Raptors All-Female Broadcast Team historic highlight during difficult season for struggling franchise

Source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/all-women-broadcast-crew-hopes-to-ignite-some-dreams-covering-raptors-game-1.5360604#:~:text=Five%20women%20%2D%20Amy%20Audibert%2C%20Meghan,to%20inspire%20a%20younger%20generation

TORONTO — In an NBA first, an all-female broadcast team provided the analysis and play-by-play coverage of a men’s game between the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets.

Five women – Amy Audibert, Meghan McPeak, Kia Nurse, Kayla Grey and Kate Beirness – were courtside and in the studio to give analysis of the regular season game in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday night. Audibert, who provided analysis from the studio, hopes to inspire a younger generation.

“It’s just the opportunity to maybe inspire, and I keep saying, ignite some dreams and have some young women out there because they can look up tonight and see something that is different and new,” she told CTV’s Your Morning before the game on Wednesday.

McPeak, who handled the play-by-play coverage, said that she wants to show young boys and girls that women of colour do belong on the teams covering sports in Canada.

“When you look at the three roles that are primarily on camera in a traditional broadcast with the play-by-play, the analysis and sideline reporter, they’ll all be held by women of colour,” she told CTV News Channel on Wednesday before the game. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity but the importance of the next generation, it’s not lost on me and that’s why I wanted to make sure that I was part of this.”

McPeak said she’s been preparing for this moment her whole life, so she was not feeling nervous.

“When I woke up this morning, I was waking up to do my job,” she said.

Audibert isn’t letting the pressure get to her either.

“I have to treat it like any other game, you know, my prep is still the same.”

McPeak says she wants to pave the way for the next generation, to make it easier for up-and-comers to get air time.

“It’s something that I must do and I think it’s something that we all must do is making sure the next generation doesn’t have the same obstacles or barriers that I may have had or those that came before me,” she said.

And while it’s a historical step in the right direction for the predominantly male-dominated realm of  sports coverage, the work doesn’t end there. “Do we need to keep our heads down and keep the work going? Yes, because really, how else are we going to earn the respect and the notoriety that we would love to be measured on the same standard,” said Audibert.

Dream season culminates with Patty Kazmaier Award for goaltending great Aerin Frankel

Source: https://www.pattykaz.com/news_article/show/1154786

Goaltender led nation in goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Senior goaltender Aerin Frankel (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) from Northeastern University was named the 24th recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award today as the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.

“Aerin has been the backbone of our team the past four seasons and this year has been her best,” said Dave Flint, head women’s ice hockey coach at Northeastern. “She is one of, if not the, most competitive goalies I have coached which I feel is the most important quality in a goaltender. The confidence the team has in her allows us to play the way we want to. Her numbers are off the charts and this year she has been rewriting the record books.”

Since joining the Huskies program in 2017, Frankel has been a crucial piece to Northeastern’s successes.  As an alternate captain in 2020-21, she helped the team to a 22-2-1 record and a national runner-up finish. Frankel led the nation in nearly every statistical category, including goals against average (0.81), save percentage (.965), goalie winning percentage (.891) and shutouts (9).

Named Hockey East Player of the Year and Hockey East Goaltender of the Year, Frankel helped the Huskies to their fourth straight league post-season tournament title after completing the regular season as the top-ranked team in the conference. She paced the HEA in goals against average (0.65), save percentage (.971) and goalie winning percentage (.912). In addition, Frankel twice earned Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week and Hockey East Goaltender of the Month honors and gained Hockey East Player of the Week laurels on four occasions.

Frankel was honored as the NCAA Goaltender of the Month and Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association National Goaltender of the Month in January and was also awarded the PNC Bank Three-Stars Award.

Frankel was selected as the recipient of the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award from a group of three finalists that included senior forward Daryl Watts from the University of Wisconsin and senior forward Grace Zumwinkle from the University of Minnesota. NOTES: Frankel is the fourth goaltender to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, following Ann-Renee Desbiens (University of Wisconsin/2017), Jessie Vetter (University of Wisconsin/2009) and Ali Brewer (Brown University/2000)

The third Northeastern player to be named as the recipient, Frankel joined Kendall Coyne Schofield, who won in 2016, and Brooke Whitney, who took the honor in 2002

TSN celebrates International Women’s Day with all-female panels on hockey broadcasts

Source: https://www.bellmedia.ca/the-lede/press/championing-women-today-and-every-day-tsn-celebrates-international-womens-day/

On March 8, TSN featured all-female panels in the network’s regional broadcasts of the Ottawa Senators vs. Edmonton Oilers (9 p.m. ET on TSN5) and Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. ET on TSN2), with Lindsay Hamilton, Hailey Salvian, and Cheryl Pounder leading SENS ON TSN coverage, and Laura Diakun and Sami Jo Small leading HABS ON TSN coverage.

