On an unseasonably warm, late October day, the Village Lions took on the Brooklyn Women for their second meeting this Fall on Randall’s Island. The Leonas were the first of the three Lions’ sides to take the pitch that Saturday with an explosive start from the kick-off. They opened the scoring early, and would continue to do so, by getting the ball out wide to rookie Amanda Manu, who was playing on the wing.
The Lions set up their first two trys by getting the ball out to the wing and letting Manu’s speed burn Brooklyn’s defensive line. Captain and starting fly half, Ais Smith, made the conversion to increase the lead to 12-0. Brooklyn’s offense responded after a few pages and breaks through the Lions tackles with strong running – bringing the score to 12-5, and making it a real a contest.
However, Brooklyn’s momentum was short lived as the Lions went into the half leading Brooklyn 22-5. Support and heads-up thinking by scrumhalf Tara “Fraggle” Harten would prove beneficial to the pack as thunderous attacks (and trys) were set up by forwards Theresa Cassano and Sierra Cutler.
Given the great team work on the field, only a few changes were made at the half. Veteran player, Trish Stanely, came in as fresh legs for Erin McGee at blind side flanker and rookie Jessica “Cookie” Burke came in at loose-head for Emily Kunsman. Within minutes of start, Ais Smith got the ball on the outside to Amanda Manu thanks to some beautiful passing and looping through the back line. The Lions went up again with another try, bringing the score to 27-5.
One phase off of receiving the kick, Woman of the Match (WOM) Sam O’Brien broke through Brooklyn’s line at speed to run down the pitch to score. Immediately, Brooklyn reciprocated by breaking through the Leonas tackles and touch down for a score, making it an eventful start to the second half.
Despite Brooklyn’s best efforts and some moments of tit for tat scoring on their end, the Lions closed out the match with a healthy lead to the tune of 51-15. The Lions showed skill and aggression (perhaps a bit too much aggression as Manu received a yellow card late in the match) to bring home the first win of the day, and prove that Manhattan wins in the Battle of the Boroughs.
Final Score: Leonas 51 – Brooklyn 15
Leonas XV: 1 Emily Kunsman (Burke 40’) 2 Alli Baer (Corpus 74’) 3 Sari Warren (Berridge 55’ to 6, Cutler to 3) 4 Desiree Vodounon (Stephanie Diu 74’) 5 Theresa Cassano 6 Erin McGee (Stanley 40’) 7 Sam O’Brien 8 Sierra Cutler (Stanley to 8 at 55’) 9 Tara (Fraggle) Harten (Billitier 55’ to 10) 10 Aislinn Smith (to 9 at 55’) 11 Erika Kocher 12 Vicky Dushku 13 Megan (Canada) Banford 14 Amanda Manu (YC 74’) 15 Kristen Guernier
Subs: 16 Jessica (Cookie) Burke 17 G. Angela Corpus 18 Stephanie Diu 19 Tricia Stanley 20 Elizabeth Berridge 21 Stephanie (Colby) Ruys de Perez 22 Hailey Billitier 23 Chantal McCalla
Try Scorers: Cassano (2), Culter, O’Brien, Smith, Dushku, Manu (3)
Conversions: Smith (3)
Woman of the Match: Sam O’Brien
Silent Force: Alli Baer