MARK SIMÓN, BOSTON RENEGADES STAFF
kuusinen leads Renegades to victory with 4 touchdowns
The Boston Renegades scored thirty unanswered points to mount a come-from-behind victory against the St. Louis Slam. Rookie cornerback KD Ellison #9 made several big plays to lead Boston’s defense which allowed zero points in the third and fourth quarters. Running backs Ruth Matta #22 and Tytti Kuusinen #46 racked up four touchdowns and more than 200 rushing yards in the second half to slam the door on St. Louis.
A Long-Awaited Rematch
The undefeated Renegades traveled to St. Louis to face the Slam in a long-awaited rematch. It had been more than 15 years since a Boston Women’s Football team played against St. Louis. On July 8, 2006 the Massachusetts Mutiny hosted the Slam in a National Women’s Football Association conference semifinal and won 42-13. Quarterback Allison Cahill, then in her third season, went 6-for-8 for 124 yards with two touchdown passes to Ginger Snow.
Since that time, the Slam has enjoyed much success on the football field. In 2009, they joined the newly formed Women’s Football Alliance and became the WFA’s very first national champion. The Slam won three more championships while competing in Division 2 of the WFA (2016, 2017, 2019). They have since been elevated to the most competitive field in the sport of women’s football, WFA Pro.
The game started in familiar fashion for the Renegades — a 9-play, 65-yard drive culminating in a short touchdown pass to Stephanie Pascual #3. But St. Louis quarterback #4 Jamie Gaal responded immediately with a 39-yard air strike to #18 Chelsea Clay to put St. Louis ahead 7-6.
After trading possessions, Pascual capped a 48-yard drive with another short touchdown reception. And a fumble forced by Renegades linebacker Ellison and recovered by defensive end Erin Diette #30 gave Boston an opportunity to go ahead by two scores. A TD rush by Kuusinen put Boston ahead 19-7 in the second period.
But the Slam found the spark they needed by blocking a punt attempt deep in Boston’s territory. The short field made for a quick three-play drive to narrow the score to 19-14. St. Louis regained the ball at midfield after forcing another punt. And #8 Danielle Price took a short pass 47 yards to paydirt putting the Slam ahead 21-19 at halftime.
The last time the Renegades trailed a game at the break was April 21, 2018 (Pittsburgh Passion) — a stretch of 29 games.
In the second half, the Renegades leaned more heavily on their ground attack, rushing 30 times with only 6 passing downs. In the first half Cahill completed only 50% of her 20 pass attempts, but went 4-of-6 in the second half. Three of those completions were during Boston’s first drive after the break, resulting in two first downs. Then Matta followed a 28-yard romp with a two-yard plunge into the end zone to put Boston in the lead 25-21.
Kuusinen rushed for 45 yards on the next offensive drive, which included a fourth-down conversion into the end zone. Mariette Martinez‘s kick made the score 32-21.
The Slam responded with a drive deep into Renegades territory. Price grabbed a 15-yard reception and running back #12 Taylor Hay rushed for 30 yards to threaten first-and-goal at the 3 yard line. But the Renegades benefited from a timely tackle by Ellison behind the line of scrimmage by on a swing pass to Hay. Cornerback Tee Creech #5 batted down a pass on the next play, and a third-down screen pass fell incomplete. Going for it on fourth and goal, St. Louis attempted a reverse which was stopped by Ellison to end the threat.
Picking up where they left off, Matta and Kuusinen rumbled for 52 more yards on Boston’s third offensive drive of the half. Cahill and receiver Renate Meckl #6 used their legs to chip in 26 yards. Kuusinen crossed the stripe again to put the Renegades up by three scores, 39-21.
A Strong Finish
Now in the fourth quarter, and their backs against the wall, St. Louis quickly advanced down field. Keyed by a 39-yard reception by tight end #24 Veronica Smith, the Slam were once again inside Boston’s red zone. But Ellison sent St. Louis away empty handed a second time by snagging an interception in the end zone.
Aided on the next drive by Boston’s biggest offensive gain of the night — a 41-yard sprint by Matta — Kuusinen added her fourth touchdown of the game.
In the final minutes of the contest, Sarah Tully #11 kicked a 32-yard field goal, a career long, to put Boston ahead 42-21. The game ended with an interception by Chanté Bonds #21.
