Penalties plagued Denver throughout the game, and Detroit was able to start the scoring off early with a quick tap from an offsides call that led to a try in the corner, no conversion. Denver responded in kind, scoring minutes later on a quick tap in the center of the posts. The conversion by flyhalf Alice “Boot” Plant put Black Ice in the lead.
Play was back and forth throughout the remainder of the half, but a mixture of excellent kicks for touch and hard one-up defense helped secure the field for Black Ice. A solid forward drive near the end of the half led to a pick from the back of the ruck and a score in the corner from Man of the Match Katie “Howie” Howell to put Black Ice up 12-5.
The second half was much of the same, with each team exchanging penalties and pressing hard on defense. A series of messy turnovers gave center Blaine Martin the opportunity to run the ball in, but Detroit rallied immediately and used their momentum off a series of penalties and quick taps to score once again, 17-10 Black Ice.
With Detroit on their heels, Black Ice was able to push the pace of the game and score a beautiful try in the corner when a quick tap was brought up short of the line, forcing the powerful Black Ice forwards into a series of punches. Patience and clean possession kept the ball in Denver’s hands, sucking the defense in and opening up space on the outside for fullback Molly Albano to take the corner and dive in for the try.
The final score of the game came off a beautiful 70m run from scrumhalf Sara “Bobby” Shanley after messy ball at the back of the ruck forced a quick pick. A step around the final defender saw her into the try zone, and a beautiful sideline conversion from “Boot” ended the scoring for the day. With ten minutes left in the half Blaine Martin was given a team sin bin for not retreating 10, but Detroit was unable to capitalize and a kick to touch from Albano ended the game, 29-10 Black Ice.
Several new players nicely compliment the experience and familiarity on the Denver team. Their performance at this year’s Detroit match is evidence of the hard work and progress of the last season. “I am happy with the strides we have made since last year and we were able to take most of our starting team to Detroit this year to compete,” said Coach Wendy Cook. “We look forward to Detroit coming out in the Spring.”
The Denver Black Ice lack D1 competition within their conference and will have to travel throughout the season to earn a “ranking” for National Qualifiers. “Since we are the only team in our region that is Division 1, it has been hard to find quality games. We have to travel 3 times this fall to find competition. We have a lot of talent and we hope to be able to travel strong so we can continue to grow as a team,” says Cook. Black Ice will travel to New Mexico next week to play the DII Atomic Sisters and will have a D1 match against Dallas. They also have another Midwest match up against the Minnesota Valkyries scheduled for early November.
View the current Women’s D1 Club standings here.