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The oppressive heat gone, the Westchester Female Flag Football League was on again Thursday August 3, and Christine Koenitzer was among the players who chilled the chance to take a breather from motherhood. “It’s time for us,” said the Yorktown resident. But the respite didn’t keep the quarterback and her team from turning up the heat on Cosmic Charlie’s Angels of Katonah.
Entering at 5-1, the She-Units led early, fell behind but ultimately prevailed. “After the halftime pep talk, we knew we just had to play our game,” Jena Hinspeter said of the 19-8 victory.
So the twilight descending, the Units looked like they would run away under the cover of darkness. Koenitzer hit Alana DiSanzo twice to gain a first down at midfield, and then executed a keeper to get within knocking distance.
15 yards away, two incompletions brought fourth down. So Koenitzer dug in and took her time in doing so. Waiting for the play to develop, DiSanzo came open and pulled in the ball for a 6-0 lead.
The conversion failing, the defense took its turn and didn’t seem to mind. They forced a fourth down, and Jen Irving’s toss into traffic yielded a tipped ball. A change of possession waiting to hit the ground, Nicole Patten came down with the ball instead and raced to the end zone.
The conversion next, Irving was more straightforward this time. She found Marissa Leiberman in the right corner, and the game suddenly stood at 8-6.
The abrupt change left the Angel defense to do their own number. On fourth and five, Koenitzer’s pass to the right sideline had Monica Healy on track and on schedule with the interception.
The She-Units showed they would play defense too, though. Jen Irving put up four passes and none of them landed.
Even so, the halftime lead still hung over, but the team’s captain laid out the plan. “We’re not going to adapt to their game, they are going to adapt to ours,” said Morgan Donohue.
The start of the second seemed to say just that. Koenitzer found Donohue on the right, and on the delay, the quarterback snuck for a third and five. A diving catch by DiSanzo had the Units on course, but the Angels had sticky fingers again. Mika McLean spread her wings and got her team’s second interception.
No panic, the defensive unit held their ground again. On fourth and one, Irving couldn’t find an open receiver and the She-Units proved solid the rest of the way.
Koenitzer got her team going forward on a reverse and gained a first down when hitting DiSanzo yet again. Not done, DiSanzo made a leaping grab and left Koenitzer head over heels. “She’s a great receiver. She’s willing to dive, has good hands and catches anything near her,” said Koenitzer.
But the Angles did force fourth down, and soon learned that they had more than one receiver to keep track of. Maggie Braig got a step into the corner, and Koenitzer perfectly lofted in the touchdown pass.
DiSanzo still had her say, though. Koenitzer connected with her primary receiver, and the conversion made it 13-8.
Victory now in their sights, the defense closed the interception gap next. “On defense, our game is to get the ball back for the offense,” said Hinspeter and her pick did just that.
The offensive unit didn’t hold back either. Donohue’s reception got her team just short of midfield, and as the youngest, she made haste over the middle. The receiver pulled in her QB’s loft and her bolt to the sideline ended with for the final score
Off to the bar, Donohue is quick on her feet too. “Morgan is a real socialite. The rest of us oldsters can’t keep up with how outgoing she is,” joked Hinspeter.
Barnwood Grill in Somers is usually the destination, and no husbands is the game plan. “They don’t want to hang out with us anyway,” said Braig.
And the players deserve it. “We get only one night out, and we embrace it,” concluded Braig.