The New England Intensity traveled southward to
Durham, NC to face off, for the first time in team
history, with the Carolina Phoenix in the Eastern
Conference Finals. The end result was not a good
one for New England, as they fell just short of a
return to the championship game, 7-0.
As per tradition, the weather was very hot and
humid—mid 90’s even at the 7pm kickoff time. In
fact, the host squad was confident that the ambient
conditions would favor them, so much so that their
head coach went on record saying so.
The New England defense, which would have
perhaps it’s finest outing in team history, jumped all
over the Carolina offense, with DB Gumby Nesbitt
corralling her team-leading 5th interception on the
first play for the Phoenix and returning it down to
the 32 yard line of Carolina—a great opportunity
for the Intensity right out of the gate! The blue held
Carolina’s air assault to just 4 for 23 passing when
all was said and done. Further, they surrendered
barely 3 yards per carry on the ground to the high-
octane Phoenix offense (the 7 points that the home
team would post in this game was the lowest total all
season—in fact, the lowest total in recent memory for
the perennial powerhouse).
Unfortunately, the O could not capitalize, turning the
ball over on downs several plays later inside the red
Despite a questionable pass interference call on NE
during the next series—providing a big, fat first down
for the home team at midfield—the D would hold and
force a punt that was downed just over the Intensity
side of midfield.
A sack, false start, and 7 yard loss on a pass play on
consecutive snaps dug a deep hole for the visitors on
their second possession (to the tune of 3rd and 30).
The nifty catch and run between QB Rebecca Lopez
and WR Tricia Donovan, good for 13 yards, barely
made a dent in the yards required to move the chains
and out came DL-turned-OT-and-P Bri Giarrusso to
Possession #3 for Carolina was thwarted by a false
start of their own on 1st down, then some tough
rush defense on the next two plays by Lisa Close
(5 tackle assists), Nikia Speed (4 solo and 8 tackle
assists), Kate Miechkowski (2 solo and 7 assists) and
Charlene Casey (2 and 10), served up 3rd and long.
The pass attempt on 3rd down sailed incomplete and
out came the Phoenix punt team.
Donovan (who led the team with 5 catches for 45
yards) picked up a first down from Lopez, crossing
midfield. Lisa Vincent fumbled on the next play and
the host team recovered the ball just inside their 40.
A disturbing trend of drive-killing miscues for the
blue offense was starting to become apparent . . .
In what would be the only scoring drive of the
game, Carolina pieced together a 10 play series that
straddled the break between the 1st and 2nd quarters
and was keyed by a 32 yard completion to inside the
NE 2. Two plays later the score was 6-0, Carolina.
The XPA was good and 19 minutes into the game,
the Phoenix had a 7 point lead.
New England did not have much of an answer on
it’s ensuing possession, punting after 3 incomplete
passes. No matter, as the next defensive stand by the
Intensity was particularly noteworthy—they notched
3 of their 7 sacks during it and forced yet another
punt by Carolina. Speed had 1.5 of her 3 sacks on
Christine Sampson was taking the snaps for New
England at this point and connected with Donna
Bruce (Bruce would catch three passes in the game,
each for a first down, to go along with 2 solo and 4
tackle assists) on her first two pass attempts, moving
the ball across midfield. Erica Adams rattled off 9 of
her 27 rushing yards on the next play and NE enjoyed
3rd and 1 from the Phoenix 34. Unfortunately a delay
of game penalty pushed the blue back and Sampson
threw an interception to end the possession.
The D would remain steadfast with Miechkowski
getting one of her 2 sacks on 3rd and 3, forcing the
home bunch to punt after the 5 yard loss. With time
winding down in the half, Sampson connected with Donovan for a first down but into the locker rooms
the teams went, Carolina holding tight to the 7-0 lead.
Of note was the conspicuous ease the Intensity was
dealing with the heat—much unlike the home team
who had several players vomiting into barrels on
their sideline and having to come out of the game
at various times during the first half. It looked as
if this would play into New England’s hands as the
game/war moved into the 2nd half. In yet another
instance of the football gods turning their backs on
the visitors, a lighting storm passed through and
extended the half time break by about 45 minutes—
providing crucial extra time for the exhausted and
dehydrated Carolina players to rest and replace lost
Optimistic nonetheless, the Intensity took the field to
start the 3rd quarter, eager to score and win! Vincent
would return the deep kickoff 23 yards and Lopez led
the offense on to the gridiron. A 15 yard Adams run
and a pass interference call had NE inside the 35 of
Carolina, but four ineffective plays later, the ball was
turned over on downs.