The broadcasts also featured contributions from Hockey Hall of Famers Angela James and Kim St-Pierre, plus current Team Canada member Renata Fast.

Isobel Cup win for Boston Pride cements numerous legacies

Source: https://www.sportsnet.ca/women-hockey/article/boston-pride-defeat-minnesota-whitecaps-win-2021-isobel-cup/

BOSTON — Lexie Laing and Taylor Wenczkowski scored power play goals and the Boston Pride became the first two-time winner of the Isobel Cup with a 4-3 win over the defending champion Minnesota Whitecaps on Saturday night.

It was a NWHL championship the Pride, regular-season champions, had hoped to win a year earlier, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the championship game between these same two teams just two days before the faceoff.

Wenczkowski’s goal that made it 4-2 with 6:28 to play proved to be the game as it came down to a frantic finish.

Boston’s Tereza Vanisova was called for a 5-minute checking-from-behind major with 2:25 left. The Whitecaps pulled goalie Amanda Leveille at the same time but didn’t score on the 6-on-4 until just 19.4 seconds remained, Meaghan Pezon stuffing the puck during a scramble.

But Boston, which dominated the facesoffs 39-18, won the last draw, thanks to Laing, and the Pride had their first championship since the inaugural season of 2015-16.

“We finally did it and I’m so proud of our team,” Boston captain and Cup MVP Jillian Dempsey, the only player from the first championship, said. “Huge congratulations to Minnesota, too. They really made that a battle until the very last second.”

BOSTON — Lexie Laing and Taylor Wenczkowski scored power play goals and the Boston Pride became the first two-time winner of the Isobel Cup with a 4-3 win over the defending champion Minnesota Whitecaps on Saturday night.

It was a NWHL championship the Pride, regular-season champions, had hoped to win a year earlier, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the championship game between these same two teams just two days before the faceoff.

Wenczkowski’s goal that made it 4-2 with 6:28 to play proved to be the game as it came down to a frantic finish.

Boston’s Tereza Vanisova was called for a 5-minute checking-from-behind major with 2:25 left. The Whitecaps pulled goalie Amanda Leveille at the same time but didn’t score on the 6-on-4 until just 19.4 seconds remained, Meaghan Pezon stuffing the puck during a scramble.

But Boston, which dominated the facesoffs 39-18, won the last draw, thanks to Laing, and the Pride had their first championship since the inaugural season of 2015-16.

“We finally did it and I’m so proud of our team,” Boston captain and Cup MVP Jillian Dempsey, the only player from the first championship, said. “Huge congratulations to Minnesota, too. They really made that a battle until the very last second.”

Boston goalie Lovisa Selander made 27 saves.

After Allie Thunstrom gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the first period, the Pride score three goals in the second period. Mary Parker tied the game, Dempsey found the far top corner from the bottom of the circle and then Laing cashed in a 5-on-3 power play.

With 12:21 to play in the third period, the Pride had pressure on the goal when defenceman Amanda Boulier was called for covering up the puck in the crease. Boston was given a choice of a penalty shot or power play and elected to give Tori Sullivan the penalty shot that Leveille stopped.

Just 13 seconds later Thunstrom scored her second goal,fourth of the weekend, to make it 3-2 and set up the frantic finish.

“(The finish) felt like the longest 19 seconds of my life,” Boston defenceman Kaleigh Fratkin, who has played in the NWHL since the inception, said. “Lexie Laing has been an amazing centre for us, she won the draw and Lauren Kelly has been unbelieve for us this year on the D-end, she sent the puck down and killed it. Man a great way to bring home the last 19 seconds.”

Even the abbreviated season, played in a bubble in Lake Placid, New York, was shut down in early February with the six teams playing between three and seven games and the four playoff teams hadn’t played since early February.

Minnesota, which went 3-1 in the bubble, won 2-1 in their lone matchup with Boston (3-4) on Jan. 23.

