DALLAS,TX – After a long weekend, around 70 games, and 3043 total points scored by Team USA to their opponents’ 197, they fought their way to a convincing 1st place win in the 2nd Roller Derby World Cup. Of all of their opponents, England gave the United States the hardest battle and gained the majority of points scored against them. The teams brought a rowdy conclusion to the weekend complete with off the track rivalry in the stands, with a final game score of 219-105, Team USA’s lowest scoring game in the competition.
Team USA stepped out on the track clearly ready to dominate, earning lead jammer for a continuous 9 jams. Nicole Williams (usually known as Bonnie Thunders) earned lead status in the initial jam fairly quickly while Rivas, Slaydie, Flowers, and Akers formed an indestructible diamond, locking in England’s jammer for the entire two minutes.
Next to the jam line was USA’s Suzy Hotrod versus England’s Lexi Lightspeed, but then Hotrod was sent to the box on a track cut after being awarded lead. The power jam for England was short lived as Lightspeed picked up a cut of her own. With neither team able to call the jam, it went for the full 2 minutes, allowing England to score their first 6 points of the game.
Scald Eagle was next in Team USA’s jammer rotation and she flew through the pack, escaping before turn one while England’s Kamikaze Kitten, in her final roller derby game before retirement, was stuck behind Tracy Akers. Despite Team USA’s lead jammer streak, England’s defense was visibly strong in every jam. And their double-threat Stefanie Mainey did a fantastic job commanding the triangle and two wall at the front of the pack, which successfully held USA for a quarter track and helped to minimize scoring passes.
England began to build some momentum when, despite not earning lead, they were able to put pressure on USA’s jammers and force a call off for two consecutive 0-0 jams. Team England took advantage of the USA’s blocker penalties and continued the momentum from the previous jams to gain lead in the next two jams and increase their score incrementally.
The last four jams of the half went in England’s favor, beginning with a cut track committed by Team USA’s Atomatrix. Trisha Smackanawa stepped up to the line to exploit the power start for England, but unfortunately she was continually recycled, permitting Atomatrix to return to score as well. England jammer, and usual London Rollergirl, Rogue Runner took advantage of the USA’s depleted blockers and leapt through the two wall with ease next, collecting all 4 pack points. In the final jam of the half, Lexi Lightspeed lapped Nicole Williams for an easy 5 points, bringing the halftime score to USA 95-45, and the crowd to a roar.
Despite their momentum at the end of the half, England had a hard time picking it back up in the second. Rogue spent a minute and 59 seconds stuck in the pack, which allowed Williams to go on a 24-point run during that time, turning a 50 point game differential into a 74-pointer.
England regrouped, and blockers Fay Roberts and Shaolynn Huynh gave USA’s Hotrod a hard time until their jammer Lexi Lightspeed could force the call off at 0-0.
Not long after that, Scald Eagle got too risky with her tip-toes and went to the box on a cut, leaving Kami on a power jam. Kami then swooped around the outside and jumped the apex with her usual style, but the jam ended 14-12 as Scald Eagle returned to add points, only ultimately increasing Team England’s total by two.
Mainey seemed to never leave the track, and did a good job holding on to jammers with the help of Hellvetica Black and Kristen Lee. When Kami got held up, she first stashed the panty and then skated a full lap clockwise to meet Williams at the front to presumably try and help eat the baby, or hold her up outside the pack. With a quarter of the bout left, USA held a solid lead, 172-62.
Of the final ten jams, England was able to earn lead jammer status in eight of them, but it wasn’t nearly as productive as it might sound. Rogue Runner was gifted a powerjam after another Scald Eagle cut penalty, getting England one single grand slam addition after being held unscoring for nearly ten minutes. During a few of England’s lead jams, they let the jam run even after USA exited the pack, ending in low or negative differentials.
Atomatrix picked up one of the final lead calls for USA, powering her way to 7 jam points and pushing the team to 200 to England’s 82 points, with seven minutes left. Kami was most successful in this half for getting lead jammer calls, so that even after a jam not long after went full length because she took her lead to the box, England had a successful penalty kill on Atomatrix, so that England ultimately came out tops in that jam, 10-4.
When Kami and Hotrod lined up for the final jam, it became a perfect last jam send-off for Kami as she picked up her final lead status, and a respectable five points for Team England. In a fall-down call-off, the entire England bench dog-piled Kami, but it was the sight of Williams jumping up and down with joy that reminded everyone that Team USA had taken first placing once again in the Blood & Thunder Roller Derby World Cup, 219-105.