Picking up right where they left off, the Intensity D
stood tall, forcing another 3 and out due to big plays
by Mocha Torres (1 solo and 4 tackle assists), Close
and Giarrusso. Donovan had a respectable 14 yard
punt return but an unrelated block in the back penalty
moved that progress back 15.
Vincent (team-leading 55 rushing yards to go along
with 6 tackle assists) picked up 5 on first down, and a
Carolina offsides aided the Intensity’s cause but they
were unable to capitalize and Giarrusso was called
upon for another punt (she punted 6 times in this
A three and out capped off by an Adams interception
gave the ball right back to the Intensity on their 41,
but they responded with a three and out of their own.
Things looked grim for the blue as the Phoenix
connected for a 59 yard pass that put them on the
Intensity 11. Two plays later they were 3rd and 1
from the 2 and the D, in amazing fashion, held the
line—Torres defending a pass on 3rd down and Casey
and Edwards (4 assists) shut the door on the 4th down
run, resulting in a turnover on downs!
New England scarcely got any breathing room in the
next 3 plays for Giarrusso’s next punt—this one a
timely 36 yarder downed at the N 44. Speed dropped
the runner for a 4 yard loss as the 3rd quarter ended.
Two plays later, she, clearly doing all she could
to ensure no more points were put up by Carolina,
sacked the QB to force a punt.
Perhaps inspired by Speed’s play, the O kicked into
gear with Vincent gashing the home team defense for
a 38 yard run to march into Phoenix territory. Lopez
would soon thereafter hit Adams and Brenna Leveille
on consecutive first down passes of 9 and 15 yards,
respectively, bringing the blue inside the red zone
and looking like they would finally break the
scoreboard ice!! It is worth noting that OL Torrance
Brown, playing on a banged up ankle (she suffered a
high ankle sprain two weeks prior in the Philadelphia
game) was, along with the rest of the O line, having
a great game against the very physical and athletic D
line of the Phoenix!
That said, 2 plays later, on 3rd an 11, a high snap
Lopez had to scamper back 22 yards for forced
another punt and another prime scoring opportunity
The home team, knowing they dodged a bullet and
tasting blood in the water, would come out fired up
on offense, trying to run the ball and consume as
much clock as possible. They were having success in
this effort, picking up 2 first downs before two short
gains and a block in the back forced up a punt.
In another unfortunate turn of events, the sure-handed
Donovan, hoping to put the blue in great position
to score, bobbled and lost the punt that Carolina
recovered on the Intensity 46. The Phoenix picked
up right where they left off running the ball and
got all the way to the Intensity 30 yard line before
they returned to trying to move the ball through
the air . . . they probably should not have as Speed
and Miechkowski each tallied another sack for a
combined 17 yards lost for the home team and a
turnover on downs.
With the clock persistently ticking away, the New
England offense had to get yards and quick if they
wanted avoid the looming loss. Lopez was sacked on
1st down but completed another pass to Donovan on
2nd that got those lost yards back and then some. The final nail in the coffin came on 3rd down as another
high snap was covered up—this time by Carolina—
14 yards behind scrimmage and it was all elementary
as one run play and a knee later the game was over.
The Intensity would fall short, this season, on the
goal of returning to Texas and taking what they
left there in 2011. The bitter taste of losing this
winnable game will hopefully fuel their efforts and
preparations for 2013.
Congratulations from MA SPORTS WEB ON A TERRIFIC SEASON FOR THE NEW ENGLAND INTENSITY!
The New England Intensity won their conference semi-final match, 31-13, on Saturday, 6/30/12, against the Philadelphia Firebirds on a very warm summer afternoon at Medway’s Hanlon Memorial Field.
A lot of hard work by the staff and players in the preceding two weeks paid early dividends for New England as they stuck to the game plan and took control early in this contest.
