(ST. PAUL, MN) Entering the weekend, the travel team of the Arch Rival Roller Girls had never appeared at the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) annual international championship.
It seemed like Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul on Friday was the perfect place to make a debut.
And it certainly was an impressive showing from the locals, but its opponent, also making an inaugural finale leap, made a late-surge to secure its first-ever Champs’ win.
Utilizing a 27-0 rally in the game’s final three minutes, #8 Jacksonville topped #10 Arch Rival, 149-141, in Friday’s quarterfinal play-in game. With the eight-point setback, Arch finished its season 15-3.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville (12-2) advances to the tournament’s quarterfinals and is set to face four-time defending WFTDA Champion Gotham Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 3-0 after two jams, Arch Rival got on the scoreboard and took the lead, 15-11, following a 15-8 power jam from Mighty Mighty Boston at the 23:15 mark. Birckyard added five on the next rotation to push the score to 20-11 with 22:00 left in the period.
New Jax regained the lead following an 18-1 power jam from Krispy Kreme-Her. With 20:05 left in the period, Jacksonville grabbed a 29-21 advantage.
Back-to-back solo scores from Bricktator and Harmony Killerbruise on the next two jams whittled the margin to 29-23 at the 18:15 mark.
Following a three-pointer scored by Jacksonville’s Kreme-Her in jam 8, Boston countered with a grand slam for St. Louis on next rotation to cut the score32-28 with 15:55 left in the period.
New Jax countered with four straight and stretched its lead to 36-28 with 13:55 remaining in the period following Kreme-Her’s three-point strike.
St. Louis surged with eight consecutive points to tie the score two jams later as Killerbruise and Brickyard notched back-to-back four pointers, resulting in a 36-36 stalemate with 12:00 left in the period.
Jacksonville’s Jamsterella broke the deadlock two jams later with a solo-pointer two rotations later to give New Jax a 37-36 lead with 10:05 left in the half.
Annie Swanson helped Arch Rival flip the scoreboard on the next jam and her three-point punch with 9:05 left in the period gave St. Louis a 39-37 lead.
Jacksonville scored eight points straight, resulting in another lead change, on the next three rotations as Kreme-Her’s four was followed by a pair of two pointers from Jamsterella and Erin Jackson that helped New Jax grab a 45-39 advantage with 5:50 remaining.
St. Louis regained the lead on the next rotation as Bricktator’s 10-point power jam with 4:20 left in the frame resulted in a 49-45 lead change in favor of Arch Rival.
On the next rotation, a 13-12 jam that favored St. Louis pushed the score to 62-57 with 2:05 left.
Arch Rival finished the period with a flourish. Brickyard’s four-pointer scored on the penultimate jam was followed by Bricktator’s 14-point power jam to conclude the period. St. Louis’ 18-0 rally blossomed the advantage to 80-57 at intermission.
Jacksonville started the second period with a 16-0 run and whittled the deficit back to single digits. Jamsterella’s trey was followed by Jackson’s baker’s dozen that shored the score to 80-73 with 27:50 left in the game.
Arch Rival sported its own 16-0 rally over the next four jams to stretch the score to 96-73 following Brickyard’s eight-point jam at the 22:50 mark.
As the period progressed, Arch Rival’s blocking, paced by co-captain Party Foul, Emily Rinehart, Mayor Francis Slayer, Kayla Sieber, Chewblocka, Shimmy Hoffa, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Jamheiser Bush , kept New Jax to minimal points and continued to play clean. With 15:30 left in the contest, St. Louis maintained a 110-83 advantage.
New Jax surged with under ten minutes left in the game as an 18-10 jam from Jackson at 8:50 narrowed St. Louis’ lead to 123-111.
Arch Rival pushed the score to 135-114 with 4:20 as Killerbruise notched four points.
But as soon as it seemed that St. Louis might notch a historical benchmark, Jacksonville scored 27 points uncontested. The New Jax blocking battalion, paced by Fancy Schmancy, Legs R’ Us, Stephanie Gentz, Eriinn Go-Brawl, Kat Von, Noam Bombsky, Patti Smithereens and Shady Godiva, stymied Arch Rival jamming and opened holes for the jamming sistren.
Kreme-Her collected 15 points with 2:25 left in the game to whittle Arch Rival’s lead to six points, 135-129. Jackson followed with a dozen on the game’s penultimate jam and New Jax flipped the scoreboard to its favor, 141-136 with :46 left.
On the game’s final jam, and with a crowd of an estimated 1,500 watching feverishly, Jackson raced out in front of the pack to grab lead. An 8-5 final rotation secured the 149-141 win for New Jax, who now advances to the quarterfinals to play Gotham.
New Jax, paced by Jackson’s 59 points, outscored Arch Rival, 92-61, in the second period, to pick up the victory.
St. Louis was paced by Bricktator’s 50 points, followed by Swanson’s 28.
Arch Rival begins its three-team, local season campaign on Saturday, November 21 at Midwest Sport Hockey at Queeny Park in Ballwin, MO.
JACKSONVILLE ROLLERGIRLS (149): Erin Jackson 50, Krispy Kreme-Her 49, Jamsterella 38, Patti Smithereens 5.
ARCH RIVAL ROLLER GIRLS (141): Bricktator 50, Annie Swanson 28, Brickyard 26, Mighty Mighty Boston 23, Harmony Killerbruise 14.