RICHMOND, VA – New Hampshire played a conservative, penalty-free first half in the last of the day, forcing Angel City to clean up their jammer tactics, to dominate the second period. A 42-point spread at the half extended to 128 by the final whistles; Angel took the win 205-77 and progresses to the semifinals.
Regular recycling became a feature of Angel City’s play, as the defensive lines set down their play lines, despite a single jammer awareness lapse in the 23rd jam of the first period, as New Hampshire’s Game Ovaries breezed through.
Angel City’s Ghetto Fabu-Lez saw a jammer role on Friday, despite her niggling groin injury, but after being solidly trapped by a New Hampshire defensive wall for almost the whole of her second jam of the day, she saw no further play that first half. Tyra Shanks also saw more regular jam time than we have seen in many of their games this season.
Madame Scurrie, from New Hampshire, saw very regular play first period, a change from their game earlier that day, possibly taking advantage of her relative freshness in comparison to the other jammers who were more heavily used earlier. Some slightly lighter glimpses of jammer Swirko suggests the same rationale.
First jam in, and the pack split into defensive lines, with Angel City holding the back. Chica Go Lightning took first lead, giving us the first 4 points of the game. In the next, Game Ovaries used her second-exit lead to call the second jam, with no points added, as Cris Dobbins (out in front of her) approached the back of the pack.
Next jam in, Mickispeedia took lead as Chicana headed to the box on a forearm penalty. But it wasn’t to last as Mickispeedia struggled with the front of the pack, stumbling over an opposing player, and gaining a misconduct penalty. Chicana used that time gained to add her team’s first 5 on the board, but the damage was already done, and Angel City still held the game, 22-5.
In the fourth, a powerjam start for Madame Scurrie didn’t last long, as Mickispeedia popped back out of the box, but she’d still made a difference – it’s 24-15, to Angel City.
Two jams later, even the talents of Ghetto couldn’t prevent a further points creep up the back from New Hampshire, narrowing Angel City’s lead to 24-23, 8 minutes into the game.
This was, however, the narrowest their lead would ever get, as Angel City seemed to shift tactics slightly, aiming instead for conservative point inching, as they took 4 and called, a trend that continued through into the second period.
One highlight moment occurred when a 4:2 pack advantage didn’t stop Krissy Krash from a devastatingly effective front postion, while Duchess held the rear. At the return of Soledad from the box, she and Duchess used their rear spot to effectively slam-block a rapidly approaching Swirko into a sudden halt.
The score came in at 100-58 to Angel City, at the half.
The second half of the game seemed to be controlled by Angel City’s defensive line, as they effectively shut down New Hampshire’s ability to score, assisted by a careful add-on of points, single pass by pass from Angel City’s jammers, using lead jammer wins to control and call.
We saw a little more of Ghetto Fabu-Lez, as she put in a further 5 jams for Angel City in the jammer cover. And New Hampshire continued with their reliance on jammers Swirko and Scurrie, despite Swirko’s catastrophic initial jams of the period, when she ended up jamming the first three jams of the second half, as she struggled with penalty after penalty.
Midway through, Game Ovaries took a rare penalty with a back block, giving Ghetto a powerjam to take assisted by Angel City’s blocker Chinese Cheker who put pressure in one key New Hampshire blocker, prising open for Ghetto the opening she needed. Similar key moments of offensive blocking really made the second half for Angel City, as they extended their game control to offensive play.
Final jam of the game came down to Mickispeedia jamming against Madame Scurrie, and saw jammer engagement right off the line. Scurrie then took an unexpected lead, and called the jam and the game before Angel City could add more on in those final seconds, giving Angel City the game with a final score of 205-77.