The home crowd did not have to wait long for something the cheer about as the visitors turned the ball over on downs in the game’s opening series, giving the Intensity the ball at the Philadelphia 40 yard line. Two sizable runs (one by Lisa Vincent, one for Nikia Speed) and a Rebecca Lopez-to-Erica Adams pass for 20 yards had the Blue on the 1-yard line. Vincent, who would lead the team with 82 yards on 10 carries, punched in the first of two rushing TDs on the next play, giving NE a 6-0 lead with 9:12 remaining in the 1st quarter. Record-breaking kicker Lola Kantak drilled the extra point attempt (she’d end the day with 7 points by placekicking—4 XPAs and 1 FGM).
On the Firebirds ensuing series, they did not fare much better. Nikia Speed (1 solo tackles, 6 assists, half a sack, as well as 29 rushing yards on 5 carries), Charlene Casey (team-leading 11 tackle asssits) and Lisa Close (6 tackle assists) forced a 3-and-out for the visiting squad that was fair-caught at the Philly 42.
A 5-yard run by rookie Heather Milan-Eagleson was followed soon by a 37-yard TD pass from Lopez to Brenna Leveille not even 4 minutes after their first score. Lopez threw for 111 yards including 2 TDs and 3 first downs.
The Firebirds 3rd possession was another 3-and-out (due in no small part to several of Alie Powers’ first few kickoffs sailing about 40 yards on average and solid coverage by Vincent, Gumby Nesbitt and others). These first 3 kickoffs by NE were returned for a net -1 yards and Philadelphia’s explosive kick return game was held to less than a 6 yard average for the game.
Kantak hit her 4th FG of the season on the Intensity’s next possession, pushing the score to 17-0 NE with about 8 minutes left in the 2nd.
Another short possession for the visitors was followed by another Intensity TD—an 11 yard run by Vincent with just under 2 minutes in the half.
Lopez connected with Milan-Eagleson early in the 3rd for the Blue’s last score of the game. The 13 yard reception was her first career receiving TD and with 12:03 left in the 3rd, New England enjoyed a 31-0 lead.
A few miscues in the 4th quarter gave the opportunistic and gamey Firebirds the chance to get on the scoreboard . . . They picked off Lopez with about 9 and a half minutes left in the game and returned it 20 yards for a TD to break the shut out bid for the home team. Two plays into the next drive for the Intensity saw a snap sail high of the QB that Philadelphia recovered inside the red zone. The Blue D held strong for several plays but eventually a very athletic play by the visitor’s WR hauled in a 14 yard touchdown pass with 5:32 left. The XPA was off the mark and the score stood at 31-13, it would be the final score.
New England had a relatively-balanced attack on Offense, once again, with 111 passing and 152 rushing yards (averaging well over 5 yards per carry). They outgained their opponents who had 99 passing and 50 rushing yards (incidentally, less than 3 yards per carry)—most of the yards coming in the 2nd half.
In addition to leading the team in rushing yards and rushing TDs (this game and for the season, thus far), Vincent had two half sacks and a 54 yard interception—setting up Kantak’s aforementioned field goal in this game.
Other defensive standouts for NE were Donna Bruce (team-leading 3 solo tackles, 2 assists and a pass defended), Kate Miechkowski (4 tackle assists and a sack), and Erica Adams (4 tackle assists and half a sack), who also had 21 rushing yards on 4 carries.
New England now will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2nd straight season. They will be preparing to travel to Durham, North Carolina to face the Carolina Phoenix for a 7/14/12 game. The Phoenix won their semi-final game against the Arlington (Texas) Impact the same evening as the Intensity/Firebird game.
The New England Intensity returned to the friendly confines of Medway High School’s Joseph P. Hanlon Field this past Saturday where they locked horns with the Rebels of Southern Maine. What was forecast to be a sunny, warm day turned cloudy, breezy and cool for a majority of the contest, but this humdrum weather did nothing to dim the onslaught that the home squad served up for their guests!
Eager to get back to work after losing to Montreal in the previous weeks’ game, New England jumped right on the Rebels, receiving the game’s opening kick and returning it for 18 yards to just over midfield. A combination of Rookie Heather Milan-Eagleson’s runs (she’d lead the team with 69 rushing yards) and QB Rebecca Lopez’ arm (passing for an efficient 96 yards on 6 completions—4 of which were touchdowns, one a first down) put the Blue inside the red zone early. LB/RB Nikia Speed gashed in for the first score of the game fewer than 4 minutes into the quarter. Speed would lead the team with 3 solo tackles and 10 tackle assists this afternoon as well!
