2007-05-11 / Sports

Perissi Cheers On Her New York Sharks From Sidelines

By Elio Velez

D.C. Divas linebacker Mozette Timmons (right) tries to stop runningback Mandy Oppel of the New York Sharks. Photo By Richard Grasso. D.C. Divas linebacker Mozette Timmons (right) tries to stop runningback Mandy Oppel of the New York Sharks. Photo By Richard Grasso. Anne Perissi cheered and screamed as loud as she could on the sidelines of the Aviator Sports Complex football field on Saturday afternoon.

Her New York Sharks teammates, members of the only women's professional football team in New York City, had fallen behind the visiting D.C. Divas, 20-14, late in the fourth quarter.

But her persistence in trying to cheer on the Sharks to victory in their home opener of the 2007 International Women Football season would fall a few points short. The 20-14 defeat to D.C. broke a 49 game winning streak which was complied over six seasons.

Perissi, a 32 year old Rockaway native who has played for the Sharks the last three years, wasn't in uniform to help her team

At the end of the New York Sharks season in July of 2006, Perissi planned to have her children. On March 22 of this year, Perissi and her husband gave birth to their first children, twins Jacob and Julia. She does miss the field and the camaraderie of her teammates but Perissi has never been happier.

"I never believed I would have two... it was like an American dream a boy and a girl. I have one for the NFL(National Football League) and for the IWFL," Perissi said laughingly. I got two future superstars."

Perissi, who played on the offensive and defensive line, had her most enjoyable season in 2006. She is disappointed that her services couldn't help the Sharks but two new additions to Perissi's life takes prominence over her football career.

"I miss the field now that I'm on the sidelines and listening to the game against Miami on the computer. It's a little rough but I got the American dream working," Perissi said.

"I got my two kids that I wanted and next year, they'll be rooting for me on the sidelines."

Because of her maternity leave, Perissi says she will likely not play this season. But there is no doubt in Perissi's mind that she will play in the 2008 season. The love of football burns in her soul because the New York Sharks players have to pay for their own medical insurance, uniforms and travel costs.

"We know that we can play and we want to play hard. We hope one day to get the recognition from television and get our big break. This is about our love for the game," Perissi said.

Powers ran to third base and as Marinello slid safely to second base, Stella Maris' second baseman Caitlin Garofalo couldn't scoop the throw from Dasaro in time.

Without hesitation Powers made it safely to home plate and Fontbonne Hall took a 1-0 lead. Corinne Fitzgibbons promptly knocked a 2 RBI single to centerfield to increase the lead to 3- 0. After increasing the lead to 7-0, the Flippers placed two runs on the scoreboard to cut the lead.

When SS Angela Mammina lined out to Schirripa to end the game, Rosella was disappointed that her high school career was over.

"We didn't hit and we made errors. It happens like that," Rosella, who has accepted a scholarship to play at Concordia College next year, said.

Flippers coach Jim DeAngelo says the sixth inning was a microcosm of the losses they've accrued this season. He knows the team is saddened that his key seniors won't have a chance to get one last shot at a ring.

"It's always that one bad inning that comes at the wrong time," DeAngelo said.

"The first team to commit an error and the first team to capitalize on it will jump ahead. It's what happened to us. We got rattled and they scored."

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