2012’s tournament saw an epic battle for the moniker of tournament champion, the Lady Demons unlucky to be pipped at the post by the Angels with the last score of the day. This year’s battle will have the added flavor of a full squad from Montreal and regiment from Baltimore strengthening the Angel ranks, a monstrous Lady Magpies roster which is on the improve and the Lady Demons primed to make amends for last year’s defeat. We take a look at each team’s prospects:
Boston Lady Demons
(2012 Tournament: 1-1 2nd overall, 2013 North-East Standings: 1-1 (3pts) currently 2nd).
If there’s one given in life it’s that no one takes a win from any Boston team on home soil without a fight. The Lady Demons proved that last year, controlling the play in both matches for the entire day before a five minute lapse saw them slip up with literally sixty seconds on the clock. The Lady “Dees” form in the Montreal Preseason Cup was quietly impressive. Without some of their superstars the Dees managed to put together some outstanding passages of play and looked deadly through the midfield. With a full squad on the park the Demons will be expecting nothing less than outright champions for the day.
Players to watch: Second year player Holly Teufel is the current North-East Shield leading goal kicker. Her high flying marks and amazing boot make her a nightmare for opposition defenders. Expect Teufel to feature in both the Magpies and Angels key match-up strategies. Emily Reihl’s return to the line-up will be a major boost. The dynamite onballer oozes class and has the ability to win a game off her own boot. With outstanding agility and speed Brighde Sullivan has fast become a focal point up forward and a big threat in front of the big sticks. A much welcomed presence across the backline, Jen Vogel’s experience and deft touch will ensure that every opposition score is a hard earned one. Joining an already star-studded midfield brigade, rookie Sarah Morin’s ability to break up plays and create opportunities through the center adds yet another gold plated cog to the well-oiled Boston midfield machine.
North-East Shield Prospects: Two home victories could see Boston claim outright first on 7 points.
New York Lady Magpies
(2012 Tournament: 0-2 3rd overall, 2013 North-East Standings: 0-2 (0pts) currently 3rd).
The Magpies have the makings of a champion team, the task ahead is now how they get those talented puzzle pieces to fit together as a consistent and cohesive unit. It was a tough day out in the 2012 Boston tournament, New York failing to register a goal. But promising early signs of the Lady Magpies version 2.0 were on display in Montreal when they seized an early lead against the Angels and dominated much of the play in the first half of game one. Now the challenge is to string those purple patches together for four quarters. The steps of progress are clearly apparent from the black and white army, don’t be surprised to see a giant leap from this team come Saturday.
Players to watch: As the Magpies develop and get the ball into their attacking half more expect to see much more from exciting second year forward Lissette Hinjosa. The pocket rocket has talent to burn and will be a key ingredient to the Magpies rise up the table. The Lady Magpies will also welcome back from injury 2012 rookie of the year Alison Vorsatz. Her sublime work across the backline and ability to do the job in the ruck making her a prized asset to the Magpies fortunes. Sam “the silent assassin” Wolf’s nimble footwork and ability to burn her opponents with her speed will ensure the rival coaches keep a close eye on the Magpies secret weapon.
North-East Shield Prospects: Traveling for the second consecutive round any away victory will ensure the Magpies are right back in the hunt for the shield.
(2012 Tournament: 2-0 1st overall, 2013 North-East Standings: 2-0 (4pts) currently 1st).
It will go down as the heist of 2012, the Angels playing five minutes of inspired football that literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in Boston. The Angels of 2013 will be a very different team, former star player and avid Harry Potter fan Aimee Legault now in the role of head coach. At her disposal is one of the Angel’s finest emerging teams with a wealth of first and second year talent coming through the ranks. The Angels will head to Boston confident they can get the job done, but fully aware it will take their very best to do so.
Players to watch: One of the most exciting players to watch Tara Cools-Lartigue has quickly developed into an absolute ball magnet. Playing as a defensive midfielder Tara’s ability to make her mark on the game is never questioned. Rookie Robyn Graham was thrown into the deep end on debut in Montreal playing through the midfield. The cream always rises to the top is an understatement for Graham who was amongst the Angels best with plenty more to come. Not many players have the confidence to develop and trademark their own move, but Lindsay “Spinorama” Belzie has done just that creating a highlight reel with her goals up front and slipping into equal second for the North-East goal kicking table. Impressive in her 2012 Boston debut and improving at a thunderous rate is the Angels Kelsey Martin. Martin’s adaptation to Aussie Rules and football smarts make her one of the most important links in Montreal’s forward line.
North-East Shield Prospects: Leading the table by the smallest margins it’s all or nothing for the Angels. Two wins will give the team plenty of breathing space while any loss will see them swallowed up by the pursuing pack.