Things would only get worse for Southern Maine . . .
Unable to move the ball on their opening possession, they lined up to punt but a bobbled snap served up 1st and 10 from the M26 for New England. Lisa Vincent (62 rushing yards on just 3 carries to go along with a solo tackle, 6 tackle assists and a pass defended) found the end zone on the ensuing play to put NE on top 13-0 halfway through the opening period.
The Rebels fumbled New England’s kickoff and LB Kate Miechkowski (5 tackle assists) recovered it at the M 41. A few plays later, Lopez connected 24 yards through the air to TE Brenna Leveille for the first of two TD catches she’d have during the game (she, too, had a busy day, amassing 46 yard receiving on 3 catches, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 2.5 sacks, a solo tackle and 3 tackle assists).
The first quarter would end with the score 20-0 in favor of the home team and the second quarter would prove to be even more difficult for the Rebels as another bad snap on an attempted punt gave NE the ball deep in Southern Maine territory. The Intensity settled for a FG attempt that Kicker Lola Kantak Drilled from 29 yards, pushing the score to 23-0.
Later on in that quarter, when the visitors successfully got a punt off, Donovan nearly returned it 43 yards for a TD; however, she stepped out of bounds at the 10 yard line and there the Intensity took over possession. She would have four punt returns and average nearly 25 yards apiece in this game!
Leveille’s 2nd TD catch came a few players later. Another 3-and-out for the visitors was followed by another bad snap that gave NE the ball in the red zone again . . . this time at the 15. Lopez hit Rookie WR/QB Christine Sampson for her first touchdown reception of her career and the score now stood at 36-0. Kantak split the uprights on the PAT to add another point to the total, AND also broke the Intensity’s all time career points by place kicking record! Her field goal several minutes earlier broke two separate individual records—most FG made in a season and in a career for New England, so congrats to Lola! The Intensity offense, as a whole, was fairly well balanced and very effective—passing for 116 yards and rushing for 161.
The Defense for NE was particularly stout, holding Maine to negative total yards [-51 to be precise]. Due, in no small part to big plays . . . DT Jennifer “Coco” Edwards (3 solo tackles, 5 tackle assists) would give Southern Maine no quarter. Late in the 2nd, she tackled for loss the Rebel ball carrier, forced and recovered a fumble and handed possession back to the Intensity offense that was humming on all 11 cylinders. One shot, one kill . . . Lopez launched a 33 yard TD bomb to WR/DB Donna Bruce just inside the 2 minute warning for the first half.
Up 45-0 at halftime, the 3rd and 4th quarters were largely elementary. DB/WR Gumby Nesbitt intercepted her 3rd pass of the season and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown in the 3rd. Milan-Eagleson would steamroll her way to touchdown late in the 4th and WR/K Alie Powers’ PAT would be the game’s final score, 58-0.
Other notables for NE were: DE/TE Erin Diette, who had 2 solo tackles, 4 tackle assists, a forced fumble
and a fumble recovery. LB Charlene Casey with 7 tackle assists. And C/LB Michelle Breden (seeing her first substantial action at LB all season) with a solo tackle [for loss] and 3 tackle assists.
The win gave NE a final regular season mark of 6-2, good for their 5th consecutive trip to the playoffs! They will host the Philadelphia Firebirds, a team they have never before played, at Hanlon Field on Saturday, June 30th. Kickoff is 4pm and the Intensity invites football fans everywhere to come out and cheer them on!
The New England Intensity traveled to Montreal this past weekend to take on the undefeated, division-leading Montreal Blitz in an evening tilt on a pleasant late spring night.
Things got off to rough start for the visitors, surrendering a TD on the opening kickoff as the Blitz faked a reverse and went 75 yards to paydirt. Montreal scored on their next possession—courtesy of a few miscues by the Intensity--and would enjoy a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
Bad field position plagued NE this entire game (their average starting position was their own 29, while Montreal started, on average, on the Intensity 32). In fact, the Intensity started on the Blitz side of the field only once all game, while Montreal started all of their possessions except one on the New England side of midfield. The Blitz took full advantage of this, scoring 14 more points in the 2nd quarter.
