Recap of the Baltimore Dockers’ Journey to a Men’s Division IV National Championship

In its inaugural season, the Baltimore Dockers sailed into beautiful but chilly Racine, Wisconsin ready to compete for a USAFL Division IV National Championship. The Dock Show rolled deep with 29 men, but USAFL rules only allow 24 players on a roster for each game. With a good problem to have, Coach Bryn Hansen had to make some tough decisions, but in the end, everyone got on the field, everyone had a run, and we can proudly say that everyone is a national champion!

Throughout the tournament, the entire team displayed skills that we have been working on all season long. From fitness trainings in early January at Reflex Functional Fitness to fall practices under the lights at Lansdowne High School, every member of the Dockers club put in the work for ten months to give the team a chance at a Division IV National Championship. By the end of the tournament, few could walk without pain, no one had a voice, and one unlucky lad even left on crutches.

All weekend, the Baltimore Dockers showed heart and determination on and off the field. Not only can we say that we are national champions, we can also say that we are best mates.

 

First Round vs. Seattle Grizzlies – Saturday at 12 pm

Going into the first game versus the Seattle Grizzlies, the Dockers were amped up and a tad nervous. The nerves showed in the first half as the Grizzlies used windy Racine to their advantage and managed to put up a handful of goals on the Dockers’ veteran defense. Down by quite a bit at halftime, the Dockers were determined to get back in the game.

The initial nerves dissipated in the second half and the Dockers got back to playing their brand of footy, which they had crafted all season long in training. Defenders Pete Gormley and Mike “Mad Dog” Gilbart helped shut down the Grizzlies’ offense in the second half and the Dockers prospered from having the wind to their backs with goals by Ian Payne and Albert Kobe. A punch to the throat did not stop Dan “Wristy” Zimmermann from attacking the footy all game. Bryn Hansen, Travis “Rocket” Flight, and Nick Sisca led the charge in the middle of the field as the Dockers entertained the grounds with some premiership-level footy towards the end of the game.

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies’ commanding first half lead was too much for the Dockers to overcome. Seattle’s bear attack left the Dockers badly bruised, but ultimately, it was not enough to sink the ship.

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First Round vs. Atlanta Kookaburras – Saturday at 3 pm

The Dock Show did not travel all the way to Racine, Wisconsin to go 0-2 on the first day. After a close loss to Seattle, Baltimore was focused on righting the ship versus the Atlanta Kookaburras. With an early goal by first-year player Jack Chalmers, the Dockers built on that momentum and never looked back.

After multiple goals from veterans Ian Payne and Kit Drury, the Dockers’ bench put on a display that few USAFL teams could replicate. The Dock Show benefited from goals by first-year players Johnny O’Connor and Josh Hildebrand, and the cunning bloke Greg “Frenchy” Brétière scored what some are calling the “goal of the century.” (Well, he’s calling it that.)

Baltimore also profited from aggressive play by Aaron Wolff and Paul “Flippy” LaShier, who hunted the footy every second they were on the pitch. Self-proclaimed “greatest goal-kicker in USAFL history,” Scott “Stacks” Bradford, lived up to the title when he got in on the action in the second half. And Matthew “Bunda” Byrne demonstrated that age is just a number with his offensive prowess and high footy IQ.

Like that scene in “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” the Dockers’ ship invaded the grounds at the SCORe Complex in Racine. And when the final horn sounded, this massacre left the field covered in feathers and these Kookaburras were not laughing about it.

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National Semifinal vs. Nashville Kangaroos – Sunday at 10 am

Entering the semifinal on Sunday morning, the stakes were high for the Baltimore Dockers. Win or go home. Thanks to strong leadership and determined veterans, the Dockers kept their composure and were not fazed by the Kangaroos from the Music City. Shortly after first bounce, long-time veteran Kit Drury got the Dock Show started with a beautiful goal.

