Rose City Rollers (#1) vs. Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1)
The Rose City Rollers of Portland, Oregon, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #2), will be heading to the finals of the 2017 International WFTDA Championships after defeating the Gotham Girls Roller Derby of New York, New York, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #3), 159-113. Rose City has won the championship game the last two years in a row by beating Gotham in the last game. Gotham’s semi-final elimination this year marks the first time since 2010 that the team will not play for first place.
The matchup started with several score changes. Gotham took the first lead of the game in the first jam when Miss Tea Maven opened the scoring with 5 unanswered points. Gotham jammers keep adding to their lead for the next several jams, but Rose slowly chipped away at the deficit by scoring a few in answer. Just minutes into the game, Rose jammer Brute was able to tip the scoreboard in her team’s favor with a 13-7 lead.
A few minutes later, Gotham jammer Giles ran a 15-point jam to take the lead back for New York, which the team held onto for the next several jams, including a lead jammer status for ShortStop after she managed to shake off a massive hit by Rose blocker Envy Atoms, who played a physically punishing game against Gotham all night.
A forearm penalty assessed to Giles halfway through the first period gave a power jam opportunity to recent Rose transferskater Bonnie Thunders, formerly of Gotham, who was able to throw enough points on the board to retake the lead in Rose’s favor, 33-28. But that lead was far from secure, as just five jams later, Giles would take the star for Gotham again and bring the game to a tied score of 48-48.
Despite a trip to the penalty box by Bonnie Thunders in the following jam, Rose was still able to retake the lead for a 57-53 score. Rose jammer Brute went to the box in the following jam as well, but formidable walls by Tarantula, Sarah Gaither and Hannah Jennings locked Gotham’s Miss Tea Maven down for an impressive penalty kill that left the jam scoreless for both teams after the full two minutes.
At the half, Rose led 76-57. The Portland team came back to the game ferocious and focused, maintaining command of the board for the rest of the bout. Despite excellent footwork by Gotham jammers and strong offense by blockers like Sexy Slaydie, Caf Fiend and Fast & Luce, Rose was able to expand its lead and control the clock for a decisive 46-point victory, 159-113.
Rose City’s Lauren Mutch was the lead scorer of the game with 69 points, followed by teammate Bonnie Thunders with 52. Giles was the high scorer for Gotham with 41.
Gotham will play Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (Seed #2, WFTDA #5), on Sunday at 4 p.m. EST for third place. This will be the third time this season the two teams have faced off. They last met up in the final game of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Malmö, where Gotham won 176-85.
Rose City Rollers defend its championship title when the team faces face Victorian Roller Derby League of Melbourne, Australia (Seed #1, WFTDA #1) for first place and the Hydra trophy Sunday at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN3 in the U.S. and on WFTDA.tv for the rest of the world.
Rose City Rollers (Seed #1, WFTDA #2): 159
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (Seed #1, WFTDA #3): 113