Montreal’s return game was a problem for the Intensity all night, too, and was a major factor contributing to the field position woes previously-mentioned. The Blitz averaged 40 yards per kickoff return and 20 yards per punt return.
New England showed signs of life in the 3rd quarter as rookie QB Christine Sampson (12 for 29 for 115 yds, 6 first down, 3 INT), led the Blue on a scoring drive capped off by a 5 yard TD run by Sampson.
She spread the ball around well during the game, linking up with Tricia Donovan for 3 completions (including a 42 yarder), Brenna Leveille for 3 completions (2 for first downs), two to Kimberly Boroyan (both first downs), two to Erica Adams (one for a first down) and one to Gumby Nesbitt.
While the passing game was decent for New England, their running game was not . . . the normally-potent ground assault gained exactly zero total yards on 15 carries.
The Defense for New England held up well in the 2nd half, not giving up any points in the 3rd and only one TD in the 4th (an important side note, Montreal did NOT substitute for any of their starters). The D only gave up 40 total rushing yards to Montreal (on 17 attempts—a scant 2.4 yards per carry) and 143 yards through on 13 for 26 passing; however, the home team was able to make several key big plays through the air—including 6 first downs and 2 touchdowns.
Nikia Speed had a stand-out game for the Blue’s defense, tallying a thunderous tackle, 7 tackle assists and a sack. Lisa Close, playing a great game even for her high standards and expectations, led the team with 8 tackle assists and notched half a sack as well. Lisa Vincent had 4 solo tackles and 4 assisted tackles. Donna Bruce logged 2 solo tackles, 5 tackle assists and 2 passes defended. Kate Miechkowski had 2 solo tackles and 2 tackle assists to go along with a pass defended. Mocha Torres had 3 very aggressive tackles, two on special teams. Charlene Casey had 2 solo tackles and 3 tackle assists. Bri Giarrusso and Coco Edwards had 3 tackle assists each.
Alie Powers, in her first game doing kickoffs, had a respectable 37.5 yard average and Tricia Donovan was busy, returning 5 kickoffs.
So, despite a handful of noteworthy performances, the team came up well short in this contest and must now identify and fix the various problems that surfaced north of the border. There is not a lot of time to do so as the final regular season tilt is 6/16/12 back at home (for the first time in over a month) with the Intensity playing host to the Southern Maine Rebels.
Intensity Continues to Roll, Beats Southern Maine 31-0
The New England Intensity kept their win-streak in tact, downing the Southern Maine Rebels 31-0 in Portland during a monsoon (low 50s, driving down-pouring rain).
The horrendous weather actually moved the officiating crew to call the game late in the 3rd quarter (the ponding water on the turf field was, in their opinion, creating unsafe playing conditions for both teams). As the score was already 31-0 at halftime, both squads agreed to have a running clock in the 2nd half.
With the result of the coin flip having the Intensity start the game going into the wind, their first few possessions were unimpressive, to say the least. They were able to right the ship, courtesy of a 15 yard Lisa Vincent run, followed soon thereafter by a 17 yard pass from rookie QB Christine Sampson—making her first start—to Erica Adams. The Adams Show continued, with an 11 yard run and a 35 yard TD scamper (the first of the season for her). This score came with less than 3 minutes left in the first.
On the next offensive series, Vincent picked up a low snap and turned on the jets up the right side for a 39 yard TD run, pushing the score to 13-0. Both she and Adams had over 40 yards rushing on 5 total carries between them.
Sampson threw the first TD of her career, connecting with Brenna Leveille midway through the 2nd quarter for a 17 yard strike. She tossed another, an 18-yarder, to Tricia Donovan shortly before halftime. Sampson ended the day going 6 for 16 for 92 yards with 2 TDs, 2 first downs and only one pick.
Sandwiched in between the air assault touchdowns was rookie phenom Heather Eagleson slashing 9 tough yards for her 3rd TD in as many games. She’d finish the game with over 5 yards per carry. In all, the Blue gained nearly 150 yards on the ground in this contest (only 17 carries—over 8 yards per rush).
The Intensity D pitched another shutout, the 3rd of the season so far, holding the power running attack of the Rebels to 0 total yards on offense on 25 carries (not even accounting for penalties). They did not attempt any passes.
