Roller Derby World Cup – USA mixes up AUS in the Semi-Finals

Roller Derby World Cup – USA mixes up AUS in the Semi-Finals Hugs all around. Photo by Danforth Johnson

DALLAS, TX – Australia started the game strong both defensively and offensively, while the USA was slow to come alive.  For the first 15 minutes of the first half Australia consistently got their jammers out of the pack quickly through a combination of a couple of different offensive strategies and star passes. The Australians found success by swarming Team USA’s wall and racking USA blockers toward the center of the track, opening the inside and outside lines for their jammers to pass through. Defensively, Australia was extremely impressive. Their backwards-bracing walls proved difficult for Scald Eagle, V-Diva and Jackie Daniels to break though, often holding them in the pack for 30 seconds. Nicole Williams also had trouble breaking through Australia’s four wall and uncharacteristically did not earn lead jammer status for a number of jams. Shortstop had an amazing half and managed to slip through the cracks in the USA’s walls for an impressive lead percentage.

After 3 scoring passes for Williams, Australia was able to pass the star and force a call off. In the next jam Christy Demons, escaped from the pack right behind V-Diva and held her to 1 point. Mad Mel Arena earned lead over Williams and scored Australia’s first 4 points about 5 minutes into the game, which was the fastest any team has scored on the USA during the tournament thus far. Soon after, Giles was awarded lead against Williams, who trailed not far behind for a 1-0 jam in Australia’s favor. Notably this was the first jam in the entire World Cup where Team USA was held scoreless. With 10 minutes to go in the first half and the USA’s defense awoke and transformed back into the slow, controlled, tight rotating diamond that we’ve seen all weekend. At the half the USA led 128-20.

Vanessa "V-Diva" Sites was the top scorer for USA with 108 points followed by Scald Eagle with 103. Photo by Danforth Johnson

Vanessa “V-Diva” Sites was the top scorer for USA with 108 points followed by Scald Eagle with 103. Photo by Danforth Johnson

The first jam of the second period went to Australia as Christy Demons was awarded lead over Williams, picking up 2 points for Australia. Team USA responded with a big jam from V-Diva and excellent defense from Serelson, Mann, and Wild Cherri. Scald Eagle continued the run for the US adding multiple scoring passes to the US total. Nicole Williams was up next, but once again Shortstop broke out first. Williams escaped the pack was thanks to a no pass no penalty, Williams was awarded lead and called it off before any points were scored.

Short Stop outscored any other team at the World Cup all on her own with 21 points. Photo by Danforth Johnson

Short Stop outscored any other team at the World Cup all on her own with 21 points. Photo by Danforth Johnson

Later in the half Williams started out on a power jam but due to Australia’s formidable defense she was only able to complete one 5-point pass. Towards the end of the period Shortstop had a huge jam that forced a star pass from Williams to Tracy Akers. After a well-called time out by Australia to squeeze in one more jam, Williams relinquished the star to V-Diva who finished the game with 5 more points before calling it off.  Though Team Australia lost, they played an amazing game and managed to hold Williams to 28 points in the game, hold the USA scoreless for multiple jams, and score more points than every other team that faced the USA this weekend combined. The USA won 259-54 and will move on to play the winner of England versus Canada at 7:00PM for 1st place. Australia will play at 5:00PM to fight for 3rd place against the loser of England v. Canada.

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