September 28, 2019
Randall’s Island NYC
The Leonas kicked off the rugby program of the Village Lions RFC Fall 2019 Friends and Family with a 53-7 thumping of cross town rivals Brooklyn Women.
The match marked the return of Desiree Vodounon, who made her start on the wing and scored 2 first half tries. It was an evenly distributed scoring effort for the Leonas, with eight different players touching down for the club and Stephanie Ruys de Perez potting four conversions.
The win over Brooklyn comes as a statement for the Leonas, having been knocked out of the playoffs by them last Spring.
“It was important for all of us that we get the win over Brooklyn,” said Captain Alli Baer. “They beat us for the first time ever in our playoff match last season and we were not going to let that happen again.”
“They are and have been a rival of ours,” shared Vice Captain Liz Berridge. “And over the past year we’ve had very competitive games with narrower scoreline margins. After falling to them last spring season and having that in the back of our minds, being able to win this one is great. They’ve certainly proved themselves to be a growing and threatening team, so I look forward to our future match-ups.”
“New head coach Cobus Gomes has a strategy and game plan,” Berridge continued, “and with its focus on skills and spacing we have seen successes.”
“Cobus is implementing a new game plan/pattern of play that, as a forward, goes against all of your natural instincts.” added Baer. “However, we practiced it a lot in the week leading up to the game and after about 20-30 minutes, we made it happen on the field and it was very successful.”
“We have a ton of individual talent, great rookies, and people coming back from injuries that contribute to the success of the team,” Baer continued. “One problem we had in the past was playing as 15 individuals, but with this new style of play, it will facilitate 15 as 1.”
From her new vantage point at 9, Liz calls out the experienced locks of Michelle Dimitri and rookie Allie Cahoon as having a huge contribution in the scrum, as well as in the loose with their dependable, hard-hitting ball carrying. Rookie #8, Adriana Castillo, has been holding down the scrums this season, and with two tries already in three games she’s certainly proving her prowess.
Logan Bays, was also been singled out for her performance on the wing. “It’s been great to see Logan’s on-field decisions and tactical ‘rugby-smarts’ develop and demonstrated during live play,” added Berridge.
Woman of the Match, Tie: Rachel Elson, Sarah Bogdan
Silent Force: Stephanie Ruys de Perez
Scorers: Desiree Vodounon (2T), Rachel Elson (T), Logan Bays (T), Katlin Davis (T), Michelle Dmitri (T), Allie Calhoun (T), Victoria Dushku (T), Adriana Castillo (T), Stephanie Ruys de Perez (4C).
1. Sari Warren
2. Alli Baer (C)
3. Zoe Newman (Sarah Bogden 34:00)
4. Allie Cahoon (Steph Diu 75:00)
5. Michele Dmitri
6. Yuly Mendez
7. Tara Harten (Ela Van 65:00)
8. Adriana Castillo
9. Liz Berridge (VC)
10. Victoria Dushku
11. Logan Bays (Katlin Davis 30:00) (Raquel Gutierez 75:00)
12. Ais Smith (Precious Cummings 75:00)
13. Rachel Elson
14. Desiree Vodounon
15. Stephanie Ruys de Perez
16. Ela Van
17. Katlin Davis
18. Precious Cummings
19. Marrit van Heen
20. Raquel Gutierez
21. Sarah Bogden
22. Steph Diu
23. Lisa Angeles
Head Coach: Cobus Gomes
Team Manager: Mikayla Coxe