The Intensity linebackers were active as ever . . . Vincent led the way with 8 tackle assists and a forced fumble and Charlene Casey had 7 assists of her own.
Kate Miechkowski had a solo tackle, 6 assists, a fumble recovered and a forced fumble. Adams had a solo tackle, 5 assists and a fumble recovery.
The D line played well, too. Lisa Close had 7 tackle assists and forced a fumble. Coco Edwards had 5 assists while Aimee Gauvin had three. Bri Giarrusso led the team with 2 solo tackles and chipped in 3 assists. Defensive Backs Donna Bruce and Andrea Covelli had a solo tackle and 3 assists, Covelli with a forced fumble, too.
In increasingly-impressive fashion, Mocha Torres continues to rack up Special Teams tackles, notching a solo and 2 assists on specials in this game. She is presently tied with Bruce for the team lead in this category.
Now sitting at 5-1, the Intensity prepares to square off with long-time rival and perennial powerhouse Montreal Blitz, who is presently undefeated (6-0). In fact, the only team to score on Montreal this season is New England (Montreal won the season-opener 20-11).
New England Now 4-1, Wins 21-0 Versus the Northeastern Nitro
The New England Intensity won their 4th straight game of the 2012 season, defeating the Northeastern Nitro 21-0 Saturday night in Schenectady, NY. A gorgeous ride west to upstate New York along the bright green tree-lined Mass Pike with deep blue skies overhead and warm temps all around almost gave the feel of a vacation rather than a business trip. Fortunately, the Intensity got right down to business against the physical Nitro squad, scoring twice in the opening quarter—a TD pass from QB Rebecca Lopez to Lisa Vincent and a TD run from Vincent a few minutes later. Tricia Donovan ran in a 2 point attempt after a high snap precluded Lola Kantak from making a PAT try. Vincent averaged over 6 yards per carry and Nikia Speed averaged over 5 yards per carry (most of her yards coming after contact) in her first game back carrying the ball [after a lower limb injury earlier in the season]. Rookie Heather Eagleson bowled her way into the endzone in the 2nd quarter for her second TD in as many games to put NE up 21-0.
Lopez was a very efficient 8 for 15 with a TD and 3 first downs. Donovan, in impressive fashion, turned a short screen pass into a 32-yard gain on a 2nd and 30 play. She’d lead the team with 40 receiving yards. Lopez spread the ball around well, as 6 different receivers caught passes in this game. Seeing her first action throwing the ball this season, Rookie Christine Sampson linked up with Erica Adams on a 9 yard play late in the game, good for a first down. New England’s balanced offensive attack (nearly 50/50 in pass/run yardage) set them up to outgain their opponent in total yards yet again. The tough home squad did not quit, and actually gave the New England D a scare on a few occasions--especially on the ground. The Blue only allowed 41 passing yards on 21 attempts, but did give up 121 rushing yards and 7 first downs by way of the run.
Charlene Casey led the way for the Intensity again, tallying 13 tackle assists (good for the team lead in that category), she also had a solo tackle and a fumble recovery. Fellow mauler-in-the-middle, Kate Miechkowski collected 10 tackle assists, while Speed—playing in front of many fans (she lives in Rochester, NY) did not disappoint . . . she led the squad with 3 solo tackles, had 5 assists, a forced fumble and a pass defended. Erica Adams Vincent turned in 6-assist efforts, with Vincent notching 2 solo tackles, Adams one and two passes defended. Rounding out the top performers on D were Coco Edwards (6 tackle assists), Lisa Close (3 assists and a sack), Erin Diette (1 solo tackle, a forced fumble and half a sack), Brenna Leveille—who also averaged 38 yards per kickoff—(half a sack and 2 assists), Donna Bruce (3 assists, an interception and a fumble recovery), Andrea Covelli (1 solo, 3 assists) and Stacey DeLuca (1 solo, 2 assists and a pass defended). New England, along with most of the league, has the Memorial Day weekend off before their 4-game road trip continues—they’ll square off against the Southern Maine Rebels in Portland on 6/2/12.