With suffocating pressure led by Bryn Hansen, Terence “Tez” McAuliffe and Jesse Galdston, Nashville hardly was able to get the ball into their forward fifty throughout the game. Baltimore continued to tack on points with goals by Jack Chalmers and Albert Kobe. And the midfield held their ground as the Dockers maintained a commanding lead in the second half. Onballers Ben Crenca and Nick Tyson helped control possession and Nashville’s two forward lines barely touched the ball in the second half. Throughout the game, forwards Tracy Williams and Zeluis “Ze” Teixeira used their large frames to shepherd (or block) their opponents  and create space on the Dockers’ side of the field. And attackers Mark “Ski” Salansky and Brian “Boz” Thornton helped build a zone around Baltimore’s forward fifty to prevent the ball from advancing beyond the midfield.

Nashville did their best to play their style of footy, but they could not be saved by another “music city miracle.” The only hearts getting broken in this country song were the Kangaroos’ as they hopped off the field. Up the Dockers!

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Division IV Grand Final vs. Seattle Grizzlies – Sunday 1 pm

The Baltimore Dockers were humbled by the initial matchup with the Seattle Grizzlies, but were confident they would meet the bears in the Division IV Grand Final if they were so lucky to advance that far. Determined to get revenge, the Dockers were calm, cool, and collected entering their final game of the tournament. Knowing that this was the final forty minutes of the season, the Dock Show was ready to leave everything on the field.

Despite going down by a goal early in the first half, the Dockers came sailing back with a strong core up the middle of the field. Rocket, Ian Payne, and Kit Drury led the ball movement throughout the duration of the game. Nick Sisca showed why he is captain of the club winning nearly every 50/50 ball in his direction. Nick Tyson may not be able to kick straight (with 10 behinds throughout the tournament), but he used his speed and strength in the middle of the field to keep the ball on the Dockers’ offensive side of the ground.

Baltimore held a strong lead at halftime but the shine of the cup may have distracted them from where their attention needed to be. The Grizzlies came roaring back in the second half, when the Dockers’ defense broke down for the first time all tournament. Then, after a scary injury to first-year legend Josh Hildebrand, the Dockers were inspired to get back on track. Forwards Wristy, Neale Williams, and Andrew Pike helped maintain possession of the ball in the Dockers’ forward fifty. Late in the game, the Baltimore defense buckled down with a couple of key marks by Tez and some clutch spoils by Will Lothian and Mike Horney. Albert Kobe was a true sailor providing tremendous marks and goals in the first half and defending the ship late in second half.

Ultimately, the Seattle Grizzlies put up a noble fight but were mauled by a large vessel that could not be docked. The Baltimore Dockers cruised to victory and were crowned USAFL Division IV National Champions. By hoisting the cup, the Dockers became the first club to ever win a National Championship in their inaugural season. (We are still fact checking this.)

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Tournament Notes and Accolades

Dockers Midfielder Flippy made his umpiring debut during the championship tournament and did a fantastic job, receiving a perfect score from all the fans – except for his fellow Docker teammates who playfully heckled him from the sidelines of each game. Great work Flip!

At the trophy ceremony, Dockers President Ian Payne was named the “Best on Ground” for Division IV and Rocket was named Grand Final MVP. Absolutely well deserved!

The Dockers’ championship trophy (or “Cuppy” as we are calling it) could not have been secured without contributions by all the players mentioned above, as well as the Dockers players who could not make the trip but challenged the team in training all year. Welcome to the team Cuppy!

Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, and board members who supported the team all season and provided the Dockers with necessary resources that made the trip to Racine possible. We could not have done it without you.

We are all National Champions! Let’s celebrate!

The Baltimore Dockers are USAFL Division IV National Champions!

 

The Baltimore Dockers are USAFL Division IV National Champions!

What an intro to Coach’s Corner this month. While the bruises are still purple and the body sore from our weekend in Racine WI at the USAFL National Tournament, the smile has not yet faded.  We went to Racine to win our division and after a hard-fought win against Seattle (combined with Las Vegas and Arizona) in the grand final we did just that.

