the first time the home town fans got to see the New York Sharks but also former Jets’ superstar running back Freeman McNeil. McNeil was signed earlier this year to be the head coach of the Sharks.
The Sharks did not disappoint as they came out of the gate smoking. The Sharks scored early and often as an undersized Syracuse team had trouble containing the passing attack of the Sharks.
The Sharks scored quickly at 11:08 in the first quarter. Quarterback Jen Lueck threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Valerie “Peanuts” Monaco for an early 6-0 lead. The extra point try failed as the snap was fumbled.
A few minutes later, the Sharks scored again on a Lueck to Monaco combination. This time the pass play went for 42 yards to make the score 12-0. The Sharks went for the 2-point conversion but were stopped.
The game was starting to look like a blowout but the Sting had a 61 yard touchdown run to make the score 12-6. The Syracuse quarterback, Kiki Seago, rolled out to her right but when her primary receiver was well covered, she ran down the sideline for the touchdown. The Sharks blocked the extra point try.
Just before the first quarter ended, the Sharks scored again on a 30 yard pass play to Kathy Holloman. New York went for the 2-point conversion and this time they scored to push their lead to 20-6.
In the second quarter, Syracuse in their bright yellow uniforms, played better defensively, but they still could not shut-down the Shark offense completely. The Sharks scored again on a 10 yard pass play from Lueck to Holloman. Monaco kicked the extra point and the score was 27-6.
A 21 yard touchdown pass to Holloman was negated in the second half by a penalty. If the play was not called back, quarterback Lueck would have had 5 touchdown passes for the day. She ended up “settling” for 4.
The Sharks defense dominated the rest of the game, barely allowing the Sting to get close to the New York endzone. In the third quarter, the Sharks scored their final points on an interception return by Rose Addison. Addison batted the pass from the Syracuse quarterback into the air and then caught it. She then rumbled 40 yards for a touchdown. Monaco successfully kicked the extra point to make the final score, 34-6.
Special teams also played very well. For those who wonder if women can hit hard playing football, Lakisha Grant made a vicious tackle on the kick-off after the Shark’s final score. Grant ran down field to prevent the Sting from getting a return.
The victory gives the Sharks a 2-1 record. Their defense has been stingy giving up only 14 points in 3 games, while the offense has scored 62 points during that span. The Sharks hit the road for their next game on August 18th. They will be playing the Tampa Tempest, game time is 7pm. If you can’t join us down there to root for your favorite team, then visit our new fan forum, the Shark Tank on the website and post your comments.
The game was a success for the New York Sharks. They had won their home opener in front of a very enthusiastic crowd and then stuck around after the game to talk to their fans and sign autographs. The day concluded with the familiar strains of Frank Sinatra’s, “New York, New York” over the loudspeakers.
2001 New York Sharks