New England Overcomes Mistakes to Defeat New Hampshire
The New England Intensity tallied their 2nd win of
the 2012 season Saturday afternoon over long-time
rival New Hampshire Freedom with a 4th quarter
touchdown run by Lisa Vincent (and a subsequent
2 point pass completion to Donna Bruce from
Tricia Donovan). Bruce caught a TD pass from QB
Rebecca Lopez in the 2nd for the Intensity’s first
The Blue offense, behind very effective O Line pass-
and run-blocking, moved the ball very well all game
(discounting a negative 28 yard run due to a bad snap
on a punt play, New England passed for 152 yards
and ran for 150). Vincent notched another 100+
yard day running the ball, while Erica Adams, Bruce
and Heather Eagleson all contributed positively in
the run game. Lopez spread the ball around well as
7 different players hauled in passes (Tricia Donovan
leading the way with 4 catches for 55 yards and two
Mental errors derailed what was otherwise a decent
effort with the ball for the Intensity—an interception,
5 fumbles (losing two of them), and a couple of
untimely drive-killing penalties.
Despite these errors, the home team’s defense kept
the Freedom from taking full advantage of these
miscues and pulling away. In fact, aside from
gaining almost 40 yards on their opening drive, and
a 41 yard pass play that set up their lone score in
the 2nd quarter, New Hampshire had little success
moving the ball—finishing the day with roughly
half the total yards of their hosts at Medway High
School’s Hanlon Field, and only averaging 2.3 yards
Battling the flu, LB Kate Miechkowski would still
log a phenomenal game, leading the team with 6 solo
tackles and 7.5 total tackles. Fellow LBs Charlene
Casey (2 solo and 10 tackle assists) and Lisa Vincent
(1 and 7, with a pass defended) were key parts to
the defensive effort. The D line, anchored by Bri
Giarrusso (8 solo tackles), Aimee Gauvin (5 tackle
assists) and Jennifer “Coco” Edwards (2 and 4) did
well against the run.
Head Coach John Johnson and his staff came away
from the game pleased to get the hard-fought win
against the tough New Hampshire squad but with
a laundry list of things to work on in the ensuing
two weeks (New England has a bye on 5/5 before
traveling to Manchester on 5/12 for the 2nd half of the
home-and-home with the Freedom).
New England Wins Big Versus Connecticut!
The New England Intensity returned to their winning ways last Saturday, soundly defeating the visiting Connecticut Wreckers 36-0 at Hanlon Field in Medway, Massachusetts. The win evens up the Intensity 2012 record at 1-1 and puts them back on track for their season goals.
Behind a solid effort by the Offensive Line, New England rushed for over 250 yards and 4 TDs (by 4 different players, with Lisa Vincent leading the way tallying 167 rushing yards on 9 carries, one of which a 59 yard TD scamper on the Intensity’s first play). Over 100 yards were gained in the air as QB Rebecca Lopez went 7 for 9, including a 55 yard TD bomb to Donna Bruce. No NE QB suffered a sack in this game as well—kudos to the O Line, again!
The Defense was characteristically stingy, surrendering only 63 total yards (6 yards on just one completion, 57 yards on the ground) and two total first downs in the shut-out effort. Vincent had two sacks and Charlene Casey led the team in tackles with 4 solo and 3 assists.
On Special Teams, Rookie Michelle Torres had two solo tackles, Brenna Leveille had a 55 yard kickoff, Tricia Donovan averaged 16.0 yards per punt return (she had three in the game), and Lola Kantak hit her second FG of the season and went 2 for 2 on extra point attempts.
Head Coach Johnny Johnson and the rest of the staff liked what they had seen from some of the rookies, notably Christine Sampson (who ran for one of the team four rushing TDs and returned an interception 43 yards) and Heather Eagleson (who churned out several tough runs late in the game when the whole world knew that New England would be running the ball).
That said, New England will have it’s work cut out for itself over the next two weeks (this Saturday upcoming is a bye week for the Intensity) as they prepare to host archrival New Hampshire Freedom on 4/28/12 at Medway High School—another 4pm kickoff. Back to basics is the theme the coaching staff will be driving home to the players in the upcoming practices, we will see how well it is received come the 28th!
The 2011 Independent Women's Football League (IWFL) Eastern Conference Champion New England Intensity opened their 2012 season this past Saturday, 4/7/12, at Hanlon Field (Medway, Massachusetts), where they have played home games for 7 consecutive years.
