Recap vs. Rochester Raptors – April 6, 2002

Divas Begin Second Season With 46-0 Exhibition Victory
DC 46, Rochester 0
By Neal Rozendaal

Washington, DC – After an eventful offseason, the D.C. Divas are ready to embark on their second season of play. The early returns are promising, as the D.C. Divas easily defeated the visiting Rochester Raptors in an exhibition contest by a 46-0 score.

The Divas are under new ownership in 2002. NWFL President Catherine Masters sold the Divas franchise to local owners Leah Fahringer and Kelly George this past offseason. Interest in the Divas surged among players as well, and a Divas roster which had 41 players in 2001 has swelled to over 90 players this season. A large number of these promising rookies have combined with the returning veterans to build what should be a much-improved Divas team in 2002.

One area where the Divas will have an advantage this season that they lacked last year is experience. The Rochester Raptors (0-3) are in their first season as an NWFL team, and they lost their two previous exhibition matches against the Baltimore Burn by a combined score of 59-0. With the Divas possessing a season’s worth of experience, the Raptors proved to be no match for the D.C. squad.

The Divas (1-0) jumped out to an early lead over Rochester with three touchdowns in the first quarter. The Divas’ standout star from last season, Donna Wilkinson, got D.C. its first score of the year on a 15-yard touchdown run. Rookie fullback LaShawn Foust soon added a 20-yard touchdown run of her own, and the Divas were in control of the game.

Second-year quarterback Deb Troell threw her first touchdown pass of the year later in the first quarter, a 12-yard strike to rookie tight end Corinne Carson. The Divas nearly added a fourth touchdown in the first period, but a pick-six interception return for a score by rookie linebacker Tessa Nelson was negated by a penalty.

In the second quarter, Troell tossed her second touchdown pass of the game, this one a ten-yard completion to veteran wide receiver Tara Kallal. The Divas’ fourth touchdown of the game gave the home team a comfortable lead at the halftime break, which allowed the Divas to showcase a number of their rookies in the second half.

Several rookies showed promise in the second half against the Raptors. Rookie running back Daniella Minetti scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Three more Divas rookies provided perhaps the two most explosive plays of the game in the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Allyson Hamlin tossed her first career touchdown pass for 75 yards to wide receiver Nikki Williams. A few minutes later, running back Monica Livingston capped the Divas’ scoring on the day with an 80-yard touchdown scamper.

With an exhibition victory in hand, the Divas begin their regular season in two weeks against their archrivals, the Baltimore Burn. The Burn and Divas appear to be the early favorites in the NWFL’s newly-created Mid-Atlantic Division, and the Burn will be seeking revenge for their 20-8 defeat at the hands of the Divas last season.

← Previous Game Next Game →