Lady Hawks Kick Off 2019 Season with a Win!
The Philadelphia Lady Hawks dirtied their new strip and got the year off to a blazing start with a hard-fought 17-point win against the New York Magpies at Edgely Field on Saturday afternoon.
Excellent weather and field conditions made it the perfect day to kick off the Lady Hawks’ season, with family, fans, and friends all making it out to take in the game.
Firing out with a squad of eleven players including two visiting Boston Demons players in Alexandra Pike and Diane Welch, the Hawks took the ball on from the bounce, going up against a New York team up for the fight. A see-saw match wrapped up with the Hawks on the rise at the end of the day, bringing the ball home in the final term for a 10.5 (65) to 7.6 (48) victory.
A scrappy first quarter saw the ball go back and forth through the midfield, fueled by a running battle between ex-Hawk Amy Arundale and Magpie spearhead Grace Koplow, and the Hawks Erica Sacci and Lindsey Turse. Both teams felt each other out, with a scrappy sliding goal by the Pies helping them to a five-point lead at quarter time.
Settling in for the second term, the Hawks relied on their backline intercept marking of Jackie Kershaw and the pressure of Barb Dempsey to hold the Magpies to three behinds. Good pressure acts from Pike Smart disposals and booming kicks through Turse in the middle continued to find new recruit Emma Blanch on the forward wings, and she made the best of it, launching dead-on kicks through her right leg.
With a four-goal quarter, the Hawks were out to a 13-point halftime lead. It wasn’t without controversy, as a bouncing ball sparked the question of above-the-knee or not, with the goal call standing.
The Magpies came out fighting after the half, again fueled by pace through the midfield. Halftime adjustments saw the Pies clearing the ball out and finding their spots downfield. Capitalizing on their ability to move down the wings, they hunted down five goals for the quarter. The Hawks weren’t taking it lying down, counterattacking after New York behinds and keeping pace, going into three-quarter time trailing by two points.
Locking down the back line in the fourth quarter was the key, and the Hawks rose to the challenge. Pressure acts and continued intercepts held the Pies to a single behind, and when the ball made its way to the forward half the Hawks were quick to swarm and pin the ball along the boundaries.
Helped by talls Leslie Gartner and Lauryn Kelly taking turns against powerful Magpies ruck Lucy McLeod, the Hawks won the clearance battle and capitalized on the offensive end. Service from Ciara Trainor and the visiting Dees Duo fed Blanch, as she capped off her seven-goal haul with the clinchers for the Lady Hawks.
A partial squad travels to the Great White North for the Montreal Tournament on June 1, with the squad looking to return to full strength for the June 15 USAFL Eastern Regionals in Raleigh.
Philadelphia Lady Hawks: Blanch 7, Burke 1, Gartner 1, Turse 1
NY Magpies Women: [NEED SCORERS]
Umpires: Greg Glasgow, Brian Barrish, [OTHER GOAL UMP]