2014 Around the WFA
[For the second straight year, I produced several “around the WFA” segments where I took a look at games taking place around the league each week. These “around the WFA” wraparounds from 2014 are archived below; the 2015 segments can be found here.]
Around the WFA – The Women’s Football Alliance brings women’s football fans another season of great gridiron action starting this weekend, with a full slate of 20 games scheduled for April 5…The first weekend of WFA games features several exciting regional rivalries. The champion Chicago Force travel to Detroit to play the Dark Angels, while one of the Pacific Northwest’s best rivalries resumes when the Portland Shockwave host the Seattle Majestics…The Divas share a division this year with the Central Maryland Seahawks and Columbus Comets. The Comets open their 2014 campaign on the road against the Cleveland Fusion, a team that had a breakout 8-0 regular season in 2013…The Atlanta Phoenix have compiled a 15-1 regular season record in their last two seasons. Their only loss was a 26-25 defeat in 2012 to the Tampa Bay Inferno; Atlanta hosts Tampa Bay Saturday…The Las Vegas Showgirlz, fresh off of two dominant preseason victories (including a 74-38 blowout of the IWFL’s Utah Jynx), visit the San Diego Surge in a matchup between West Coast powerhouses.
Week 1 Expanded Edition
Around the WFA – The Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) will bring women’s football fans another great season of gridiron action starting this weekend, with a full slate of 20 games scheduled for April 5. The opening weekend in the WFA features several exciting regional rivalries. Here are a few of the key matchups:
• D.C. Divas @ Boston Militia – The Divas and Militia have met in the playoffs each of the last five seasons, a women’s football record that has fueled a heated rivalry between these two squads. Last year’s regular season matchup in Boston between these two teams resulted in an 81-54 victory for the Militia, the highest-scoring game in women’s football history.
• Chicago Force @ Detroit Dark Angels – The reigning WFA champion Chicago Force begin their national championship defense in Detroit against the Dark Angels. The Dark Angels, who went 8-0 in the regular season in 2012, hope to return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
• Las Vegas Showgirlz @ San Diego Surge – The Las Vegas Showgirlz, fresh off of two dominant preseason victories, visit the San Diego Surge in a matchup between West Coast powerhouses. San Diego, the 2012 WFA champions, defeated Las Vegas in a competitive regular season meeting last year, 32-22, and later eliminated the Showgirlz from the 2013 WFA playoffs.
• Seattle Majestics @ Portland Shockwave – One of the Pacific Northwest’s premier rivalries resumes when the Shockwave host the Seattle Majestics. This will be the 30th meeting all-time between the Majestics and the Shockwave, with Seattle holding a 21-8 advantage in the series.
• Tampa Bay Inferno @ Atlanta Phoenix – The Atlanta Phoenix, champions of the WFA’s southeast region in 2013, have established themselves as a regional powerhouse. Over the last two regular seasons, Atlanta has compiled a 15-1 record. Their only loss was a 26-25 defeat in 2012 at the hands of the Tampa Bay Inferno, who will attempt to repeat the feat on Saturday.
• Columbus Comets @ Cleveland Fusion – These two franchises will bring 25 combined years of women’s football experience to the field as they kick off their seasons this weekend. Columbus made their eighth playoff appearance last season and their first since advancing to the WFA national championship game in 2010. Cleveland, meanwhile, outscored their opponents, 362-18, en route to a perfect 8-0 regular season in 2013.
• Nevada Storm @ Central Cal War Angels – The Nevada Storm make their WFA debut in 2014 after three seasons playing in other leagues. They’ll take on the Central Cal War Angels, who advanced to the American Conference championship game last season for the first time in franchise history.
• Cincinnati Sizzle @ West Michigan Mayhem – Cincinnati capped their ninth season of women’s football in 2013 by making their first playoff appearance in franchise history. The Sizzle will try to head back to the postseason for the second time, a journey they hope to start by securing a road victory over the West Michigan Mayhem. The Mayhem have accrued 75 victories as they enter their 13th season, ranking them eighth in all-time wins among current women’s football franchises.
• Toledo Reign @ Derby City Dynamite – Since their founding in 2012, the Derby City Dynamite have made the Toledo Reign one of their fiercest rivals. Despite going 3-5 in 2013, Derby City ended the year on a positive note with three straight victories, including a 14-0 win over rival Toledo. The Reign begin their 11th season hoping to make their second playoff appearance in three years after qualifying for a wild card game in 2012.
• Austin Outlaws @ Houston Power – The battle for the Lone Star State in the WFA in 2014 will come down to this rivalry. Austin and Houston have had several competitive battles over the last four years, splitting the eight games between them to give both teams a 4-4 record in the series since 2010.
• Tacoma Trauma @ Everett Reign – The Everett Reign will be using this weekend’s home opener against the Tacoma Trauma to honor the victims of the tragic Oso mudslide and their families. The team will donate a portion of the game’s ticket sales to relief efforts and will collect additional donations at the game. Both teams will observe a moment of silence before the contest in the memory of those who lost their lives.