Fourth-seeded Boston reached the championship game with a 6-2 win over top-seeded Toronto (4-1-1)in the semifinals with six different players scoring. Minnesota routed Connecticut (2-2) 7-0 behind a hattrick by Audra Richards and two goals from Thunstrom.

Racing pioneer Sabine Schmitz among legendary figures lost in early 2021

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/sports/autoracing/sabine-schmitz-obituary.html

She was the only woman to win the epic 24-hour race at the storied Nürburgring track in Germany. She became a spirited participant on the BBC show “Top Gear.”

March 17, 2021

For Sabine Schmitz, going to the storied Nürburgring car racing track in Western Germany was like going to school. Growing up near the track, one of the world’s most famous, she had always loved speed and by her own account completed more than 20,000 laps of that circuit.

“I never had to learn the track,” she once said. “It’s in my blood.”

Schmitz, a popular German racing driver and former featured participant on the BBC show “Top Gear,” known for her punchy comments and a buoyant personality that stood out in a male-dominated industry, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Trier, in southwestern Germany. She was 51. Her half brother, Beat Schmitz, said the cause was cancer.

A cheerful and spirited driver, Schmitz was called “Queen of the Nürburgring” and the “fastest taxi driver in the world” — for driving thrill-seeking racing fans around the track in a BMW. She won the popular Nürburgring 24-hour race in 1996 — becoming the first woman to do so — and then again the next year. She became known to an even broader public when she joined “Top Gear” in 2016 after several appearances on the show.

She and her husband, Klaus Abbelen, founded the racing team Frikadelli Racing.

Sabine Schmitz was born on May 14, 1969 in Adenau, in Western Germany. The daughter of a wholesaler and a hotel manager in the village of Nurburg, near the border with Belgium, she grew up less than a mile from the Nürburgring complex, and although she trained as a hotelier, she had wanted to be a racing driver since she was 13, she said.

The fabled main track of the Nürburgring, the 12.9-mile-long Nordschleife, is known as Green Hell for its 73 turns as it weaves through the forest in the Eifel hills. In service since 1927, the track hosted Formula 1 races but was later considered too dangerous and redesigned.

The new Nordschleife, which was modified when Schmitz was 2, became her playground. She was able to recite the names of the 73 turns by heart, and she first completed it at age 17 — with her mother’s car, before she had a driving license.

“They put on racing tires, took off the license plates and raced it on the track,” Beat Schmitz said about Sabine and the family. “My mother would drive that same car to the hairdresser or to do groceries.”

He added, “It’s just like the kid who is born next to the soccer stadium and is in a soccer team at 5.”

After competing in amateur races with her two sisters, Schmitz joined a BMW team in the early 1990s. She remains the only female driver to have won Nürburgring’s 24-hour race, which draws more than 200 racing teams and tens of thousands of fans every June. She finished third in the 2008 edition. The event is part of the VLN endurance racing series, in which Schmitz was a frequent

She became one of the main attractions at the racing complex as a driver of a BMW “ring taxi,” in which she took paying customers on a high-speed lap around the track. She boasted about being “the fastest taxi driver in the world.”

“It’s really fun to scare people,” she said on “Top Gear” in 2010. “They love to get scared, so they pay me for that.”

Schmitz’s time on “Top Gear” brought a non-British touch to a show mostly run by men and aimed at them. She favored escapades in which she would try to pass other drivers while driving a less powerful car than theirs.

One of her most popular moments on the show occurred in 2009, when she tried to complete a lap on the Nürburgring circuit in less than 10 minutes — with a Ford van. She did it in 10:08 minutes.

“I think she loved how much she could shock middle-aged men who thought they could drive a bit — until they saw what she could do,” Chris Harris, a “Top Gear” host, said. Schmitz left “Top Gear” last year, announcing that she had been under treatment for cancer since 2017.

Molly Holly becomes latest star from WWE’s Divas era to land in Hall of Fame

Source: https://www.wwe.com/shows/wwe-hall-of-fame/wwe-hall-of-fame-2021/article/molly-holly-wwe-hall-of-fame-class-2021

Molly Holly, a true pioneer of women’s wrestling, is the first inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021. She was surprised with the news of her induction by her former associate The Hurricane on WWE’s The Bump.

