(BALLWIN, MO) In order to keep its home record spotless at Midwest Sport Hockey Saturday night, the Arch Rival Roller Girls All-Stars had to use every second to secure victory.
Implementing a late-bout rally, St. Louis, ranked #27 internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), edged #20 Ohio Roller Girls, 160-153, in front of over 600.
The seven-point victory over the higher-ranked visitors from Columbus improved Arch Rivals’ record to 6-6 on the year while extending its four-year home winning streak at Queeny Park to 16-0.
“We’ve been working on a lot of things together, such as plays, our offense and certain things that we actually execute really well,” said Arch Rival co-captain Brickyard. “Tonight, it was great to see all that hard work paying off on the track.”
That execution was on display at pivotal times, specifically early and late, in the tussle with the team that had beaten St. Louis by 52 points last post-season.
“To quote former NFL Coach Denny Green, ‘Arch is who we thought they were,’” said Ohio bench coach Inspector Muffin afterwards. “You know you’re always going to get a hard-fought bout. Hard blockers, offense from the front and the back of the pack, and you know you’re going to have a tough, one-two jammer rotation.”
Leading 12-11 after four jams, Brickyard posted a 22-1 jam at 22:40 to widen Arch Rival’s lead to 34-12. St. Louis extended the margin to 68-35 when the co-captain posted 15 with 10:06 left in the period.
Mighty Mighty Boston’s eight-point rotation with 8:20 left in the half pushed Arch Rival’s lead to 76-38. St. Louis held a 95-59 advantage at intermission.
Columbus surged in the opening minutes of the second period, resulting in a 23-10 run. Following a 14-3 strike from Bigg Rigg in jam six, Ohio whittled the gap to 105-82 with 23:25 left in the game.
Boston notched four in the next rotation to push Arch Rival’s lead to 109-82 with 22:20 left. Ohio countered with a baker’s dozen uncontested. A five-pointer from Kitty Liquorbottom in jam eight was followed by eight from OHRG co-captain Burnadeath, which narrowed St. Louis’ edge to 109-95 with 18:53 left.
Arch Rival took advantage of a power jam in the next rotation, resulting in Boston’s 10-point strike at 16:51 that pushed the score to 119-95. Brickyard added a 4-1 strike in jam 11 that extended St. Louis’ edge to 123-96 with 15:40 left.
Ohio’s posted an 11-0 rally over the next three jams. Back-to-back four pointers from The Smacktivist and Liquorbottom was followed by three from The Smacktivist in jam 14 that cut the gap to 16 points, 123-107 with 12:30 remaining. Ohio’s 3-1 non-lead strike scored at 11:10 narrowed St. Louis’ lead to 124-110.
Arch Rival proceeded to play arguably its best offense and defense of the evening with a 29-0 run over the next five jams. Back-to-back four pointers from Boston and Brickyard launched the multi-faceted attack and extended St. Louis’ lead to 132-110 with 9:30 remaining.
On the net rotation, Arch Rival’s Annie Swanson was sent to the penalty box for a track cut, resulting in an Ohio power jam. Steady and stubborn blocking by St. Louis’ Downtown Dallis, Kayla Seiber, Emily Rinehart and Shear-Ra Powers held Ohio’s Burnadeath to zero points on the power jam and a goose egg altogether in the two-minute rotation, which kept the score at 132-110 with 7:10 left.
Sound foundations set by Arch Rival blockers Mayor Francis Slayer, Eli Wallop, Party Foul, Shimmy Hoffa, Vanessa Tutka, Coonrod and The Ginger Assassin over the next two rotations kept the momentum rolling. Boston scored three in jam 19 to extend the lead to 135-110.
Arch Rival concluded the 29-0 rally with Brickyard’s 18-pointer scored with 4:30 left, widening St. Louis’ advantage to 153-110.
Other squads might have waved the white flag after Arch Rival’s late-bout thump. To its credit, Ohio did not surrender. In fact, its inspired play down the stretch made the contest a nail biter.
The Smacktivist posted 14 points with 3:15 left to narrow the gap to 153-124. St. Louis responded with Brickyard ‘s 4-2 jam that pushed its lead to 157-126.
In the bout’s penultimate jam, Ohio’s The Smacktivist raced to the front of the pack to grab lead. In the process, Arch Rival’s jammer went to the penalty box, resulting in another Columbus power jam. “Mack” attacked and collected 10 points on the rotation and the visitors whittled Arch Rival’s lead to 157-136 with 1:01 left.
After taking a clock-stopping timeout, Ohio, with Smacktivist once again “donning the star,” obtained lead. After two scoring passes, worth ten points collectively, the period clock expired and the jam clock became the official measurement of time.”Mack” continued on a hard scoring charge with under :45 second remaining on the jam clock and made it through the Arch Rival pack to narrow the score to 157-151. With time expiring, “Mack” collected an additional pair of points on the fourth scoring pass while St. Louis scored three non-lead points.
The end result of the chaotic final jam was a 17-3 tally for Ohio. Unfortunately for the visitors, the deficit heading to the final jam was 21 points.
Arch Rival survived the late Ohio scare and won the emotional gut-wrencher, 160-153, to keep the home win streak intact.
Brickyard paced St. Louis scoring with 99 points while Boston added 40 and Swanson contributed 18.
The locals now have its sights set on international post-season play. Arch Rival, seeded seventh in the Salt Lake City, Utah bracket of the WFTDA Division 1 tourney, battles tenth-seeded Tri-City (Kitchener, ON, Canada) on Friday, September 26.
The experiences from Saturday night are going to be focal point for the “squad on quads” as it prepares for the next month’s playoffs.
“We have to keep working together as a team,” said Brickyard. “When we start to play as individuals is when we start to fall apart. So we have to maintain our cool whenever we get a little tired and when things are getting a little bit stressful.”
Ohio (8-6) was paced by The Smacktivist’s 82 points, followed by Liqourbottom’s 38. OHRG next hosts #87 Cincinnati on Saturday.
ARCH RIVAL ALL-STARS (160): Brickyard 99, Mighty Mighty Boston 40, Annie Swanson 18, Emily Rinehart 3.
OHIO ROLLER GIRLS (153): The Smacktivist 82, Kitty Liquorbottom 39, Big Rigg 19, Outa My Wayman 3.
In Saturday’s b-team battle, Arch Rival’s Saint Lunachix utilized an early rally en route to a 230-108 win over OHRG’s Gang Green. Down 18-14 two jams in, the Lunachix posted 38 points uncontested, highlighted by a 25-point even-strength strike from jammer Warpath O’ Jen. The momentum continued as the Lunachix held a 128-74 lead at intermission.
Lunachix jammer Chokehold Chanel collected 15 points in the third jam of the second period to stretch the lead to 152-83. Molecular Mayhem notched 18 points via the power jam with 2:05 left to push the locals to over 200 points.
Paced by the stubborn blocking of The Ginger Assassin, Jamheiser Bush, Girl Fawkes, Grave Danger, Science Friction, Cloak N’ Drag-her, Coonrod, Fletch-A-Sketch, Morgan LeFaetal and Party Rockher, the Lunachix outscored Gang Green, 102-34, in the second period to pick up the 122-point victory and finish the 2014 campaign with a record of 4-3.
Chanel topped St. Louis scoring with 86 points, followed by Warpath’s 58. After the contest, EnYa Nightmare was awarded “MVP Jammer” by OHRG while Fawkes was awarded “MVP Blocker.”
For more information on the Arch Rival Roller Girls, go to archrivalrollergirls.com.
Post game interview with Arch Rival co-captain Brickyard.