Eagles Put In For A Good Show In Division One; Walk Away Third Best Team In The Country After 2007 USAFL National Tournament
Baltimore Washington Eagles captain RJ Wheelock shakes hands with the Denver Bulldogs prior to the coin toss on Sunday morning.
City of Louisville Soccer Fields, Louisville, Kentucky - 13-14 October 2007
Capping off a very successful and busy 2007 fixture, the Eagles found themselves ranked #2 in the USAFL premier division at the 2007 USAFL National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Traveling with a deep squad of veteran footballers, the Eagles knew that this tournament would provide some of the most challenging obstacles the club had faced over the last nine years.
Beginning the tournament with a match against EAFL division rivals, the Boston Demons, the Eagles found that initial nerves of playing on the big stage would only be solved with patience, teamwork and determination. Burying themselves early at the half, head coach Matty Bishop calmly urged his troops to relax, think smart and play the same level of footy that began at last years Nationals and carried throughout the 2007 season. Sure enough, resolve and fitness prevailed as the Eagles piled on the goals and shored things up defensively to completely blank the Demons through the final horn. Standouts included Dwayne Marshall who notched three goals, Shane Frearson who turned into a brick wall against Boston kickers as well as the dominating Mike LeValley who just buried his ruck counterpart at every contest.
BWE VS. BOSTON SCORES:
01H: BWE 1.1 (7) to BOS 3.3 (21); 02H: BWE 6.2 (38) to BOS 3.3 (21)
GOALS: Marshall (3); Levesque, Moore, Thompson (1 each)
First game under belt, the Eagles re-grouped and turned their attention towards spoiler-hungry West Coasters, the Orange County Bombers. With games against both Denver and San Diego earlier in the year, the Bombers have proven they can play footy with the big guns, so the Eagles needed to establish control right from the get-go. Scoring the first two goals right out of the gate, Matty Bishop and Danny Thompson gave the Eagles hope for an early dismissal of the red and black. But alas, the Eagles fell on old habits and found themselves staring up to the Bombers at the half, just as they had in the first game. Once again, the Eagles needed that sniff of motivation and competition to get themselves back into the game as the engine room of the team shifted things into another gear and the offense found hidden sparks in some older veterans. Once again, the Eagles finished things out on top and found themselves undefeated after two tough matches. Stellar play from the likes of Matty Bishop, Dwayne Marshall, Danny Thompson and Jay Levesque.
Eagles Jay Levesque and RJ Wheelock get some air as they contest for the mark in Sunday's match up against the Denver Bulldogs.
BWE VS. ORANGE COUNTY SCORES:
01H: BWE 3.1 (19) to OCB 3.3 (21); 02H: BWE 7.4 (46) to OCB 3.5 (23)
GOALS: Bishop, Marshall, Thompson (2); Elliott (1)
Sunday morning came and the Eagles found themselves with their toughest challenge yet, an undefeated Denver Bulldogs side. Going in, the boys of blue and gold knew that a win here would put them in the Division One Grand Final, but that kind of victory would have to be well-earned and meant everyone would have to bring 110% of themselves into every play. Out from the start, the Eagles found out the hard way that "getting a bead on the other team" would come at a cost. Denver, relying heavily on fitness, experience and discipline attacked the Eagles backline without hesitation. Like the previous two matches, the Eagles fell behind at the half, only this time it was a four goal differential. As Matty Bishop tried to rally the boys, players knew what was expected of them. Everyone had to pull the socks up that much higher and be the difference makers. Taking that to heart was the guts of the day, Stuart Ritchie, RJ Wheelock, Jay Levesque and Aaron Pritchard as they fought tooth and nail for every loose ball (which were few and far between) and every tackle. Hard work started to show as at the final horn, the Eagles found that they had kept Denver to one goal and three points over that 20 minute, second half. However, the Doggies were too much on the day and wound up snapping the Eagles' 13-game win streak before besting San Diego for the Division One title. The Eagles learned many valuable experiences on this battle with the best and you can look forward that next year, the Eagles will once again be in the hunt for the league's top spot.
BWE VS. DENVER SCORES:
01H: BWE 1.0 (6) to DEN 5.3 (33); 02H: BWE 2.1 (13) to DEN 6.6 (42)
GOALS: Carroll, Ritchie (1 each)
Lady Eagles Make Club History As They Challenge For A Women's National Title At The 2007 USAFL Nationals
Also playing that weekend for the very first time were the Lady Eagles who fought their way for the women's national title. Comprised of nine women from the Baltimore Washington Eagles as well as a number of women from the Calgary Bears, this was a team that joined the fray with much excitement and team spirit. Headed by captain Amy Bishop, the Lady Eagles swooped onto the field and into the history books representing the first full-women's' team at a National tournament from the club. Although the scores may not have shown it, the Lady Eagles took those first brave new steps into formal competition and have planted the seeds for something special for years to come.
LADY EAGLES GAMES:
Arizona/Denver 2.2 (14) to Baltimore Washington/Calgary 1.3 (9)
Milwaukee 3.8 (26) to Baltimore Washington/Calgary 1.1 (7)