2016 Playoffs Madison Game 9: Gotham (#1) VS Tampa (#4)

In a hard-hitting rematch of last year’s Midwest BrewHaHa game, Gotham Girls Roller Derby of New York, NY, USA (seed #1) met up once again with Tampa Roller Derby of Tampa, FL, USA (seed #4) on Saturday at the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Madison. Despite Tampa’s tight defensive walls and well-timed offense, Gotham took the decisive win, 320-49.

Tampa demonstrated strong defensive dexterity against the Gotham jammer rotation throughout the game, using a rotating tripod that allowed the two rear blockers to drop low against the momentum of Gotham’s jammers and allowing the fourth blocker to play offense. The defensive unit was able to contain the opposing jammers for long stretches of time and held Gotham’s Bonnie Thunders to only two scoring passes during the first jam of the game, while Tampa jammer Laryn Kill sat in the penalty box.

The game started out with a series of power jams in Gotham’s favor; with only eight minutes into the game, Gotham called an Official Review to protest the lack of a cutting the track call on Tampa jammer Ana Cheng, who had just been released from the penalty box. Cheng was found to have cut two of her own blockers and was sent back to the box, allowing Gotham to retain their Official Review and earn another 10 unanswered points during the power jam. However, just a few short jams later Tampa was able to make up points with two power jams, where Cheng earned 14 points and Laryn Kill picked up an additional 10.

The first half also included three penalties for Gotham’s veteran jammer and team captain, Bonnie Thunders. Despite this, Thunders skated mostly on a two-jammer rotation and was the game’s top scorer with a total of 148 points. The next top scorer, Gotham’s Miss Tea Maven, earned 66 points, while Tampa’s longtime jammer Laryn Kill led their lineup with a total of 20 points and a 43 percent lead jammer status.

By halftime, Tampa had twice as many penalties as Gotham. The lack of penalties on Gotham’s side, supported by a jammer rotation held together by Vicious Van GoGo, and the unrelenting hustle of ShortStop and Miss Tea Maven, helped the five-time Hydra winners hold Tampa 147-39 at the half.

Game 9: Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1) vs Tampa Roller Derby (#4)
Photo: Jim Dier

Gotham returned from the break to hold Tampa scoreless for the first eight jams. The offensive work of VanEssa ‘V Diva’ Sites assisted the Gotham jammers in juking through the back untouched by Tampa’s blockers and resulted in multiple passes for an average of nine points per jam to Tampa’s 1.3 point average. With six minutes left in the game, Little A of Tampa earned her seventh penalty and fouled out of the game. Gotham concluded with a 15-point jam from Miss Tea Maven for a final score of 320-49.

Gotham Girls Roller Derby will play for the Championship of the Madison Playoff at 6 p.m. Sunday against the winner of Game 12 between the Minnesota RollerGirls of St. Paul, MN, USA (seed #3) and Arch Rival Roller Derby of St. Louis, MO, USA (seed #2). Tampa Roller Derby will fight for Third Place and a trip to the 2016 International WFTDA Championships at 4 p.m. Sunday against the loser of Game 12.


Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1) 320
Tampa Roller Derby (#4) 49