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.

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 EASTERN REGIONAL CHAMPS!

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.

Results

TeamGoalsBehindsTotal
Baltimore Dockers2416
Columbus Cats022

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

Results

TeamGoalsBehindsTotal
Lady Eagles2113
New York Magpies011

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

USAFL Regionals schedule is up

This Saturday, June 23rd, the Dockers head to Philadelphia, PA for a full day of men’s and women’s competition at the USAFL Eastern Regional tournament.

Teams competing include our hosts, the Philadelphia Hawks, and visitors the Baltimore Dockers, DC Eagles, New York Magpies, Boston Demons, North Carolina Tigers, and the Columbus Cats.  Our men’s team is playing in Division II against Columbus, Boston, and DC, and our joint Baltimore/DC women’s team is joining forces with Boston to take on New York and Columbus.

The Dockers have the first game starting at 9:00am and it will be a full day of footy at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park.