I am very proud of all those who put the boots on for Baltimore this year as we went about establishing ourselves both on and off the field. It has been a steep learning curve for myself in a coaching role, no less so than those who have had a run around playing “footy” with us for the first time ever this year.

The Dockers had a solid training regime coming into the Nationals competition and I believe this helped us achieve our goal for 2018. The additional numbers we had helped us train in the style we wanted to play- to hold possession and to lock the ball into our offensive half as much as possible. Game style football training (practice) is where I believe we need to direct our focus to continue to develop as a club and achieve higher goals moving forward. We trained hard in the final month and it really did show on the field. Skills and fitness will obviously be a steady diet for the Aussie footy player but where we can really develop the nuances of the game is with game style training.

In the first game of Nationals 2018, Baltimore were a little slow out of the blocks. This was against Seattle, our Nationals nemesis. Whilst not outplayed, missed scoring shots and a lack of focus had the Dockers with their backs against the wall. The second half was a very different story however and Baltimore were very unlucky after sustained pressure to lose by 4 points.

This was the last game they lost and from then on Baltimore played “Our Style of Footy”. This oft repeated mantra (cue Ian Payne and myself) related to the type of football we wanted to play and what that meant if we played that style- i.e. we would play clean, tough, fast moving football. We would be having fun on the field and all this together will lead to victory. Essentially this is the style we want play and what we want to be known for in the future.

This determined play style led to the team hoisting the DIV IV Cup and celebrating the tough victory at Nationals.

This really is an amazing achievement for a new club. This has been made possible due to the massive amounts of hard work put in behind the scenes by the Dockers board members. I thank you for all your efforts. I also thank all those that came down and had a run and for those that helped throughout the year. Thank you to those that flew back from Aus to put the boots on for us again, you know who you are.

It has been a great year for the Baltimore Dockers and I believe this success will continue if we can stay together and continue having fun as a team (and as always at the end of my coach’s corner, KEEP COMING TO TRAINING!)

See you all at the end of year windup.

Brynno

Despite losses, Dockers women have an a-maize-ing time at USAFL Nationals

The Lady Eagles had a tremendous regular season going 5-2 and winning the Eastern Regional Tournament in June. This past weekend we headed to the USAFL Nationals in Racine Wisconsin to close out our season.

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The Lady Eagles played in Division II on a combined team with the Boston Demons and the Des Moines Roosters. We began the weekend with a chilly morning game against the Calgary Kookaburras (combined with Arizona Lady Hawks, North Star Blue Ox, and Nashville Kangaroos). The first half was a little slow for the Lady Eagles, as we learned to work together as a combined team and communicate with one another to move the ball up the field. We began to feel more comfortable as the game wore on and played stronger in the second half. It was a very defensive game, with our back line and midfield working hard to keep the ball out of the goal. In the end, we ultimately fell to the Kookaburras.

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As we continued to gel as a team, we felt more confident going into our afternoon game against our Eastern foes, the Columbus Cats combined with the Philadelphia Hawks and Chicago Swans. The Cats struck first but Kristin scored our first point of the tournament with a behind. Lough continued our scoring with two goals of her own. However, some costly penalties led to good scoring opportunities for the Cats, who came away with the win in the end. It was a hard fought match on both sides and we were proud of the team effort that we put in on day 1 of Nationals.

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The Lady Eagles continued their Nationals Tournament with a very early game on Sunday morning against the Texas Heat combined with Los Angeles Dragons and Oklahoma. The Lady Eagles struck first with two behinds by Kristin and later two more by Kendall and Lough, but were unable to capitalize on these scoring chances and kick a goal. We competed well and played strong in the defensive end. The backline led by Christina and Tatiana played particularly well allowing only one goal and a behind. However, that proved to be enough for the win.

