FLL Semifinal 23

On the most important Saturday to ever grace the DeLaSalle Saints calendar, both the ladies’ and the men’s teams took the field at Ravelinstrasse Football Zentrum to fight for their spot in the big FLL and FLA finals. As it is custom, the ladies did go first, playing their semi-final against a familiar, yet always challenging team, the Amstetten Thunder Ladies. Excitement filled the air, as the ladies were itching to get on the field, so much so, that everyone made it to warm-up earlier than required. There to support on the sidelines, were not only the Saints Men (who honestly had no excuse not to be present, as they were warming up for their own game), but also family and friends proudly flying the newly acquired Saints flags.

And just like that, it was semi-finals time. The ever hasty and chaotic lineup on the Saints sideline took place, Captains Saskia and Sophie shook hands with the opponent captains, the referee tossed that infamous coin and as fate would have it: Loss! However, the Thunder Ladies chose to start the first half with the ball, so actually a Win in Captain Sophie’s book (Author’s note: disagree).

Historically, playoff and final games have been defensive games for the Saints Ladies, so the defense unit took the field buzzing, but confident and fully prepared. The first Thunder drive proved short, as they were not allowed to make it past the first down line. Receiver turned defense cast regular, Alba had apparently forgotten her catching hands at home, as she only managed to bat the ball down on the opponent’s 4th down. Nevertheless, the team could let out a breath they did not know they were holding, as the offense had the ball in its own hands now. Unfortunately, the Saints could not turn this drive into points, as catches were also followed by drops.

On the other side of the ball, the Saints defense took care of business and although Thunder receivers were showing safe hands, they did not manage to reach the Endzone once again. Having got rid of the first day of school nerves, the offense started this game anew, as consistent catches from Claudia, Franny and Steffi, were crowned at the end of the drive with a beautiful TD from Jess. Saints were finally on the board.

For the next two defensive drives, the opponents did not manage any first downs, as DBs Esther, Saskia, Sophie, Alba and Carola only allowed short completions followed by immediate, lightning fast flag pulls. The Saints offense reciprocated in kind with safe hands all around, crisp routes and a Touchdown by the Tower of Power, Jessica Macharia.

On the closing drive of the half, the Thunder Ladies brought out their A game in offense, scoring their first points of the game, courtesy of an outstanding catch by their slot receiver, all that while being in double coverage.

Ending the first half one score in front of the opponents, did not yet mean job well done. There was still business to be taken care of, and luckily the Saints offense had checked their e-mails, because duties were fulfilled, dimes were thrown and caught, and a Touchdown was scored. Defense had studied the night before the exam too, stopping the Thunder Ladies at the first down mark, thanks to a deflection by Captain Spitzer.

If you know one thing about the Saints offense, is that once they get the ball rolling, there is no obstacle to bring a stop to it. QB Sassi and receiver Steffi had neither the time, nor the patience to keep the Saints fans on the edges of their seats, so they decided to connect on a spectacular 45-yard Touchdown from their own 5-yard line! After these Hall of Fame level stats, defense took the field again, after a very short break, courtesy of the two aforementioned rascals. The Thunder Ladies showed resilience, by completing relentlessly on their closing drive, topping it off with another faultless catch in the Endzone. Nonetheless, Father Time was on the Saints side, as they took the field one last time with the goal of getting a first down, and practically ending the game on their own terms. And just that they did! Saints win the semi-final with a score of 27:13.

(Scores: #84 Jessica Macharia 19p, #42 Stefanie Schönecker 8p)

The job was finally done, the ladies were free to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of their hard work. Congratulations are in order as well for the Amstetten Thunder Ladies, on an outstanding season and we wisht them good luck on their small final game for 3rd place.

The referee’s whistle sealed another grand final appearance for the Saints Ladies, a 3rd in 5 FLL seasons played! Still euphoric from this achievement, the ladies remained on the field to cheer on and support the Men’s Team on the sidelines. That nail-biting semi-final deserves its own game report, and it shall indeed get one, but for now this one spoiler: They made the FLA Final for the first time in history!

A most successful playoffs weekend came to an end, with the promise of the biggest day in club history yet to come, where both teams are going to play for the championship title. Saints Family, this is your chance to come support the teams and witness history!

15:00 FLL Final: DeLaSalle Saints Ladies vs Vienna Constables

16:30 FLA Final: DeLaSalle Saints Men vs Vienna Vipers

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