Valkyries suffer first
loss in history
By Murray McCormick, Leader-Post
Riot 15, Valkyries 7
The post-game celebration by the Regina Riot on Sunday was unlike any other in the short history of the Western Women's Canadian Football League.
The Riot defeated the Saskatoon Valkyries 15-7 before a franchise-high 535 spectators at Mosaic Stadium. The win was the first by the Riot over the Valkyries since the women's full-contact tackle football league opened in 2011. It was also the first loss ever for the Valkyries, who are the two-time defending league champions and had won 12 straight regular-season and playoff games prior to Sunday's defeat.
"It means a lot," quarterback Aimee Kowalski said after the Riot improved its record to 2-0 and the Valkyries fell to 1-1. "It has been three years now that we have been going after them. Every time we've tried to get a little bit closer to them, but now we've finally reached our goal. This makes it a lot more interesting and more fun to play in the league because you never know who the champion is going to be at the end of the season."
Sunday's victory was an example of the strides the Riot has taken since losing 56-6 to the host Valkyries in the first league game for both teams on May 22, 2011. The Valkyries defeated the Riot 42-2 in their next regular-season meeting and 36-6 in the playoffs. The Riot showed signs of closing the gap in 2012. Regina was beaten 36-6 and 35-26 by Saskatoon in the regular season and 35-21 in the Prairie Conference final.
"Hats off to our coaches because they put a lot of time into this game and they have really come together," Kowalski said. "They understand our weaknesses and strengths. In the past we were coached a lot like we were boys. Now we're being coached like we're adults."
The Riot earned the win without head coach Darren Fisher on the sidelines; he's out of the country on business.
"We missed him and we need him back badly," said Riot quarterbacks coach Jack Upshall. "What (the win) really means is it's another step in the progress toward the championship. It's just one game and it's not the whole season. They understand it and they know there will be another game against Saskatoon."
The Valkyries seemed to take their first defeat in stride.
"It's a good thing because you can always learn more from a loss than a win," said Saskatoon quarterback Candace Bloomquist. "It's good for any team to experience it and it's a great opportunity for us to learn from it. It's good that it happened early in the season and we can still make some adjustments."Read more...