RICHMOND, VA — In the penultimate game of the Richmond playoffs, tournament top seed Angel City and 4 seed Naptown went at it for third place and the right to play in Milwaukee at November’s WFTDA Championships. After a rather cold start on Friday against New Hampshire, Angel City was looking quite a bit more stable and Naptown had major problems mounting even minor rallies. Naptown steadily lost ground almost all the way through the contest, and in the end Angel City claimed their first-ever trip to Championships with a 222-130 victory.
Naptown was buried early by jammer penalty trouble in the first half, committing 5 jammer penalties to 3 for Angel City — Angel City picked up 101 of their 129 first-half points while Naptown was jammerless. Although things nearly equalized in the second, with 4 jammer penalties for Angel City against 3 for Naptown, Naptown was consistently unable to pick up major points off power jam, either due to strong Angel City defense or by committing jammer penalties of their own.
The underdogs jumped out to a small early lead on the back of strong defense from Asian Sinsation, Mutant Jean and Cereal Killer, who stuffed Angel City jammers on 4-0 and 9-0 jams to start the game. Angel City got on the board in the third jam with help from a jammer penalty on Majestic; Mickispeedia repeatedly split a 2-blocker Naptown wall to take the lead for Angel City at 15-13.
Angel City jammer Chica Go Lightning stepped up to take the rest of the power jam and add 14-4 while the returned Majestic took a serious battering from Chinese Cheker. That lengthy frame put things at 29-17 Angel City with 22 minutes in the first half.
The next three jams went narrowly for Angel City, allowing them to inch the lead forward to 36-19 — and then the fourth ended up being big trouble for Naptown as Majestic once again found herself boxed as her team’s jammer. Chica Go Lightning scored 20 before icing Majestic, and suddenly Naptown was in early trouble at 56-19.
Naptown called their first timeout there with 18:01 on the scoreboard, but couldn’t stop Cris Dobbins from adding 8 more points on the other side of Majestic’s penalty to make it 64-19. A Naptown 4-0 to momentarily broke Angel’s streak, but G-Rocket then picked up Naptown’s third jammer penalty of the first 15 minutes and it turned into a 19-2 run for Chica Go Lightning. When that jam ended, there was 13:24 left on the clock and Naptown was looking at a sobering 83-25 deficit.
Fortunately for the underdogs, Angel City finally got around to sending a jammer to the box as Cris Dobbins forearmed her way off the track; Maiden America picked up 10 points through a very slow Angel City defense, but was a hair too late calling off the jam, unable to ice Dobbins in the box.
G-Rocket got lead the old-fashioned way on the followup and took 4-0; PushyCat added another lead and 7-0 next. With about 8:30 to play, Angel City was still up 83-46 but Naptown seemed like they might be starting to get something going.
However, the teams combined for 5 jammer penalties in the late going of the half, with Angel City getting the better of most of it. A very low-scoring three-jam sequence moved the score to 88-49 Angel City before PushyCat and Chica Go Lightning both hit the box in the same jam. ACDG claimed that jam 14-4 to make it 102-53 with 2:58 in the half.
Bad news continued for Naptown fans as Maiden America was boxed on each of the next two jams, allowing Angel City to put up 27 more. The only bright point for Naptown was that Angel City ended the half with their own jammer boxed; America was able to pick up 10 points in the half’s final jam to close the action at 129-63.
The opening three jams of the second half were extremely low scoring — 1-0 Naptown, 0-0 and 4-0 Angel City — before Naptown looked to get a big opportunity when Ghetto Fabu-Lez was boxed on a back block. But Maiden America picked up her third jammer penalty and followed her opponent into the box, leading to a 10-8 win for Angel City. It was 143-72 Angel City about five minutes into the half.
Two jams later, Angel City gave Naptown another chance at unopposed time as Cris Dobbins traipsed off the penalty box as Angel City jammer; PushyCat finally got her team a big jam with 21-4. That put things at 147-94.
Naptown lost a little ground over the next couple of jams to a new score of 153-99 with about 18 minutes left — and then lost a lot of ground as Blue Messiah forearmed her way to the box for Naptown’s 7th jammer penalty. Mickispeedia capitalized with 15-0 and handed the last few 20 seconds of the power jam to Chica Go Lightning, who converted it to 8-4. That put Angel City in solid control at 176-103 with just under 15 minutes left in the game.
Things remained very low-scoring to about the ten minute mark, with Naptown trailing 183-110; they got a bit of an opportunity as lead jammer Mickispeedia was boxed as ACDG, but standout power jam defense from Krissy Krash, Soledad, Jane Wilkins and Rachel Rotten stuffed G-Rocket for most of the full-length frame. She’d finally pass the star to Asian Sinsation, but the jam was only a 10-4 win for Naptown; time was running out for Naptown at 187-120 and 7 minutes to play.
Naptown called their first timeout at 5:26 with 192-122 on the board. They’d lose their last long-shot chance on the very next jam, though: Mickispeedia was boxed again, but for the third time in the game, Naptown squandered the advantage when their jammer immediately followed her in. Three minutes and a handful of points later, Angel City was celebrating their first-ever Championships berth with a 222-130 victory.