Holly will take her place in sports-entertainment history on Tuesday, April 6, during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The special, which will stream on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else, will feature the induction of both the 2020 and 2021 classes.

After training under “The Man of 1,000 Holds” Dean Malenko, Holly broke into the wrestling business in 1997 and first appeared on television for WCW in 1999 alongside fellow Hall of Famers “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Alundra Blayze as part of Team Madness. Donning a glittering blue dress and sash, Holly looked like a beauty queen but was ruthless inside the ring.

She made the jump to WWE in 2000 and immediately became embroiled in a bitter family rivalry between her cousins — Hardcore Holly & Crash Holly — and The Dudleys. But a romance bloomed between Molly and Spike Dudley, as they quickly became the Romeo & Juliet of WWE.

Holly then embraced her inner superhero, turning into Mighty Molly as she joined forces with The Hurricane. Her newfound superpowers helped her win the Hardcore Championship at WrestleMania X8 in 2001.

After her turn as a caped crimefighter, Holly got serious — and a little self-righteous — and set her sights on WWE’s biggest female stars, starting with Trish Stratus. She defeated Stratus to win the WWE Women’s Championship for the first of her two reigns at King of the Ring 2002. Holly took on all comers during her two turns as champion, although her attitude came back to haunt her as her second reign ended, and she was shaved bald by Victoria at WrestleMania XX.

Holly left WWE in 2005 but returned to take part in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match in 2018, as well as the 2020 edition of the over-the-top-rope melee. Her impact on women’s wrestling has been felt to this day, as she is consistently cited by today’s Superstars as an inspiration. After a legendary career, Molly Holly is more than deserving of induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Don’t miss Molly Holly enter the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, April 6! Stay tuned to WWE programming and all of WWE’s digital platforms as WrestleMania Week approaches for more information on the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Sixth national title represents sensational summit for iconic Wisconsin Badgers program

Source: https://uwbadgers.com/news/2021/3/20/womens-hockey-super-six-badgers-claim-sixth-national-title.aspx

ERIE, Pa.— The second-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team claimed its sixth NCAA title thanks to a dramatic 2-1 overtime win on Saturday night in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Daryl Watts scored the game-winning goal in OT, her third game-winning overtime goal of the year, to clinch the Badgers’ second-straight National Championship title.

The Badgers outshot Northeastern 37-25 while Makenna Webster and Watts both scored goals to help propel the team to the title.

The first period was quiet as both teams went scoreless.

The second period also ended with no score. The Badgers went to the penalty box three times in the second but killed all three penalties. The team also went into the third outshooting the Huskies 20-15.

Makenna Webster lit the lamp halfway through the final frame to mark the first goal of the game.

Northeastern responded just 30 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1 and eventually send the game into overtime.

Senior Daryl Watts netted the puck in sudden-victory overtime to help the Badgers claim the National Championship title.

Three Notes of the Game

With the win, Wisconsin brings home its sixth national title to tie Minnesota for most NCAA titles in history. The Badgers made their ninth appearance in a title game this season which is also tied for most in NCAA history.

UW head coach Mark Johnson passed Shannon Miller for the most NCAA women’s hockey titles with his sixth national championship. Johnson is the winningest coach in NCAA history with 539 wins.

Daryl Watts scored the game-winning goal to notch 240 career points. She ends her senior season holding 14th for most career points in the NCAA.

Will Nia Jax ever escape the “My Hole” incident?

Source: https://www.givemesport.com/1650661-wwe-news-nia-jax-storms-off-the-set-of-raw-talk-after-jokes-about-her-hole

Nia Jax has become the butt of the joke recently.

It all began last week on RAW when she yelled out ‘my hole!’ after landing hard on the ring apron.

Within minutes, ‘The Irresistible Force’ was trending on Twitter and fans were absolutely loving her initial outburst.

nitially, WWE were quick to play down the incident, even censoring it out of the highlights they posted online after the show.

But then, Jax and her partner Shayna Baszler made an appearance on SmackDown and the women’s tag team champ was involved in another ‘my hole’ spot.

As you can probably guess, WWE are now running with the angle and once again, it was referenced on Monday night.

During an appearance on RAW Talk, Jax could barely get a word in while hosts R-Truth and Charly Caruso relentlessly ripped into her with multiple jokes.

First, Nia was given a doughnut seat cushion to help with her ‘minor injuries’ and Charly explained that there’s a bakery nearby that sells doughnuts.

