OSWEGO — The Oz Roller Girls stepped up in competition and put its best foot forward in beating the Albany All-Stars A team 204-162 to start its second season on a winning note.
In a hard-hitting, back-and-forth bout in front of more than 1,000 loud fans in Albany’s Washington Avenue Armory, Oz picked up its eighth straight victory dating back to last season’s 10-2 campaign.
As a first-year team in 2011, Oz played all last season as a B team vs. other B squads, denoting the level of experience of players. The bout against Albany was Oz’s first against a more experienced A team, a challenge to start their second season.
The skilled and seasoned Albany All-Stars started the bout with a physically punishing style to take the lead and set the tone. But Oz adjusted to the hits and stayed close, down 58-46 after the first 20-minute period in the unique three-period setup.
Oz came out fast in the second period and the teams exchanged the lead repeatedly, with Oz pulling ahead 118-114 at the second break.
The third period saw more physical play and many penalties. Oz took advantage of its opportunities and particularly power jams — when the other team’s jammer went to the box — to build an advantage and pulled away late for the 204-162 victory.
Crushed Red Pepper earned MVP honors for Oz, with Isabella Bruisalini named Albany MVP.
“Ladies, we are now an A team!” Certified Public Assassin announced in an emotional locker room after the bout. Teammates would agree that the Oz Roller Girls had aced their biggest test to date.
Oz returns to action with its first home bout of the 2012 season, hosting the Kingston Derby Girls from Canada on Saturday, March 10, in the Oswego Armory. For tickets or more information, visit ozrollergirls.com.