Furies Take Denver by Storm

The DC Furies returned from Denver victorious in 3 out of 4 matches!

Furies Div 2 v. Glendale

The weekend kicked off with the Div 2 side taking on Glendale B at Infinity Park, outside the stadium.  Glendale had the Furies on their heels at the start, but DC quickly gained possession of the ball and moved it down the field.  Penalties to both sides kept play advancing in both directions.  As Glendale fought the Furies defense on the try line, Bethany Baker stole the ball and headed down the field.  The Furies gained in forward momentum, aided by infractions from Glendale.  As a team, DC advanced the ball.  Ellen Treimel found a gap through the defense and over the try line, putting the first points on the board: 5-0 Washington!  Glendale came back hard, putting the Furies on defense inside their 22 again.  The Furies consistently move the ball down the field, lose territory in a burst of Glendale offense, then recover possession to resume the offensive strike.  Well into the half Glendale make a break a scores.  The score is tied, 5-5 at the half.

The Furies were put to the test in the second half, playing continuous defense in their own end, but holding off Glendale from scoring again.  Several penalties by Glendale put the Furies in a forward motion and Dc put together continuous phases, to keep the ball moving down the field.  Glendale didn’t have the ball much for the rest of the half as the Furies dominated the play.  Two more tries for the Furies closed out the first Denver match a victory: 12-5 Furies!

Furies WPL v. Glendale

Inside the stadium, the Furies WPL side took the field against Glendale, the most recent addition to the Women’s Premier League.  The Furies played a fierce defense for the majority of the first half, defending within their 22, and warding off several potential Glendale tries.  Glendale manages to get one through and put points on the board, 5-0 Glendale.  On offense, flyhalf and captain Katie Bell distributed the ball neatly and consistently utilize forward inserts and her back line.  Kicks from Glendale’s flyhalf Hannah Stolba kept the Furies on their toes.  Fullback Emily Glodzik played a staunch defense and challenged Glendale with many kicks of her own.  Deep into the first half the Furies set a rolling maul off of a lineout and drive the ball over Glendale’s tryline to score.  Emily places a beautiful conversion kick and the score is 7-0 Furies!  Glendale recoups and works the ball across the field, spinning it wide to touchdown another try right before the halftime whistle. 12-7 Glendale at the half.

The Furies came out blazing to start the second half, pressuring Glendale with successive offensive phases.  However, Glendale finds the Furies’ weakness on defense and exploits the outside, bringing the score to 24-7.  On their heels from several Glendale tries, the Furies turn it up and find their stride again. With ball in hand Emily Glodzik breaks through the defense and scores! As time winds down DC continues to link up across the field and move forward and center Jeanna Beard sets another try for the Furies. Emily Glodzik demonstrates another beautiful conversion kick for the final score, 36-19 Glendale.

Following the game, the stadium announcer chooses a Player of the Match for each team.  Congratulations to Jeanna Beard for receiving this honor!  Glendale’s POM went to their scrumhalf Nina Safane, who with all graciousness affirmed that although WPL league competition doesn’t begin until the fall, to both teams “this was a real game.”

The Furies played hard in their first two matches in Denver, acclimating to the challenges of the altitude, and came away 1-1 for the day.  The team was hosted for a wonderful team dinner by Fury Leanna “Trip” Berger’s family, then rested up for another full day of rugby!

Furies WPL v. Black Ice

Eli WhiteDay 2 began bright and early with the first side kicking off against Black Ice at 9:30 am.  With a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in the distance, the Furies kick off against Denver’s Division 1 team, Black Ice.  Five minutes into the game Black Ice puts points on the board, but the Furies bring it back.  Captains Tiffany Smith and Katie Bell execute a textbook play and Tiff touches down a try to even the score.  Black Ice took to offense again and break through the line several phases off of kick off and score again, 12-5.  The half continues with many set pieces and successive phases from each team that meet a tough defense.  But as the half winds down the ball is in the hands of Laura Miller and the Furies score again.  The halftime score is even: 12-12.

