EYES STILL ON THE PLAYOFF PRIZE FOR DALLAS
(Dallas, TX- Saturday, July 30, 2016)
Win and you’re in!!! Sounds simple enough for the Dallas Desire, who have had a month-long layoff since their stunning 26-21 upset victory over the Seattle Mist in their home finally.
But with that much time in between games a number of things – good and bad – could take place that could derail The Desire’s playoff dreams.
That’s how long it’s been since Dallas has played a game. For most athletes that’s an eternity but for Victoria Thomas, Nicole Peterson and Michelle Angel the gap in between games is much needed in order to heal from various injuries each player may have been dealing with over the past two games. As with most sports, this late in the season no one is 100% healthy but with this much time in between games most of the players have been able to get as healthy as possible as the season comes to a close and the playoffs are on the horizon.
The long layoff is also an opportunity for two newcomers – Carmen Bourseau and Kadi Findling – to get acclimated to the team. Bourseau played versus Seattle, but you could tell she was operating more on instincts and still hadn’t fully grasped the defensive scheme. Findling was recently signed to off-set some injury concerns and its unsure what her role will be and how much of an impact she will have on Saturday.
Unfortunately, time doesn’t heal all wounds because star corner-back – and MVP of the Seattle game – Monika Jaramillo suffered a broken forearm and the other starting corner, Nikki Pugh, is still dealing with a knee issue that limited her against Seattle.
In addition to dealing with the long layoff, the Desire players are in the precarious position of having to stay mentally focused for a game they should easily win. The Omaha Heart started the 2016 with high hopes after defeating the New England Liberty 26-6 in Week 2, but since then it’s been all downhill as the Heart was outscored 143-0 in its next two contest. Not only was the team dismantled on the field but it looked like things were falling apart in the locker room as well and head coach Tony Doremus and his staff was let go after the embarrassing 66-0 loss to the Chicago Bliss.
With the disarray in Omaha you would think that things are setting themselves up for an easy win for Dallas but Desire safety Shawnte’ Shiree has cautioned her team about overlooking the beleaguered Heart. “We haven’t taken anyone lightly all season”, said Shiree when asked about how the team is preparing for the Omaha. “We are treating this just like any other game. We have everything to lose and Omaha has absolutely nothing to lose. If we play Desire football, there is no reason why we shouldn’t win the game.”
Shiree knows first-handed what can happen when you take someone lightly in the LFL. She was on the 2013 Heart team that upset the top-ranked Jacksonville Breeze 8-0. It was the inaugural season for Omaha and no one gave them a chance – even to the point that it was speculated that the Jacksonville team didn’t even watch game tape of its opponent – but Omaha showed Heart and pulled off the biggest upset in league history.
The Dallas coaches and players know what is at stake, so there is little doubt that they will be overlooking Omaha and should easily win. The only real questions remaining are whether they will be able to make it out of the game unscathed and can they continue the league-wide shutout streak against Omaha.
If the answer to both questions are yes, then that should put them in a great position for a highly anticipated rematch with the Seattle Mist in the Western Conference Title Game.