Jax wasn’t impressed, suggesting that ‘nobody was laughing’ and refused to be a part of the jokes, to which Caruso said, ‘holey moley, that’s rude,’ cracking R-Truth up.

The tag team champion finally walked off the set and threw her seat cushion at the hosts when Truth asked her if she ‘holds’ or ‘holes’ her title belt.

Yep, it seems we’ll be hearing a lot more about Nia’s ‘hole’ in the coming weeks. While WWE were initially slow to jump on the viral incident, they’re definitely running with it now.

So what will come next for Baszler, Jax and her ‘hole’? Hopefully, some more hilarious RAW Talk appearances to start!

Source: https://www.givemesport.com/1649721-wwe-news-nia-jax-suffers-another-my-hole-spot-on-smackdown#:~:text=Quizzes-,WWE%20news%3A%20Nia%20Jax%20suffers%20another,my%20hole%27%20spot%20on%20SmackDown&text=WWE%20superstar%20Nia%20Jax%20has,the%20moment%20at%20Jax%27%20expense.

WWE news: Nia Jax suffers another ‘my hole’ spot on SmackDown

On Monday’s episode of RAW, she hit the headlines for yelling “my hole” during a tables match against Lana.

Footage of the clip was widely shared online, with fans happy to enjoy the moment at Jax’ expense. Bidet company TUSHY also offered Jax one of their products and the opportunity to become a brand ambassador for them, as reported by Wrestling Inc.

Having originally seen the funny side of the incident, Jax has appeared to become annoyed with the ongoing mockery of her pain in recent days.

SmackDown Appearance Ends Badly

Looking to put the unfortunate moment behind her, Jax featured on SmackDown this Friday alongside her tag team partner Shayna Baszler. The appearance did not go well.

Having become frustrated with the “my hole” clip being played during the episode, Jax and Baszler confronted Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. A brawl soon erupted, with Jax being dropped onto the apron and ending up in severe pain.

Jax was left angered by the outcome of the clash and took to Twitter shortly afterwards to vent her displeasure at the events of the past week.

In a clear dig at SmackDown, she appeared to confirm that she will not be returning to the Friday night show any time soon. She also labelled Banks and Belair “disrespectful” for their behaviour during the episode.

At least Jax can comfort herself with the fact that she remains a champion in the WWE Universe. She became a two-time tag team champion with Baszler last month, defeating Charlotte Flair and Asuka at the Royal Rumble.

Their next opponents are yet to be announced, but it is clear that Jax will be determined to put the past week behind her as quickly as possible.

Doing what she does best – winning wrestling matches, could go some way to achieving that.

PWHPA contest at MSG demonstrates new ground for game’s growth

Source: https://theathletic.com/news/a-memory-well-never-forget-pwhpa-makes-history-with-womens-hockey-at-msg/TdVEl7kIspvY

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association made history on Sunday night with the first women’s professional hockey game hosted at Madison Square Garden, as part of the 2021 Dream Gap Tour.

“It’s historic,” New Hampshire forward Amanda Kessel said afterward. “I mean the energy even in this building without fans, it’s incredible. This is a memory we’ll never forget, and hopefully we’ll be back.”

New Hampshire beat Minnesota 4-3 behind two goals and two assists from Kessel’s linemate, Brianna Decker, who opened the scoring less than a minute into the game. Minnesota rallied in the third period with goals from Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield but couldn’t find the equalizer.

“This is a huge step for us,” Decker said. “We’re trying to obviously build here and try to build something bigger and better for women’s hockey and women’s professional hockey, and this gave us huge visibility. … That’s a huge stage for us to play on, and I was really pleased with how we played and moved the puck and showed a lot of our skill.”

Women’s sports pioneer Billie Jean King spoke before the game, telling the players to “take a moment to look up at the most iconic ceiling in all sports and entertainment, because you’re about to bust through it.”

You have all done so much to advance hockey,” King added. “… We’re so proud of you because of this right here, we’re going to stand right here beside you. And then we’re going to fight for every girl and every woman who will be standing on their skates, playing on the ice right where you are — not for years, for generations to come. So get ready.

“Keep fighting for equality and equity that every woman deserves in every single sport. You’re doing something bold, meaningful, long-lasting. There’s no better feeling, so go for it. And let’s play hockey!”

