Taylor Hay of the St. Louis Slam fumbles a football.
Erin Diette #30 of the Boston Renegades recovers a fumble by #12 Taylor Hay of the St. Louis Slam. May 14, 2022. © Mitzi Velez Lorenzana

Boston slams St. Louis with big second half

May 14, 2022
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.

Unfamiliar Ground

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.

Firm Footing

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.

Rivalry Week

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.

highlights

Box score

St. Mary's High School, St. Louis, Mo.1234F
Boston Renegades127131749
St. Louis Slam7140021

scoring log

QTIMETEAMSCORING PLAYSSTLBOS
110:58BOSStephanie Pascual 4-yard receiving TD from Allison Cahill (Sarah Tully kick no good)06
10:04STLChelsea Clay 39-yard receiving TD from Jaime Gaal (Taylor Hay kick)76
3:21BOSStephanie Pascual 5-yard receiving TD from Allison Cahill (2PT no good)712
212:25BOSTytti Kuusinen 1-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)719
6:48STLVeronica Smith 4-yard receiving TD from Jaime Gaal (Taylor Hay kick)1419
4:07STLDanielle Price 47-yard receiving TD from Jaime Gaal (Taylor Hay kick)2119
39:43BOSRuth Matta 2-yard rushing TD (2PT no good)2125
4:21BOSTytti Kuusinen 5-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)2132
49:52BOSTytti Kuusinen 10-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)2139
4:38BOSTytti Kuusinen 18-yard rushing TD (Mariette Martinez kick)2146
0:22BOSSarah Tully 32-yard FG2149

game notes

Game Day Captain: Steph Jeffers #66

Milestones:

  • 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

Broadcast: NONE

team totals

 BOSTONST. LOUIS
Total Plays8762
Total Yards521265
Passing Yards128137
Rushing Yards393128
First Downs2813
Third Downs4-125-2
Fourth Downs3-40-4
Turnovers03
Fumbles Lost01
Interceptions Thrown02
Penalties36
Penalty Yards2429

passing

PASSINGYardsCompAttPctAvgTDIntLongRating
#7 Allison Cahill128142653.85%9.1202293.10
#31 Heather Marini00000

rushing

RUSHINGYDSATTAVGLNGTDFUM
#46 Tytti Kuusinen177247.41840
#22 Ruth Matta163217.84110
#7 Allison Cahill3675.11000
#20 Katherine Falkowski1963.21000
#28 Latoya Saulters-21-2.0-200

receiving

RECEIVINGYDSRECLONGAVGTDTGTDROP
#6 Renate Meckl4231914.0050
#3 Stephanie Pascual345226.8280
#22 Ruth Matta2121110.5030
#11 Sarah Tully182119.0040
#10 Adrienne Smith13276.5040
#4 Kyshani Dummott00010

defense

 SOLOASTCOMBTFLSCKPDINTFUMFFBLKTDSFTY
#70 D. Fournier437
#40 S. Pascual41521
#53 D. Walsh347--2
#23 S. Gamble314
#60 A. Fagnani213
#21 C. Bonds22---1
#20 K. Falkowski112
#9 K. Ellison1561--1-1
#30 E. Diette1451---1
#36 C. Casey134
#5 T. Creech123--2
#89 C. Riggieri112
#31 H. Marini1-1
#65 M. Roberts1-1
#32 K. Gailiunas1-1
#13 S. Singletary1-1--1
#6 R. Meckl-11
#37 S. Lyons-22
#4 K. Dummott-11
#47 E. Adams-11
#19 L. Vincent-11
#44 M. Sacristan Benjet-11
#81 M. Martinez-11

Special teams

EXTRA POINTSXPMXPAXP%
#11 Sarah Tully010%
#81 Mariette Martinez44100%
 
FIELD GOALSFGMFGAFG%
Sarah Tully11100%
 
KICKOFFSKOYDSAVGLONGTBIN20
#81 Mariette Martinez723633.74800.00
#11 Sarah Tully26331.53800
 
PUNTSPYDSAVGLONGTBIN20
#31 Heather Marini236183600
#7 Allison Cahill155500
 
KICKOFF RETURNSRETYDSAVGLONGTDFUM
#4 Kyshani Dumott345151700
#13 Shannon Singletary124242400
 
PUNT RETURNSRETYDSAVGLONGTDFUM
Team300000
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