Shady Punter Round 2 Preview - Angels v Swans
Montreal Angels v Ottawa Swans
Rideau Carleton Raceway
Saturday June 6th at 11.30am.
2015 has brought a very different look to the Women’s competition. We have seen the introduction of two Ottawa teams (Shamrocks and Warriors), as well as a format change where the teams from each city combine to face off against each other in a full field game.
Let’s rewind a little bit to the pre-season tournament where these two teams faced off against each other, with the Angels bettering the Swans. This performance was led by a little known rookie at the time, Valerie Moreau, who really jumped on the radar of opposing teams after that tournament. Ottawa even in a losing effort showed a lot of promise of their own with the addition of some rookie talent in Kelly Cambridge and Christie Childers.
Fast forward to the start of the regular season and the much anticipated matchups between the Shamrocks v. Giants (30-19) and the Warriors v. Eagles (53-29), in which we saw both Ottawa teams come out with strong victories. A strong performance by the Shamrocks led by Kelly Cambridge and Lauren Stoot under the coaching of Chris Lockhart proved to be too much for the reigning champions, the Giants. With the veteran presence of Margo and Emily Legault this wasn’t going to be an easy task, but the Shamrocks were able to get the points.
In the second game of the day we saw the Warriors earn their points over a strong Eagles team. Running back to back games, Valerie Moreau and Gabby Bureau proved to be strong opponents for the Warriors and a late flurry of offensive scoring from Lindsay Belzie gave this game an exciting finish. However the Warriors with Emma Dickinson in her coaching debut were just too strong to let it slip away. Vivian Nguyen (Player of the round) and Holly Costanza dominated the middle ground and really controlled the pace of play, getting the ball with ease up to Dora (traitor) Bartulovic to secure the Warriors win.
This brings us to this Saturday’s big matchup in Ottawa. And it provides a bit of a perplexing look at these two teams. Is Montreal a better team when they represent the Angels? Or is Ottawa just a slow starter? With two teams that have excellent combinations of skill, speed and toughness this game may come down to endurance. With the obvious strong performances expected out of veterans on both these teams and the emergence of notable rookies this game may rely more on roll players to step and make a difference.
Watch for the Angels to have a big game out of Alicia Falardeau (who missed the Giants loss on Sunday) who can score goals, Mariette Parrod who will get better with each game she plays and Francesca Benedetti who is proving to be a tough defender to get the better off. For the Swans expect to see some strong performances from Nathalie Presseau and Lisa Dalla Rosa while Amanda Smith is growing in stature with each game she plays.
My prediction: Coming off the Swans respective teams strong wins last week and the wind blowing just right on their home turf, the Swans pull out a hard fought win over a strong Angels squad.
Swans by 4 goals.