(Photo: Rebecca Radtke was key to opening up the Amazons' big scoreline against Keystone. Dropkick Photos)
The Twin Cities Amazons (2-0) hit the road during week two of the Women’s Premier League and returned to Minnesota with a 75-12 victory over Keystone (0-2). The Pennsylvania side surrendered a similar score last week against the DC Furies.
“At this level, even when the score runs away, it’s not like the other didn’t play,” Twin Cities coach Roger Bruggemeyer addressed the point differential. “There was a lot of scrappy play at contact points. Mismatches, big scores – they happen – but you have to stay focus, execute your game plan; otherwise, people get hurt. We were on the receiving end in our first year.”
Bruggemeyer and squad were looking for an improvement over last weekend, when a second-quarter mental lapse allowed Beantown to permanently disrupt the forwards’ game. While team focus wandered at times, Bruggemeyer was pleased with the team’s forward momentum.
“It’s not always about what you’re doing; sometimes the opposition refocuses, plays harder, and put you under stress,” Bruggemeyer said. “We stayed on task for the most part. It’s really difficult to stay focused for 80 minutes – I don’t care who you are, even the internationals struggle. It’s all about whether you can regain your form, and we did that.
“We just have to step up the practice, get the players training during a level of exhaustion,” Bruggemeyer added. “It’s not something they were happy to hear from the coaching staff, but we have some hard work ahead.”
Twin Cities forwards captain Sarah Bakker and Stacey Bridges were key to answering Keystone’s strong pack. Playing on a narrower field, the home side played to their strength, and relied on front row experts like Stacy Baker to lead the charge. It was a good learning experience for the Amazons’ young front rows.
The mismatch played out in the backs. Flyhalf Rebecca Radtke did an excellent job optimizing space and set up her backs for a flurry of tries. Outside center Lynelle Kugler outdid last weekend’s performance and scored five tries. Inside center Sylvia Braaten and young wing Kayla Finn added two apiece, while fellow wing Liz Dusbabek touched down for a five-pointer. Fullback Dez Markovich dotted down as well and slotted five conversions. The forwards got into the scoring spree as well and sent flanker Morgan Johnson – who replaced Amanda Kingzett, out for the season with a torn ACL – over the line twice.
As the WPL prepares for their bye week, Bruggemeyer will spend some time on individual and unit skills, then get back to team aspects when they focus their sites on the DC Furies next week.
Twin Cities leads the Blue Conference standings, while Beantown moved into second place after blanking the Furies 57-0 at home.