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Our last game of the tournament was against a very strong side that combined two teams previously in Division I, the Sacramento Suns and the Montreal Angels. The Suns dominated the game, with the ball rarely leaving our defensive end. Our defense and midfield were relentless nonetheless, working hard to prevent further scoring opportunities and clear the ball into the forward 50. Despite a solid effort, we fell to the Suns.

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Even though our Nationals did not go as we had hoped, it was still an awesome time. We were able to cheer the Baltimore Dockers to their first Division IV Nationals Championship in our first year as a club, which was amazing! We also had a great Silly Sunday celebrating the season and the Dockers’ Championship throughout the night in Milwaukee.

I could not be prouder of this Lady Eagles team as I reflect back on this 2018 USAFL season. We came together as a team and grew stronger with each game. We fielded 14-16+ players at almost every game, which was incredible. It has been so great to watch the women’s team grow over the past few years. Our Eastern Regional Championship (and celebrating the win in Philly), was of course the highlight of the season, really demonstrating the skill, talent, heart, and tenacity of our team. I cannot wait to see what the Lady Eagles do next year, as we continue to get better and stronger this offseason!

Thanks for supporting the women this year and stay tuned for 2019!

Dockers close out 2018 regular season in Philadelphia

This Saturday, the Dockers men’s team played their final games of the 2018 regular season in Philadelphia. In the USAFL’s traditional format, three teams gather in one city for a round-robin format in which each team plays the other two. The Dockers’ opponents were the New York Magpies and the Philadelphia Hawks.

The Dockers brought sixteen players, a mix of veterans and first-gamers, to face two of the largest and best-organized teams in the Eastern Australian Football League. Although the Dockers eventually lost both games, they played proudly throughout.

Game 1 started as a back-and-forth contest between the Dockers and Magpies, before the New York pulled ahead with three goals late in the first half. In the second half, the Dockers’ back line played with their trademark intensity and skill, holding the experienced Magpies without a goal.

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Game 2 was a low-scoring defensive battle throughout the first half, with the halftime score level at 9-9. But as the game wore on, Philadelphia’s superior numbers made the difference, as the Hawks scored eight unanswered goals plus two behinds for a final score of 59-9.

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And so the Baltimore Dockers men’s team closes out its first-ever regular season of operations after playing an incredible 17 matches, finishing with a record of 5 wins and 12 losses. Their next appearance will be the weekend of October 13, 2018 at the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) National Championships in Racine, Wisconsin. Matchups for championship weekend will be announced next week.

Game Recaps: Women’s team goes 2-1 in away games

Women’s team victory in Boston

The Lady Eagles traveled to Boston at the end of August to take on the Boston Lady Demons on a combined team with the Philadelphia Hawks. We played with smaller sides on a condensed field, which led to a very fast paced game. Strong defensive play by Lough and Christina prevented many scoring opportunities by the Lady Demons and enabled quick transitions into the midfield and forward lines. Our midfield and forwards were dominant, scoring 16 goals and 17 behinds over 4 quarters of play. The Lady Eagles emerged victorious. We celebrated our victory with a night out in the city and some Australian pies and sausage rolls then capped off the celebration with a boat race win!

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East/West Showdown: Magpie shutout, then shut out by the Maidens

In early September, the Lady Eagles traveled to New York for the East/West Showdown and the end of the regular footy season. This tournament featured teams and players from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic along with California, Arizona, and Seattle. We began our tournament with a game against our Eastern Region rivals, the New York Lady Magpies. The Lady Eagles were dominant all game. The defense was a wall, blocking any scoring chances. The midfield led by Molly and Karen kept up the pressure, turning over the ball and transitioning it well up-field. We had good intensity and communicated well. Kristin scored the two goals for the Lady Eagles in their decisive victory.

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Next, we took on the San Francisco Iron Maidens, who were the Division I USAFL National Champions in 2017. The Iron Maidens were a very strong side and moved the ball well throughout the game. We played well defensively but our communication broke down, which made it difficult to effectively clear and transition the footy down the field. Despite the loss, the game was an excellent learning opportunity and helped us prepare further for USAFL Nationals. The San Francisco Iron Maidens also beat New York and were crowned the winners of the East/ West Showdown. Following the games, we celebrated all together in the city!