The 5-0 Renegades return home this Saturday May 21st to face their archrivals the D.C. Divas at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere. We will be enjoying a festive atmosphere as Boston Women’s Football Alumni will be celebrated at the final home game of the regular season. Admission is $20 and kids under 12 get in free. More information at bostonrenegadesfootball.org/game-day.
|St. Mary's High School, St. Louis, Mo.||1||2||3||4||F|
|St. Louis Slam||7||14||0||0||21|
|1||10:58||BOS||Stephanie Pascual 4-yard receiving TD from Allison Cahill (Sarah Tully kick no good)||0||6|
|10:04||STL||Chelsea Clay 39-yard receiving TD from Jaime Gaal (Taylor Hay kick)||7||6|
|3:21||BOS||Stephanie Pascual 5-yard receiving TD from Allison Cahill (2PT no good)||7||12|
|2||12:25||BOS||Tytti Kuusinen 1-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)||7||19|
|6:48||STL||Veronica Smith 4-yard receiving TD from Jaime Gaal (Taylor Hay kick)||14||19|
|4:07||STL||Danielle Price 47-yard receiving TD from Jaime Gaal (Taylor Hay kick)||21||19|
|3||9:43||BOS||Ruth Matta 2-yard rushing TD (2PT no good)||21||25|
|4:21||BOS||Tytti Kuusinen 5-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)||21||32|
|4||9:52||BOS||Tytti Kuusinen 10-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)||21||39|
|4:38||BOS||Tytti Kuusinen 18-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)||21||46|
|0:22||BOS||Sarah Tully 32-yard FG||21||49|
Game Day Captain: Steph Jeffers #66
- Sarah Tully #11 career-long FG 32 yards. Previous long was 27 yards vs D.C. Divas June 29, 2019
Previous game vs. opponent: Historical — Massachusetts Mutiny 42, St. Louis Slam 14. July 8, 2006.
Previous game at site: First game at site
Renegades record vs. opponent: 1-0
Odds status (Massey) : favorite (-34)
Win probability (Massey) : 91%
Photos: Mitzi Velez Lorenzana
|#7 Allison Cahill||128||14||26||53.85%||9.1||2||0||22||93.10|
|#31 Heather Marini||0||0||0||0||0|
|#46 Tytti Kuusinen||177||24||7.4||18||4||0|
|#22 Ruth Matta||163||21||7.8||41||1||0|
|#7 Allison Cahill||36||7||5.1||10||0||0|
|#20 Katherine Falkowski||19||6||3.2||10||0||0|
|#28 Latoya Saulters||-2||1||-2.0||-2||0||0|
|#6 Renate Meckl||42||3||19||14.0||0||5||0|
|#3 Stephanie Pascual||34||5||22||6.8||2||8||0|
|#22 Ruth Matta||21||2||11||10.5||0||3||0|
|#11 Sarah Tully||18||2||11||9.0||0||4||0|
|#10 Adrienne Smith||13||2||7||6.5||0||4||0|
|#4 Kyshani Dummott||0||0||0||1||0|
|#70 D. Fournier||4||3||7|
|#40 S. Pascual||4||1||5||2||1|
|#53 D. Walsh||3||4||7||-||-||2|
|#23 S. Gamble||3||1||4|
|#60 A. Fagnani||2||1||3|
|#21 C. Bonds||2||2||-||-||-||1|
|#20 K. Falkowski||1||1||2|
|#9 K. Ellison||1||5||6||1||-||-||1||-||1|
|#30 E. Diette||1||4||5||1||-||-||-||1|
|#36 C. Casey||1||3||4|
|#5 T. Creech||1||2||3||-||-||2|
|#89 C. Riggieri||1||1||2|
|#31 H. Marini||1||-||1|
|#65 M. Roberts||1||-||1|
|#32 K. Gailiunas||1||-||1|
|#13 S. Singletary||1||-||1||-||-||1|
|#6 R. Meckl||-||1||1|
|#37 S. Lyons||-||2||2|
|#4 K. Dummott||-||1||1|
|#47 E. Adams||-||1||1|
|#19 L. Vincent||-||1||1|
|#44 M. Sacristan Benjet||-||1||1|
|#81 M. Martinez||-||1||1|
|#11 Sarah Tully||0||1||0%|
|#81 Mariette Martinez||4||4||100%|
|#81 Mariette Martinez||7||236||33.7||48||0||0.00|
|#11 Sarah Tully||2||63||31.5||38||0||0|
|#31 Heather Marini||2||36||18||36||0||0|
|#7 Allison Cahill||1||5||5||5||0||0|
|#4 Kyshani Dumott||3||45||15||17||0||0|
|#13 Shannon Singletary||1||24||24||24||0||0|