(OAKLAND, CA) As Californian prospectors once claimed in the mid-1800s, “There’s gold in them thar hills.”
This past weekend in the Golden State, St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) attempted to claim nuggets and mine a proverbial rush within the calculated rankings of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
At the Golden Bowl invitational, held at the practice facility of Bay Area Roller Derby, Arch Rival, ranked fifth internationally by the WFTDA, earned a split with their setback against #4 Denver (178-153) and their win over #13 Bay Area (298-73).
The 1-1 finish claimed in Oakland was paced by the brilliant blocking performed by Smarty McFly, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Jamheiser Bush, Kayla Woodward, Grant, LuxFurious, Hero-Shima, Pegasass and Fletcher while jammers Bricktator, Annie Swanson, Psychokid D’ Freakout, Vicious Van GoGo and The Jukes on You scored high numbers.
The end result pushed ARCH’s record to 2-3 as they await post-season placement by the governing body. Realistically, Arch Rival’s Golden Bowl differentials should hold the team at their current rank when the next hierarchical list is revealed the first week of July.
#5 ARCH RIVAL 297 #13 BAY AREA 73
On paper, an Arch Rival Friday-evening victory over the hostesses was projected. However, one had to be somewhat shocked over the final 224-point differential that was propelled by a pair of 60-plus point-uncontested streaks.
Leading 5-3 after three jams, Arch Rival’s Bricktator recorded a 15-10 jam in the fourth rotation that pushed their advantage to 20-13.
St. Louis then put the clampdown on Bay Area with a 63-0 rally that covered the ensuing six jams. Swanson’s eight-point push at 23:10 was followed by Van GoGo’s ten-point strike that made the score 35-13.
Bricktator added four in Jam 7 and Swanson added another eight at the 19:30 mark that widened the score to 50-13. Psychokid’s 24-point D’Freakout followed that widened the game to 74-13. Bricktator’s nine-point rotation recorded at 16;15 put the exclamation point on the run that saw St. Louis’ lead blossom to 83-13.
Arch Rival continued their near-flawless play as the period progressed and with back-to-back 15-pointers scored by Bricktator and Van GoGo, St. Louis had a differential of triple-digits with their 114-14 lead with 10:45 left in the half.
As the frame wound down, ARCH continued the pressure and highlighted by D’Freakout’s 14-point power jam on the period’s penultimate rotation, St. Louis held a comfortable 155-35 lead at intermission.
What was Arch Rival to do with a cushion like that heading into the second half? Their answer inevitably read, “Don’t let up at all.”
Following an 8-3 push in the first two rotations that made the score 163-38, St. Louis claimed lead on the next nine jams that resulted in a 64-0 run. Multi-lap passes became the rule of thumb as ARCH widened the score to 214-38 following Swanson’s 10-point collection with 17:45 remaining.
Concluded by Bricktator’s four-point pass with 15:15 left in game, the aforementioned streak help Arch Rival push the score to 227-38.
ARCH claimed a bi-centennial differential with The Jukes on You’s 19-point jam with 11:45 left that made the score 250-41.
Arch Rival outscored Bay Area 142-38 in the second period en route to the 298-73 outcome. Three St. Louis skaters posted over 70 individual points in the game, paced by Bricktator’s team-high 80.
ARCH RIVAL INDIVIDUAL SCORING (297): Bricktator 80, Psychokid D’ Freakout 77, Annie Swanson 71, Vicious Van GoGo 31, The Jukes on You 19, Kayla Woodward 9, Cloak N’ Drag-Her 3.
#4 DENVER 178 #5 ARCH RIVAL 153
The battle between the side-by-sides revealed the “tale of two halves” narrative that saw the higher–ranked league dominate early and, conversely, the underdog scrap back for a positive conclusion.
Trailing 10-3 after two jams, Arch Rival scored a dozen straight as D’Freakout’s trey in the third rotation was followed by Bricktator’s nine four minutes deep that resulted in a 15-10 lead change.
Denver’s top-flight jammer, Scald Eagle, put the Mile High Club back in the driver’s seat with a 20-point strike on the next jam that resulted in a 30-15 scoreboard flip.
By capitalizing on a 4-2 pack advantage, St. Louis countered with fourteen uncontested to make the game a solo point affair. D’Freakout’s four-pointer was followed by Bricktator’s ten-spot that narrowed the game 30-29 at the 21:35 mark.
Denver then went on a 42-4 scoring frenzy over the next four jams. Highlighted by Eagle’s 19-pointer and a pair of niners from Gypin and Klein, Denver stretched the lead to 72-33 midway through the period.
As the period progressed, the Mile High Club widened the differential and possessed a dominating 133-62 lead at intermission.
To their credit, Arch Rival rebounded and played more disciplined in the second period and began chipping away at the deficit. Their 23-0 run that started the second period was concluded by Swanson’s four-pointer at the 24:00 mark that made the score 133-85.
The next six minutes saw ARCH continue the pressure and, boosted by Denver penalties, shored the score to 139-106 following Swanson’s nine-point, power start-aided jam with 18:15 left.
Denver responded to the rally with 18 straight that provided breathing room. Eagle’s eight-pointer in Jam 12 as followed by four from Wilhelm and a sixer from Andee that pushed their lead to 158-106 with 14:00 remaining.
St. Louis remained pesky as the period continued as posted a 24-5 run that was concluded by Bricktator’s 14-point power jam scored with seven minutes left that narrowed Denver’s lead to 163-130.
Down the stretch, the Mile High Club staved off ARCH’s hard charge with Eagle’s clutch jams that collectively yielded a baker’s dozen points.
Via a flip of the script and a lockdown defensively, Arch Rival outscored Denver 91-45 in the second period, yet they could not make up the large gap at intermission and fell 178-153 to finish the Golden Bowl 1-1.
Eagle topped Denver scoring with 80 points while Bricktator notched 79 for Arch Rival.
ARCH RIVAL INDIVIDUAL SCORING (153): Bricktator 79, Annie Swanson 43, Psychokid D’ Freakout 25, Kayla Woodward 3, Vicious Van GoGo 3.
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to their official website.