With the second half underway Jeanna Beard sets the tone with a 40 m run.  Furies support each other and keep the momentum bursting down the field. Black ice gets a penalty on their own 22 and the Furies expertly distribute the ball across the back line.  Again, Laura Miller makes the try and Emily Glodzik nails the conversion.  Furies take the lead, 19-12.  Several deep kicks throughout the half keep both teams moving across the field.  DC continues pressure Black Ice offensively and Katie Bell sets up center Jeanna Beard for a try.  The Furies bring it back again- Emily breaks through the defense, sidesteps the wing and corner flags for another try.  Furies lead 33-12.  Despite frequent stoppage by the referee the Furies continue to link up and gain yardage, supporting one though fifteen.  Lock Joanna Bader makes a breakaway run and prop Tiffany is in support.  Another scrum down on the Furies’ attacking 10 m line puts Laura Miller in position to score again! 40-12 Furies.

DC continues to attack, putting together phases in front of the try line.  In the last minutes of the game scrumhalf Eli White slips between defenders for one more try to end the game.  Furies dominate Black ice, 45-12.  Head coach Nancy Fitz notes that “the second half of the Black Ice game was the best rugby the
WPL side has played this season.”

Furies Div 2 v. Black Ice

In the fourth and final match of the weekend the Furies Division 2 team took the pitch to play against Black Ice B.  The Furies kept their opponents on their heels for the first part of the game.  Repetitive scrums and penalties slowed the pace of the game, but scrumhalf and captain Brigid Beech saw an opportunity and made a break, carrying the ball 40 m up the field and setting the Furies in a forward motion.

A try by Bethany Baker sets the score, 7-0 Furies.  Black Ice then capitalized on a turn over ball, put together several phases to carry it into Furies territory and worked the ball to the outside to score.  DC continued to dominate offensively, keeping the ball close to Black Ice’s try line, but a turn over ball took it back down the field by Black Ice.  The Furies capitalized on some turnover ball of their own, swinging the ball out wide where is once again was in the hands of Bethany Baker for a sprint across the try line!  Black Ice scores again right before the half, bringing the score to 12-10 Furies at halftime.

The Furies come out relentless for the second and final half of the game.  Black Ice fumbles the ball and DC takes it for another try and conversion: 19-10.  Both teams see a series of turnovers in the second half, and it was a forwards’ game of set pieces.  But given the opportunity, the Furies find their groove, string together plays, and move the ball down the field.  A penalty to the furies in front of the Black Ice try line enables Beech to tack on 3 more points with a clean kick through the up-rights.  as the half marches on, Black Ice finds the Furies weakness on another turnover ball and sends a center through to score.  After a long half of turn over ball and set pieces, Baker takes one more run for the try line and ends the game with a score, 27-15 Furies!

Black Ice hosted the visiting team for a social where Players of the Match were recognized.  Black Ice called out Laura Miller and Katie Bell both for exceptional work on the pitch.  The Furies nominated Players of the Weekend from the WPL and Div2 sides, in recognition of the hard work and display of skill from teammates.. From the WPL side this award went to Jeanna Beard, and the Div 2 side collectively nominated Baker as the Player of the Weekend.  Overall it was an exciting weekend of earned wins and hard-played rugby.  Head Coach Nancy Fitz says,  “In all four games, we had strong second halves which is a great accomplishment considering how much rugby we played in 24 hours, the size of the fields, the temperature, and the altitude.  I think it shows  that people have been working hard on their fitness, although we can still improve.”

Of the weekend Div 2 Head Coach Dre Khoury says, “I couldn’t be prouder of the Furies Division 2 side. This past weekend confirmed our commitment to take the B side to the next level and be able to compete with the best Division 2 teams in the country. We still have a lot to work on … but playing back to back games at the higher altitude with new combinations showed the potential that this team has.”

Over the course of the weekend many players stepped into different roles, players from other teams joined the Furies on the pitch, and former Furies players took the field again with the team.  Many thanks to everyone who came out and played with the Furies! Thanks to Glendale RFC and Black Ice for hosting us!

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