Raptors women silence critics in win

Despite the ballyhooed cries from critics on their unconventional run to a national championship in the fall, and the haste departure of their coach, the Glendale Raptors appear to be unscathed in the early weeks of the spring season.

In a rematch unbefitting of a tense national championship game that ended 16-15, they made short work of the Twin Cities Amazons in the not-so exciting sequel.

Joanna Kitlinski scored twice and Rachel Ryan added another as the Raptors beat the Amazons 51-17 on Saturday at Infinity Park.

First-time WPL players Denali Graham and Fatima Chavez also added scores in the win.

“We had good play by veterans and some new players to us,” Raptors coach Mark Bullock said. “You want to see what you have everywhere on our roster and I think we got a good idea.”

Even with offseason questions about their unconventional road to a national championship and the sudden resignation of former Coach Michael Fealey hanging over them, the Raptors have looked just fine in the opening weeks of the developmental season.

They won the Champagne Classic Women’s Rugby Tournament to start the season and continued their torrid start by outscoring the Amazons 41-7 in the second half on Saturday.

Bullock said the faster his team played, the better they got.

“We had a conversation at halftime about picking up the pace of the game,” Raptors coach Mark Bullock said. “We want to play fast, and knew if we could, we could create some difficulties for them.”

Ryan clobbered through the Amazons defense and put Glendale up 15-10 in the opening minutes of the second half.

Molly Kinsella and Graham scored on back-to-back possessions to push the lead to 37-17. And Kitlinski scored her second try of the day to give the Raptors the 44-17 advantage soon after.

“We played with good intensity and started playing the way we’ve practiced,” Bullock said. “It was good to see.”

The Raptors host the Black Ice on Saturday, May 14th at 11 a.m. on the turf field at Infinity Park, which is free to the public .

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