The Twin Cities Amazons are now 2-0 in the Women's Premier League's and tied with San Diego for first place in the Red Conference. The Zons defeated visiting New York 32-5 for the bonus-point win.
The Amazons' opening round win against Minnesota saw a mismatch in the backs and allowed a 61-10 victory, but New York posed a bigger challenge today.
"New York did an excellent job of taking space away," Amazons coach Roger Bruggemeyer said. "It took our backs some time to adjust. New York's inside center put a ton of pressure on our backline."
But once the team figured out how to counteract New York's pressure defense, the scoring began. Fullback Ashley Mulford accounted for three of the team's five tries, while Stacey Bridges and Lynelle Kugler tacked on additional five-pointers. Rebecca Radtke slotted three conversions and two penalties.
Although all but one try came from the backs, the forwards stepped up their game from a week prior. Disjointed play had been an issue against Minnesota, and Bruggemeyer focused on forward continuity had been an issue during last week's Minnesota game, but Bruggemeyer during training.
It certainly paid off as New York switched to a tighter, forward-oriented game, a strategy that provided the visitor's lone try. But other than that one concession, the Amazons did well to contain New York's attack.
Openside flanker Amanda Kingzett has been on fire, and Bruggemeyer was quick to point her out as a standout. Bridges, who's new to the team, is getting into the groove of the team's patterns and also had a strong game.
Bruggemeyer also pointed out some of the inequities in the match. "All in all, we're in our third year [of the WPL], and teams traveling aren't as strong," the coach said. "Whether it's the finances, commitment - whatever the deal - you'll never know what you're going to face. Phaidra Knight didn't travel, and when I watched last week's film, she was all over San Diego. Until the league get to the point where everyone's traveling, you're going to get some inconsistent scores."
Fortunately for the Amazons, everyone that needs to be going to San Diego is traveling.
"We played San Diego four or five years ago, and they beat us," Bruggemeyer remembered. "There are many players still here who remember that game. We don't like losing to teams we don't play very often, so we're excited about this game."
San Diego beat Minnesota 81-7 at home, so they're looking equally as strong. The match will break one of the two undefeated records, and they'll have the opportunity for a rematch two weeks afterward.