Village Lions vs. Albany
Albany 40 - Village Lions 5
September 24th, 2011
Fresh off a bye week and sporting a record of 1-1, Albany looked to climb over the .500 mark with a win against their visitors from NYC, the Village Lions. Albany and the Lions have a long history together, both clubs formed in 2000 and met for much of that 10 year history in the NRU D2 play-offs. Take those championship battles and add in a yearly "friendly" match and you get the recipe for a strong rivalry. The Lions, like Providence, had moved up to D1 a year before Albany so they already had a year of experience playing at this level headed into the contest. In the last meeting of the two clubs (April 2011), it was a hard fought battle on the turf of Randal's Island. Albany won the A-side match that day and with few personnel changes coming from either club since the spring, this falls’ meeting looked to be just as intense.
Albany opened the game much the way they did in the spring- rucking well and the spinning the ball out to the backs who looked to create the space that would get one of them thru to the tryzone. And just as in the spring, it was JoAnne Kos who started finding the gaps in defense and with only 10 minutes of play gone she had visited the tryzone twice and showed some kindness to the kicker (herself) by touching down close to the goal posts; 14-0 Albany.
After letting in the quick scores the Lions redoubled their defensive efforts and the game remained a back and forth affair for the next 20. The Albany forwards put in some strong rucking and offloading skills that prop Mary Pezzulo turned into 5 points off a power pick and go. Fullback Beth Fairall capped the scoring for the first half with a run on the outside that she smartly centered for 5 and JoAnne tacked on her third conversion of the day; Albany 26 - Village Lions 0 at the half.
With the weather warm for a mid-September afternoon, Albany started rolling in their subs in the second to prevent the fade. The fresh legs paid off when winger Willow Eyers scored shortly after getting into the match and provided a much needed energy boost to the club. The Kos conversion followed and made the score 33-0 with just under 30 to play.
Rookie back Catie Prehn showed some great power running by breaking thru the center of the Lions line for her first try as a member of this club. Another conversion by JoAnne (5 for 6 on the day) gave the club a 40 point lead with just under 10 to play. The Lions fought hard the rest of the way and had their efforts pay off in injury time with a try of their own and the game ended with the score 40-5.
With the win, Albany was now 2-1… positioning them in the center of the CR3 table and looking to move up with three games left to play.
MVPs: Caitie Pre
Albany's competitive DII women's rugby club.