The Intensity hosted the Montreal Blitz (2008 and 2010 Champions and 2009 runners-up), who has had New England's number of late (defeating the Intensity 53-14 in 2010 in the first round of the playoffs and 30-0 in Medway last season).
New England, having made numerous roster and staff upgrades and coming off of the most productive and ambitious off-season they have ever conducted, was not about to get drummed again! Despite several miscues that included surrendering a kickoff returned for a touchdown and 7 turnovers on offense, the Intensity, due largely to stalwart defense, was very much in this game. In fact, the score was 14-11 for the better part of the 4th quarter before an untimely "pick six" by the visiting squad with less than a minute remaining closed the door on this match.
Head Coach John Johnson was very upbeat, even in defeat, citing how the mistakes are easily fixable and the fact that only one offensive touchdown was given up by the New England (especially given the 7 turnovers) is cause for optimism.
He and the rest of his staff will be hard at work this week preparing the Intensity for their next game--a 4pm tilt at Medway High versus the Connecticut Wreckers, a team new to the league that New England does not have a lot of information on. As such, the Blue needs to be ready for anything and this promises to be a great game!
RONDO's KENTUCKY WILDCATS TAKE IT ALL OVER PIERCE"S KANSAS JAYHAWKS 67-59
Baylor becomes first NCAAW team to go 40-0 as they take down Notre Dame 80-61 in championship game!
Bobby Valentine has decided Alfredo Aceves will be closer with Andrew Bailey out 4-5 months due to injury.
Bobby Valentine has also reached an agreement with a New York Radio station to make a weekly appearance all season long.
Ray Allen returned to action Wednesday in the Celtics 87-86 loss to the Spurs. Rondo dropped 17 points in a game which the Celtics got outscored 59-48 in the first half but would come back in the 2nd half and outscore the Spurs 38-28, but Pierce would not be able to hit the buzzer beater for the victory. Celtics have 13 games left in the regular season and are currently 11 games back of first place Chicago and holding onto the 4th playoff seed.
The Independent Women's Football Conference Champions New England Intensity kick off their season on Saturday April 7th against the Montreal Blitz. 4:00pm Kickoff at Medway High School on 88 Summer Street in Medway. Tickets are cheap so attend some games and enjoy some great spring football. Also stay tuned to "The Sports Blast' for game highlights of the New England Intensity as well as interviews with players and coaches throughout the season
Kyle Lohse had a no hitter going into the 7th inning for the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals but it would be broken up by Catcher John Buck however the Cardinals would spoil the Miami Marlins home opener taking them down 4-1 in game 1 of the 2012 MLB season in North America.
The New England Intensity is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this season, has been to the playoffs 4 consecutive years (5 of the last 6) and was the National Champion runner-up last season (Eastern Conference Champion in the IWFL--Independent Women's Football League). The Intensity is excited as they are loaded with one of the best rosters and staffs they have ever had! The 2012 Season will feature some great Football and is expected too feature a nice run by the Intensity.
The Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Network will feature broadcasts of some New England Intensity home games and also keep you updated on how the Intensity fares throughout the season. The New England Intensity play their home games at Medway High School located on 88 Summer Street in Medway,MA at the High School.
Looking to watch some good Football this Spring, Tickets are Cheap! Details are here
2012 New England Intensity
Schedule and Results
Saturday, April 7th, 2012 . . . vs Montreal Blitz
Saturday, April 14th, 2012 . . . vs Connecticut Wreckers
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 . . . BYE
Saturday, April 28th, 2012 . . . vs New Hampshire Freedom
Saturday, May 5th, 2012 . . . BYE
Saturday, May 12th, 2012 . . . at New Hampshire Freedom
Saturday, May 19th, 2012 . . . at Northeastern Nitro
Saturday, May 26th, 2012 . . . BYE
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 . . . at Southern Maine Rebels
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 . . . at Montreal Blitz
Saturday, June 16th, 2012 . . . vs Southern Maine Rebels
Conference Semi-Finals . . . June 30th, 2012 . . . Time/Venue TBD
Conference Finals . . . July 14th, 2012 . . . Time/Venue TBD
Championship Game . . . July 28th, 2012 . . . at Round Rock, Texas