Monthly Archives: September 2003
St. Petersburg, Florida, June 9, 2003
This was the hard part of the schedule. Playing two games in three days against two very good teams and on the road. It didn’t help that the weather in Florida was warm and very muggy, but the Sharks knew if they were to get a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs they would have to win both games. On Saturday, the Sharks took care of the first game with a 20-6 victory over the Miami Fury. Now they had to take on the Tampa Bay Terminators.
On paper, the Sharks were favored to win the game with little problem, but after a tough game in Miami, many of the New York players were hurting and tired. With only one day to recover, this last game of the season might not be such a cakewalk.
The game started off well as the Sharks won the coin toss. For the stat-heads, the Sharks were 5-3 on the coin toss for the regular season.
New York started the game off in good field position with the ball on the Terminators’ 43-yard line. The first play was a handoff to Virginia Leon who picked up only 1 yard. The Sharks then went to the air with quarterback Val Halesworth looking for her favorite receiver Valerie Monaco. Monaco caught the ball for gains of 7 yards, 10 yards, 7 yards, and 9 yards. This put the ball on Tampa Bay’s 10-yard line. But on the next play the Sharks were called for holding and that put them back to the 25-yard line. Halesworth then hit Monica Marsh at the 15-yard line.
Despite being banged up and tired from playing their second game in three days, New York seemed poised to get on the scoreboard. Halesworth dropped back into the pocket and threw the ball down the middle of the field. Her intended receiver Monaco was covered and the Teminator’s Lisa Rovatsos intercepted the pass and Tampa Bay had control of the ball.
The Terminator offense sported a very quick running game with quarterback Kim Shaw and running back Sabrina Kelly. The tandem displayed some of the quickest moves New York has seen this season. Kelly was able to break one run for 12-yards and a Tampa Bay first down in the series, but the Sharks’ defense was able to contain her and get the ball back on the Terminator’s 40-yard line.
With excellent field position, the Sharks made short work of it to score a touchdown at the 4:12 mark of the first quarter. The highlights of the 7-play drive was a 16 yard gain by Leon on a quarterback option and the 17 yard touchdown pass to receiver Jennifer Blum. Halesworth had faked a short pass on which the Terminator’s bit on and came rushing up the field, leaving Blum open for an easy catch. Leon then punched in the 2-point conversion and the Sharks were ahead 8-0.
Tampa Bay went three and out after the kickoff and the Sharks went back to work. In a 15-play drive, the Sharks got on the scoreboard again. The highlight of this drive was a 32-yard pass from Halesworth to Monaco. The pass threaded the needle as Monaco caught the ball between two defenders. The touchdown was scored on a 4-yard run by Missy Marmorale with 9:45 left in the second quarter. Leon ran it in for the 2-point conversion and the Sharks now led 16-0.
On the next New York possession it looked like a game of catch between Halesworth and Monaco. Halesworth hit Monaco 5 straight times for a total of 36 yards which put the ball down to the Tampa Bay 2-yard line. The Sharks were called for an illegal procedure penalty that backed them up to the 7-yard line, but Marmorale took care of that by running in for the touchdown on the very next play. The 2-point conversion was stopped but New York had extended their lead to 22-0 with only 1:11 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Terminators were only able to return the ball to their won 33-yard line. With only a minute left and deep in their own territory, Tampa Bay fumbled the ball on the snap and New York recovered. The Sharks had a golden opportunity to put the game out of reach before the half ended. With little time left, the Sharks used the sideline, as Halesworth connected with Monaco twice. The second one was a nice 12-yard gain, but another 10 yards was added to it for a Terminator late hit penalty. The ball was now on the 8-yard line and Leon was able to run the ball down to the one foot line. New York called timeout and then on next play, Halesworth called her own number to punch it in for a touchdown with only 33 seconds remaining in the half. The Sharks failed on the 2-point conversion but the score was now 28-0. It looked like the Sharks were going to have another perfect regular season record.
The Sharks kicked off to Tampa Bay to start the second half. Monaco kicked the ball deep and kick returner Kim Mulla picked up the ball on the Terminator 25-yard line. She ran to her right and broke down the sideline. Monaco was the only Shark left and she made a touchdown saving tackle at the New York 39-yard line. With the ball in good field position, Tampa Bay was able to move the ball on the ground to the Sharks’ 20-yard line. It was the Terminator’s last big push in the game but it was stopped as Halesworth intercepted a Shaw pass and returned the ball back to New York’s 44-yard line.
Sharks’ owner and backup quarterback Andra Douglas came into the game in the fourth quarter. She engineered the Sharks down the field for New York’s final touchdown of the evening on a 10-play drive. Handing the ball off to running back Teresa Schirrippa and passing to Michelle Brown the Sharks moved down the field 49 yards for the score. To top off the evening, Douglas then ran in the 2-point conversion to make the final score, 36-0.
The shutout was New York’s 7th in 8 games this season and 17th in the franchise’s history. Gameballs were given to the defense for the shutout, to receiver Monaco for her 15 catches in the game and to Douglas for the final touchdown drive.
With the victory, the Sharks have won 22 games in a row over 3 seasons and have completed their second consecutive undefeated regular season. This gives them a first round bye in the IWFL Eastern Conference playoffs and guarantees them home field advantage throughout the IWFL playoffs. The Sharks will next play on Saturday, June 28th at August Martin High School. Kick off time will be at 3pm and tickets are available at the park only. They will play the winner of the Bay State Warriors and Miami Fury game which will be played on July 21st.
|New York Sharks||8||20||0||8||36|
|Tampa Bay Terminators||0||0||0||0||0|
NY – (04:12) Blum 17 yard pass from Halesworth (Leon run)
NY – (09:45) Monaco 4 yard pass from Halesworth (Leon run)
NY – (01:11) Marmorale 7 yard run (run failed)
NY – (00:33) Halesworth 1 yard run (run failed)
NY – (01:53) Schirrippa 3 yard run (Douglas run)