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Our fantastic regular season has come to a close. We went 5-2 in regular season play and won the USAFL Eastern Regional Championship. Next up, we travel to Racine, Wisconsin on October 14 for the USAFL Nationals. We will play combined with another team (to be announced) in Division II as we look to continue our winning season and hopefully bring back some hardware! Stay tuned!

Coach’s Corner – August 2018

It has been a hot and steamy month this August in Dockerland. Not to mention the weather, which has been rather warm of late too. After a few disappointing weeks with low numbers at training we have seen a surge of late with nearly 20 on the track the last few sessions.

Awesome!

This has helped us to continue our match simulation drills and full field pieces.

We believe that if we can continue training in this game play style with a good number of players we will start seeing the results on the field. We have the talent in our ranks. We just need to continue working together to learn the most effective ways to limit scoring at our defensive end and transition down the field to maximize damage.

We have played 3 games since the last issue. The first was a full 4 quarter game against North Carolina Tigers. They unfortunately only had 14 or 15 players that travelled with them to Baltimore to face us and we won convincingly. The delivery to Ian Payne in the forward line was crisp and allowed him to run on to mark the ball out in front. He finished up with eight or so goals, and was the major goal kicker on the day. The biggest takeaway from this game was the attitude and team spirit that was evident from the start. We wanted to win and were willing to work together to make it happen.

Last weekend saw the Dockers travel up to Philly to play a mini tourney against them and D.C. We finished up 1 & 1. We easily took care of D.C. who unfortunately were missing a plethora of their usual best. They tried, but were unable to impact the scoreboard. Josh Richards led the way for the backline, the midfielders owned the middle and Ian Payne, Kit and the rest of the forward line finishing off with near constant scoring. Another team effort with all on the field putting their head and body on the line.

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The Philadelphia Hawks have shown what it takes to win in this Eastern Division and have been the benchmark this year. We Dockers can take a leaf out of their book in relation to ball movement from the back half- something we will be working on every training session. We had a tough hit out against them, unfortunately going down by about 4 goals. Most of the Dockers (myself included) were out of legs and the fresh Hawks got away from us in the 2nd half. It was a good hit out though and I look forward to playing them again next month over 4 quarters to see where we really lie. Rocket ended up best on ground over the 2 games. Unfortunately, we say goodbye to Rocket until Nationals but we have improved as a playing group with the time he has spent with us.

August has been a good month for us. With consistent training and a well set game plan, there is no limit to how far this team can go in the USAFL. We continue to prepare for Nationals and have a very busy schedule in September.

Come see us play at our next home game. Bring a chair, bring your dog, and enjoy a sausage roll and a beer as we take on Philadelphia on September 8 (unless you want super fan credentials and travel to Boston next weekend!)

Thanks,

Bryn

 

 

Women’s team racks up another win in Philly

The Lady Eagles continued their fantastic season this past weekend in Philadelphia, squaring off against the Philly Hawks and Boston Lady Demons.

After a bit of a late start, we took on the Demon/Hawks, in a high-scoring game that was neck and neck until the third quarter.  Despite nearing thunder, we finished out the third quarter with a narrow lead, only to endure a perilously long gap before the fourth quarter with a show of lightning and impressive rain.  But the long delay did not drag down the momentum, as we hammered in a couple more goals to secure the lead.

The Lady Eagles emerged victorious in our highest scoring game of the season, with goals from Molly, Mims, and Mariam – not to mention a hat trick by Baltimore’s Kristin Poti, earning her best on ground for the match. Strong play in the backline led by Bel and Ella and in the midfield by Kendall Jennings, Molly, and Alex allowed for good transitions up the field, creating many opportunities for the forward line. 

