Beantown banked its first points of the Women's Premier League season with a 50-0 shutout over visiting DC Furies. It was a comprehensive win for the Boston squad, especially considering the upset it suffered last weekend.
"We were disappointed after the Keystone game," Beantown coach Richard Ashfield said. "There were a lot of missed tackles, our set pieces didn't function well, and Keystone did a good job disrupting our ball. It was a bad day all around, but it also gave us something to work off of. The loss re-energized us, and last week at practice, the players were really focused."
Ashfield hammered in the basics during training last week and put a lot of focus on defensive play. The work paid off and Beantown was rewarded with quality ball possession. The squad had a lot of good, go-forward ball, and the defense hunkered down to prevent any points on the board. Recent Northeastern grad Liz Fierman played impressively at prop, and has answered the higher demand of premier-level rugby. And the center pairing of Jessica Peterson and Kate Orlin did an excellent job of shutting down DC's open-field attack.
Katie Dowty had a field day at fullback and led her team with four tries. "Last weekend we experimented with Katie at outside center, but we moved her back to fullback where she's more familiar and effective," Ashfield said. "She was very dynamic and seemed to pop up at the right time and find space."
It wasn't a pushover win, however, and DC's big forward pack contained numerous strong runners who pushed Beantown's limits. There was a 10-minute period when the team eased off the gas, but DC wasn't able to take advantage.
"Consistency for 80 minutes is still something we need to work on," Ashfield reflected on the lapse in concentration, "especially since the season will get harder as it goes on. And we still have a lot of timing issues, and our set pieces need work."
Beantown will have another two weeks to prepare for conference leader Berkeley, but they might have some player travel issues that could affect their success. Everyone's healthy and able for now, and the All Blues will certainly be Beantown's biggest challenge to date.