Why was this game so important?

Meg Linehan, staff writer: While the PWHPA is still essentially running a series of exhibition games as they determine their approach through the pandemic, Sunday night’s game had a much larger platform thanks to two major factors: the fact that it was the first women’s professional game at Madison Square Garden, and that it was broadcast on national television.

As the leader of the PWHPA, Jayna Hefford said after the game that level of visibility is crucial right now. “The skill and the talent was just so evident,” she said. “I hope people looked at tonight and thought, ‘this is what professional women’s hockey should look like,’ in an arena like this, on television like this, and with first-class broadcasters. “

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/hockey/2021/02/28/pwhpa-womens-hockey-game-make-history-madison-square-garden/6860738002/

Professional women’s hockey will be hitting the ice for the first time at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The game is part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA) Dream Gap Tour’s second season and is hosted by the New York Rangers, a partner of the league.

The matchup features the PWHPA’s two hubs of New Hampshire and Minnesota. The game will be broadcasted on NHL Network in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada at 7 p.m. ET.

The tour represents the players’ association’s ongoing efforts to bring visibility to women’s hockey. The first game of the New York showcase was played at Protec Ponds Training Centre in Somerset, New Jersey.

“We’re looking forward to taking the ice at Madison Square Garden for the first time in women’s pro hockey history,” said three-time Olympian Hilary Knight in a PWHPA statement. “This partnership with the New York Rangers, NHL Network and Sportsnet is so much more than that. It provides us with a platform to demonstrate just how exciting women’s hockey can be. The visibility it provides is why we launched the Dream Gap Tour in 2019.”

Sunday’s broadcast on NHL Network will be called by NBC Sports play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert and women’s hockey star Blake Bolden. MSG Network reporter Michelle Gingras will be rink-side.

“NHL Network is excited for the opportunity to showcase this important game in the continued growth of women’s hockey,” said Eric Eisenberg, NHL Network VP of Programming and Operations. “Working alongside NBC Sports and MSG Network, we’re committed to produce a high-quality broadcast on what promises to be a memorable night featuring some of the best women’s hockey players in the world.”

Lasting reflections in dream run to championship game for gridiron great Lisa Gomes

From the Calgary Rage to the Canadin National Team, the 2010s saw the gridiron odyssey of Lisa Gomes evolve by a quantum leap. Just as relevant in her compelling career involved wearing the paraphernalia of the Detroit Dark Angels. Based in the Womens Football Alliance (WFA), the franchise has consistently improved, emerging as a perennial contender.

As the decade closed with the Dark Angels acheiving the monumental milestone of qualifying for the WFA Division Two National Championship Game, it marked a major milestone for the gregarious Gomes. Along the way to competing in one of the biggest games in American female football, the Dark Angels overcame one of their biggest rivals.

Long suffering as an underdog versus a strong Pittsburgh club, a rivalry germinating over several seasons, the Conference Championship found the two gracing the gridiron. Composing a new chapter in this growing clash of gridiron goddesses, the ability to mount an upset win constituted a defining moment in franchise lore, one which Gomes was proud to be part of, representing one of the biggest highlights of both, season and career,

“Words cannot describe the feeling of that game. I still cannot believe to this day that we won in overtime! We were always the underdog so it felt nice to shock the world. 100% the last Pittsburgh game (was a favorite moment)! We have lost to them about seven times, 350 points to maybe 30 points total. So, when we finally beat them, it was something special! I have never felt a feeling like that before. We had worked so hard this season, I was so proud of my team.”

Opposing St. Louis in the National Championship, Gomes reflects on a flood of emotion. Heading into kickoff, combining nervous energy with the feeling of attainment, there was a strong sense that the Dark Angels were a team of destiny.

“First off, I was excited and nauseous all at the same time! But I was definitely one of The Quiet Ones in the locker room. I still could not believe we made it that far! When you have so much passion for something, the butterflies always rush in before kick off.”

Emerging on the opposite end of a hard-fought loss, there were no feelings of failure or despair. Instead, the journey made represented a positive learning experience. Proud in able to reach the National Championship, Gomes recognized how despite the silence in the locker room afterwards, there was no sense of sadness.

“Honestly it was such an incredible experience despite the outcome. The locker room is always quiet after a loss but we stayed positive and accepted Our Fate. I would not have changed anything for the world!”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”