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The Lady Eagles continue to grow stronger as a team with each match, and we hope to carry this momentum into the final stretch of the regular season and into Nationals in October. Our next game will be August 25 in Boston, where will face off once again with the Boston Lady Demons and Philly Hawks. Then on September 8, we head to New York for the East Coast/ West Coast Showdown, which should be a fun and exciting day of footy between all the women’s teams on the East Coast and San Francisco. Stay tuned!     

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Coach’s Corner: Exciting Times Ahead

The Baltimore Dockers have been very busy this summer. Training, playing, socialising and saying goodbye to a couple of midfield legends we have been playing alongside with over this year and for some many years. It is sad to see Brent Bates and Neale Williams head back to Australia but we wish them the best and thank them for being such good clubmates.

These departures have created a good opportunity for some new blood in the middle of the field, or “the guts” as it is known. These positional changes have occurred not only in the middle, but right across the field as we are trying to find the best suited positions for both our new and veteran players. This is one of the many challenges we face as a new club.

To paraphrase Jay Z, we got 99 problems, but lack of numbers on gameday ain’t one.

We have been very fortunate to have great numbers at our games this year, typically above 25 people. This is due to the incredible work being done behind the scenes by the Docker’s board and the commitment being shown by the players.

On the field of late we have had mixed results. We went 1-2 in Div 2 at the Eastern Regional Tournament hosted by Philadelphia, with a great win against DC following losses to Columbus and Boston. We have been playing with a lot of heart and endeavor, and I firmly believe that once we get more experience playing together and iron out the problem areas we have identified then we will turn the corner.

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We had the opportunity to host NY and Columbus this past weekend in Baltimore and over all we had a very successful day in Baltimore. We played NY first and showed great promise in the first half, however in the second they showed why they’re considered the best of the East, coming away with a 6 goal win.

We were trailing against Columbus when in the second half we showed how good we could be. Great field movement followed by strong marking and conversions from Ian Payne pulled Baltimore right back into the game. The clock got the best of us with all the momentum and the siren went with us just one goal behind Columbus.

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This 10 minute spell highlighted how well we can play and shows the potential this Dockers team has. Exciting times are definitely ahead of us.

Stand outs players for us of late have been Josh Richardson, Nick Sisca, and Rocket. A special note to all the new recruits who have been learning the ins and outs of footy and training as often as they can.

Thanks to all those that helped on the sidelines over the weekend.

Bryn

WOMEN’S EASTERN REGIONAL CHAMPS!

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Yall. I am beaming.  I am so proud of the growth of the Baltimore/DC women’s team and what we’ve been able to achieve.

I started playing with the Baltimore-Washington Eagles in 2012 in the shadows of USA Freedom players Eileen Geoghegan, Judith Stein, and Karen Stablein. Since then we have been a consistently small group of strong players, but have had trouble getting past a critical number of players needed to field a full team.  Over the past year, with the help of some fresh leadership in DC’s Molly Halberstadt and Baltimore’s Kristin Poti, we have been able to recruit some fresh talent and make huge strides towards being able to field a full team.

Last year at Nationals, we had our highest numbers and wore our own uniforms at the tournament for the first time in my history with the club.  I was both proud of the Lady Eagles and heartbroken to be sidelined with an injury. This past weekend at Regionals in Philadelphia, though, I got to be a part of what our team has become.  With 14 players from DC and Baltimore, we paired up with a few Boston Demons players as the “Deeagles” (Demon Eagles? Docker Eagles? DemonDockerEagles?), and ultimately took home the cup after taking down Columbus/Philadelphia and New York in two well-matched, hard-fought games.

I cannot tell you how amazing it was to be on this field with this group of women.  Did you know we had FIVE first-time players? If you were on the sidelines you would never have guessed.  Between the players in their first games, other players who had only played one season before, and a small number of seasoned vets, we were able to link up across the field and make some magic happen.

