FLL Week 4/23
Due to previous injuries during the season, the defense had notable absences with veteran defensive backs Sophie Spitzer and Eva Krancan having sacrificed a knee each for the love of the game. Under these dire circumstances, receiver Alba Gumbardhi was forced to leave her beloved offense behind and help out where needed most.
Set to face the Saints first were the Amstetten Thunder, who at that point occupied the second place in the rankings. Captains Saskia and Saskia won the coin toss for the team, but the first 7 points of the day went to the Thunder after a slow start from both teams. They went on to score twice more in the first half, managing to convert all three extra points as well. The Saints offense replied in kind with Steffi Schönecker and Jessica Macharia scoring 12 points, but because the opponent’s defense was able to hold on both PATs, the team went in the halftime in a two score deficit to the Lower Austrians.
With the beginning of the second half, the Saints receivers found their groove, converting drive after drive, with the remaining receivers Claudia Freiberger and Anja Pewny getting on the board as well. Defense was not far behind holding all but one of the Amstetten attempts to reach their Endzone. The Saints manage to claw their way out of this one and take the second win against the Amstetten Thunder Ladies with a score of 32:28.
(Scores: #84 Jessica Macharia 24p, #42 Stefanie Schönecker 6p, #2 Anja Pewny 1p, #39 Claudia Freiberger 1p; Sacks: #66 Eszter Novak 1x)
Rest is for the weak, so along marched the Saints Ladies to the next game of the day against the Tirol Adler. Earlier in the season the Saints managed to win the first matchup against the Eagles from the far away land, but not without trouble. Defense started the game solidly, managing to stop every drive of the first half, helped by an early interception from Captain Saskia Macharia. Not wasting any opportunities, the offense, led by QB Saskia Stribrny converted that turnover into points and with that every other drive of the first half. The usual suspects Jessica and Steffi scored 13 points each on this half, with Liz Bringas also getting her first 6 points of the day.
After the small halftime break the offense started with the ball, scoring another 7 points and putting the Saints in a very comfortable position. Because of this lead provided by the ever scoring offense, the Saints defense had the luxury of playing more gutsy, culminating in a QB sack by Eszter and a pick from Alba. Towards the end of the game, the Saints took their foot off the gas, allowing a last drive TD from the opponents on an impressive breakaway run from their own half. Nevertheless, a job well done by the team ending the game in a 46:6 win.
(Scores: #84 Jessica Macharia 19p, #42 Stefanie Schönecker 19p, #11 Elizabeth Bringas 6p, #2 Anja Pewny 1p, #39 Claudia Freiberger 1p; Interceptions: #9 Saskia Macharia 1x, #31 Alba Gumbardhi 1x; Sacks: #66 Eszter Novak)
Since winning requires a lot of energy, a lunch break was well earned by the team before their third and last game of the day versus the Vienna Vikings. A slow start was in the stars for both teams in this match, with none of the first three opening offensive drives being successful. QB Saskia and her band of receivers took matters into their own hands after this, never to be stopped again in the first half scoring a total of 21 points by receivers Jess, Claudia and Anja. Defense did a great job of stopping the Vikings offense, especially their tricky flat crosses and dangerous runs.
The unsung heroes of this defense, full-time cornerbacks and part-time blitzers (also known as Esther, Helena, Eszter and our guest player from Finland, Carola Lindholm) made the Viking’s offensive feat of getting yards after catch impossible in their short zones. This pattern followed the teams well into the second half, with the Saints offense scoring two more touchdowns, and their defense only allowing one opposing score in the closing drive of the game. Thanks to her football IQ and speedy legs, defense captain Saskia Macharia had more opportunities to catch a ball than most receivers get in a lifetime, but could sadly not make her interception dreams come true. Nonetheless, another game, another win (34:14) for the Saints Ladies making it three for three on the day.
(Scores: #84 Jessica Macharia 14p, #2 Anja Pewny 13p, #39 Claudia Freiberger 7p; Interceptions: #31 Alba Gumbardhi 1x)
With a record of 7-2, the team now sees itself in a much comfortable second position in the rankings, also securing a definite place for the FLL playoffs on the 30th of September. Returning next weekend, the Saints seek to end this regular season on a high, playing against the FLL leaders Constables as well as the Tigers and Knights/Vipers at the Football Center Ravelinstraße in Vienna.
Next Gameday, 16th of September: 12:30 vs Tigers 13:45 @ Constables 16:15 @ Knights/Vipers
Die folgenden Fotos wurden uns von Andreas Zügler zur Verfügung gestellt.
Die folgenden Fotos wurden uns von Fabian Hwan-Hee zur Verfügung gestellt.