Monthly Archives: October 2008
Somerville, Massachusetts, May 10, 2008
New York, Boston. Two cities, two rivals. A rivalry in almost every sporting category, including women’s football. Since the beginning of the New York Sharks (4-0), they have always had a rivalry from a team from Beantown. For this season it is the Boston Militia (2-2), a new entry into the IWFL created from the merger of two teams from the Boston area. Between the two Boston area teams, they have won four division titles combined. And earlier this year they defeated the D.C. Divas 27-22.
The Sharks have won each game this season, but when it comes to the coin toss, they have lost every single one of them. Tonight was no different and New York started the game by kicking off. Like two heavyweight fighters the two teams seemed to be testing each other in the beginning. Both defenses stop the offense cold and each had a 3 and out.
One of the big reasons for the success of the Sharks is their ability to feast on turnovers. After the Boston defense forced New York to punt, the Sharks came up with a fumble recovery after the Militia fumbled the return. The Sharks had the ball on their own 40-yard line. Quarterback Karen Mulligan started the drive with a 34 yard strike to wide receiver Lisa Doran. With the ball now deep in Boston territory the Sharks went to their running attack. Seven straight running plays by five different ball carriers led New York to paydirt. Gabrielle Nazaire made the score with a 4-yard run into the endzone. Megan Antonucci kicked the extra point and New York took an early 7-0 lead with 6:24 left in the first quarter.
On the Sharks next offensive drive, they returned the favor to Boston. Mulligan was intercepted for the first time this season by Jennifer Powell. This gave the Militia the ball on the Sharks 42-yard line. New York compounded the mistake with a late hit penalty on the drive and that allowed Boston to get within field goal range. Kicker Allie Roderique split the uprights from 20-yard out to put the Militia on the scoreboard and cut the lead to four with 10:53 left in the second quarter.
The Sharks started their next possession in great field position. Rookie Cheri Eleazer ran the kick-off back to the Boston 27-yard line. Continuing to stay on the ground, New York ran off 6 straight running plays to put the ball at the Militia 11-yard line. It was now a fourth down with 5 yards to go. The Sharks went for it and Mulligan rolled out to her right. She then hit Adrienne Smith with a short pass and was pushed out of bounds at the 1-yard line. From there it was back to the ground as Mulligan ran the ball in herself for another Sharks touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked, but New York now led 13-3 with 6:41 left in the first half.
New York got the ball back quickly as the defense stopped Boston cold. After only 3 plays the Militia were forced to punt. This drive started from the Sharks’ own 28-yard line. This time New York mixed passing and running plays to march down the field. The key play was a spectacular diving catch by wide receiver Jen Blum for 30 yards. The 12th play of the drive was a running play by Shauntay Stewart who punched it into the endzone from 2 yards out. Antonucci found the range with the extra point and the Sharks had a nice 20-3 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Militia came out smoking. A hard hit given to running back Anabel Rodriguez forced her to fumble on the Sharks first possession of the second half. Boston recovered the ball at the New York 37-yard line. It didn’t take long for the Militia to capitalize. The scoring play was a nifty 20-yard run up the middle by Dawn Herring. Roderique kicked the extra point and Boston was now only down by 10 points, 20-10 with 14:07 left in the third quarter.
New York turned the ball over again in the third quarter when they went for a fake punt from the Militia 40-yard line. Toni Salvatore was given the ball but was quickly tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Boston. The Militia got the ball on a turnover of downs at the Sharks’ 45-yard line. New York compounded the drive with 2 off=sides penalties and on the legs of quarterback Allison Cahill, she ran the ball in for another Boston score. Another successful extra point and the Militia were now trailing by only 3 points with 7:15 left in the third quarter.
Boston continued the pressure and scored their third straight touchdown in the second half. A run by Cahill for 13 yards, a long pass reception to Amy Saur for 30 yards and a 10 yard pass interference penalty moved the ball down to the New York 1-yard line. Cahill called her own number for the score. With 12:51 left to go in the game, Boston had come back from a 17-point deficit for their first lead in the game. With New York’s offense sputtering it looked like a big comeback for Boston.
But Mulligan showing poise and an accurate arm got the Sharks back on track. On a second down play from her own 41-yard line, Mulligan was chased out of the pocket. She scrambled to her right and saw receiver Lauren Pringle come back to help out. Mulligan hit with Pringle at the Boston 48-yard line and then she ran down the right sideline to the Militia 26-yard line. Mulligan then connected twice with Blum, the last one an 8-yard reception to give the Sharks the lead back. Antonucci’s extra point attempt was no good but the score was now 16-24 in favor of the visitors with 10:55 left in the game. The miss was big as it gave Boston a chance to win the game with a field goal.
It was now up to the Sharks’ defense to step up and stop the hot Militia offense. The defense continued to struggle and were hit with 2 big penalties that allowed Boston to continue their drive but the Militia were finally stopped at the New York 19-yard line. The Sharks got the ball back on the turnover of downs and they needed the offense to run out the clock.
Unfortunately they tried to pass and Mulligan was intercepted for the second time of the game. This gave Boston the ball at the New York 45-yard line with 5:39 left to go in the game. With only 41 seconds left in the game, the Militia had the ball down to the Sharks 24-yard line. On first down, Cahill ran towards the sideline and went out of bounds for no gain. On second down, Cahill threw deep but Jay Dantzler knocked the ball away from the intended target in the endzone. With only 26 seconds left, Cahill threw a sideline pass to Saur, but before she could get out of bounds, Vivian Alberty tackled her to keep the clock running. It was now fourth down and Boston had no more timeouts. Time was running out and the Militia kicking team scrambled to get on the field and in position. As the clock went to zero, Roderique hastily kicked the football. It was high enough, but it just went wide.
With the victory, New York remains tied for first place in the North Atlantic division with the Pittsburgh Passion. If this nail-biter wasn’t enough, these two teams go back at it again this Saturday in Brooklyn. The rematch is sure to be just as exciting as this game. Kick-off time is 3:30pm (EDT) at the Aviatore Sports Complex. If you can’t make it to the game, you can still follow all of the hard hitting football as Pat Brown and Dave Maxwell will describe all of the action live to you on the official flagship station for New York Sharks Football, www.blogtalkradio.com/wfnradio – the Women’s Football Network.
|New York Sharks||7||13||0||6||26|
NY – (06:24) Nazaire 4 yard run (Antonucci kick)
BO – (10:53) Roderique 20 yard field goalNY – (06:41) Mulligan 1 yard run (kick failed)
NY – (00:22) Stewart 2 yard run (Antonucci kick)
BO – (14:07) Herring 20 yard run (Roderique kick)
BO – (07:15) Cahill 5 yard run (Roderique kick)
BO – (12:51) Cahill 1 yard run (Roderique kick)
NY – (09:40) Blum 8 yard pass from Mulligan (kick failed)