Our first game we found ourselves lined up against a combined Columbus/Philly team in a game that was low scoring but fairly evenly matched on the field.  Strong competition between the teams occurred in the midfield with Kendall Jennings winning in the ruck with Karen Stablein, Molly Halberstadt, and Sam Worrall playing fiercely.  Baltimore player Kristin Poti took the first goal for the team.  Fearless play from our newest kept the momentum going and we were able to secure our first win of the season.

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After watching the NY Magpies defeat the Columbus/Philadelphia team by a much larger margin than we had, Kendall revved us up with a pregame chat and we all agreed to keep the talk up on the field and play as hard as we could.  The defense with newbie Kristin Lough at fullback nearly shut out the Magpies, marking any ball that came her way and only letting one behind through the posts.

Two plays that put points on the board were beautiful illustrations of teamwork. Mariam Mehter, who debuted last year at Nationals, scooped up the ball and with quick thinking passed it along and shepherded away a NY player to clear the way for our first goal.  For another 8 minutes we play a tight nail-biting game of possession to protect our narrow lead over the Pies.  Then, Beth Kirkwood, another new player, finds herself in the forward line with the ball and Kristin telling her she’s all alone and has plenty of time!  Beth (admittedly suppressing panic) popped the ball into the goal square to set us up for a second goal that secured the game.  With a loud cheering section from Baltimore, DC, and Boston, whose men’s teams were done for the day, we finished out the last moments of the game and took straight to celebrating

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I know there are more highlights than this, but with a long day (about 5 hours between our two games…woof!) and my limited view of the field, these are the standout moments for me.  The one advantage of being injured at Nationals last year is that I “ran water” but basically got to get the best vantage points during all the games. I’m also not known for having an excellent attention span. Off-field highlights include finding a 4-leaf clover, giving it to Tracy for luck, which he promptly ate, finding a really fluffy moth trying to hide from the rain, oh, and drinking out of the championship cup!! Final moment of teamwork: Filling the trophy with cider for the first round so Poti could get a drink out of it!

I am so thrilled to see how much our team has grown, and I also want to thank the men’s teams for supporting us along the way!

xo,

Mims

Bogged down at Bocek Park

Saturday June 9th saw the Dockers host their first EAFL tournament that saw three outstanding Eastern Region teams converging on Baltimore, MD. The teams consisted of the Philadelphia Hawks and DC Eagles with the Baltimore Dockers serving as hosts. The game was played at Bocek Park in Baltimore City and in true Baltimore City fashion the day turned from a hot sunny day to a wet cold monsoon in a matter of hours that saw teams playing in water ankle deep.

Game 1: Battle of the Beltway, Game 2

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The rain held off for the first game where the DC Eagles took on the Baltimore Dockers in the second game of the “Dennis Ryan Cup”. The first half went back and forth, with DC pulling ahead at halftime. As the second half began, the Dockers where able to trim the Eagles lead but in the end fell short.  Game 2 went to the Eagles by a score of 6.4.40 to 8.3.51. In the end, DC’s midfield with standout performances from Jake Moyer and Sam Radcliffe served too much for the Dockers to overcome.  Standouts for the Dockers were Josh Richardson and Mike Horney.

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Game 2: Dockers vs the Philly Hawks

The second game started shortly after the first one ended and saw the Dockers take on the Philadelphia Hawks. Hawks jumped out early on the Dockers kicking three quick goals. The Dockers were able to answer in the first half with a goal of their own two behinds. At halftime the heavens opened up and it was a torrential downpour that lasted for about 20 minutes. As players and spectators took shelter the rain, thunder and lightning lasted for about 20 minutes.

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With a break in the weather the second half started. With ankle deep water all over the field it turned to a very sloppy game of footy with each team just trying to gain territory in each other’s scoring half. The Hawks were able to pull away with some timely marks and straight goal kicking to come out on top of the Dockers by a score of 3.3.21 – 6.8.44. The Dockers were led by Ian Payne, Terrance McAuliffe, and Mike Horney who won Iron Man honors for his effort in both games.  

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