The Amazons posted a monstrous 62-10 win yesterday, defeating longtime rival Minnesota Valkyries in the teams' Women's Premier League opener.
"You're always surprised when you score that many points," Twin Cities coach Roger Bruggemeyer said, "especially since we haven't had any warm-up games. It's exciting because we haven't beaten the Valkyries in a meaningful game in a long time."
The difference was the Amazons' backline. Seven of the 10 tries came out of the backs, with the remaining three coming from MVP flanker Amanda Kingzett. Outside center Lynelle Kugler was particularly damaging and ran in three tries over the course of 80 minutes. Wing Kaelene Lundstrum had two, and flyhalf Rebecca Radtke and inside center Sylvia Braaten both added five-pointers. Radtke also slotted six conversions.
"Last year, our backline was starting to work well together," Bruggemeyer said, "and they've had more time to breed off each other. They created a lot of space and did a lot damage."
Bruggemeyer was less pleased with the forwards' performance. The Valkyries contested the breakdown and set pieces well; unfortunately for the visitors, any time there was a turnover, the Amazons would ship it out to their backs, and that spelled trouble for the scoreboard.
"The continuity of our forward play was disjointed," Bruggemeyer reflected on areas of play that needed improvement. "We were a little behind in everything, not running well together as a group. And for the backs, even though we scored 10 tries, we didn't finish a lot of 2-on-1s. Some of that is because we haven't played together much yet, but by the end of the season, I expect it to be mechanical."
Bruggemeyer was careful to make sure that this big win didn't inflate his players' confidence.
"As a coach, I always worry about, but I have a good way to keep their heads level," Bruggemeyer said. "I'm never going on about the good things but insist that we can keep working to get better. It was a good win, but it's only the first win."
New York comes to Minnesota next weekend, and the team is excited to play the reigning champions considering they dropped their opener against San Diego Sunday.