Around the WFA – Fresh off of a 70-0 road victory over Detroit, the Chicago Force play their home opener this weekend before heading to DC. They will face the Indy Crash, who had a bye last week and will make their season debut in Chicago…The Cleveland Fusion won their ninth straight regular season contest Saturday, downing the Columbus Comets, 20-6…The Tampa Bay Inferno started their season with an impressive, hard-fought road victory over the Atlanta Phoenix, 32-25…The Jacksonville Dixie Blues (62-0 over the Daytona Breakers) and Miami Fury (56-0 over the Orlando Anarchy) both secured convincing victories to start their seasons. The Fury host Jacksonville Saturday night in this weekend’s most compelling contest…The Tulsa Threat travel to play the Kansas City Titans this weekend in the season debut for both teams…On the west coast, the battle for Portland takes center stage, as the Portland Fighting Fillies host the Portland Shockwave.
Around the WFA – The Chicago Force were awarded an extra point for their return of a blocked PAT attempt against the Divas, giving them a corrected final score of 42-27 in their win over D.C. last weekend. Chicago is 3-0 on the year and hosts the 2-0 West Michigan Mayhem Saturday…The Boston Militia remained undefeated with a 47-7 victory over the Cleveland Fusion last week, handing Cleveland their first regular season loss since 2012…The Atlanta Phoenix held off the Miami Fury in a defensive slugfest, 12-8. Atlanta travels to Jacksonville this weekend to battle the always-sharp Dixie Blues…Two weeks ago, the Utah Blitz held a career win/loss record over five seasons of 3-27, including 15 losses in a row. But the Blitz registered their first win since 2011 with a victory over the Everett Reign on April 12, and they now boast a winning 2-1 record on the season with their triumph last weekend over the Nevada Storm…The Seattle Majestics, Central Cal War Angels, and San Diego Surge are all 3-0 and dominating opponents on the West Coast. Seven of their nine combined victories have been by 40 points or more.
Around the WFA – The defending champion Chicago Force (4-0) improved to 28-0 all-time in regular season play in the WFA with a 30-0 victory over the previously undefeated West Michigan Mayhem (2-1). Chicago travels to Indianapolis to play the Indy Crash (1-2) this weekend…The Cleveland Fusion (2-1) held off the Crash last weekend for their second victory of the year. They host the Boston Militia (3-0) on Saturday, the team that handed them their only loss so far this season…This week’s only battle of undefeated teams might surprise you. The Toledo Reign (3-0) will try to move to 4-0 for the first time in their 11-year history by traveling to Pittsburgh and downing the resurrected Pittsburgh Force (2-0)…The Nebraska Stampede (3-0) will also try this weekend to improve to 4-0 for the first time ever, but they too have a difficult challenge as they host the Tulsa Threat (2-1)…One of the Northwest’s premier rivalries resumes Saturday when the Portland Shockwave (2-1) visit the Seattle Majestics (3-0). The Majestics triumphed in the season-opening meeting between these two teams, 33-12, but the Shockwave are the only team to score on the Majestics so far this season.
Around the WFA – It’s a huge weekend in the Women’s Football Alliance, with two of the most anticipated games of the season taking place Saturday. The Chicago Force (5-0) and the Boston Militia (5-0) will meet on a neutral field in Pittsburgh for the first regular season meeting ever between these two elite franchises. Boston and Chicago have squared off in each of the last two National Conference championship games and came into the 2014 season ranked #1 and #2 in the league…The San Diego Surge (6-0) host the Central Cal War Angels (4-0) in the first leg of a home-and-home series. The War Angels have won four contests by an average margin of victory of 35.5 points per game, while San Diego has downed their opponents by a breathtaking average of 66.8 points per contest…The only other two undefeated teams in the WFA are the Tampa Bay Inferno (5-0) and the Kansas City Titans (5-0). Since a 32-25 victory over the Atlanta Phoenix in their season opener, Tampa Bay has won their last four games by an average of 60.8 points per game. The Titans, on the other hand, rolled in their first four games before claiming a hard-fought 33-14 victory last weekend over the Nebraska Stampede. The Inferno host the Orlando Anarchy Saturday, while Kansas City has a bye week…The storybook season of the Utah Blitz (3-2) added another chapter last Saturday, when Utah captured a 28-7 victory over the Tacoma Trauma. The Blitz are one of four teams with a winning record in the highly-competitive Northwest Division, and they are making a potential run at the first playoff berth in franchise history.
Around the WFA – The D.C. Divas-Boston Militia game is one of several contests being held Saturday that could have an impact on the WFA playoffs. Eight teams – the Chicago Force, Boston Militia, D.C. Divas, Toledo Reign, Atlanta Phoenix, San Diego Surge, Central Cal War Angels, and Seattle Majestics – have clinched division championships and automatic playoff berths. The other four division championships will be decided in games Saturday.
The only division championship still up for grabs in the National Conference is in the South Atlantic, where the Tampa Bay Inferno (7-0) will try to close out an undefeated regular season by holding off the Miami Fury (5-2). The Fury can squash those dreams and capture the South Atlantic Division championship by erasing a 14-13 defeat they suffered against Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
In the Midwest region, none of the three divisions have been conclusively decided. Like Tampa Bay, the Kansas City Titans (7-0) are chasing an undefeated regular season record. To do it, they will need to hold off the Nebraska Stampede (6-1) Saturday. The Stampede can claim a Midwest Division championship by winning by 20 or more points to overcome their only loss, a 33-14 setback to the Titans on May 10.
The Austin Outlaws (6-1) are in the driver’s seat in the Southwest Division, thanks to a 17-8 victory over the Houston Power (5-2) in the first game of the season. But Houston can snatch the division title away with a victory of at least ten points when the Power travel to Austin Saturday.
Finally, the Tulsa Threat (3-4) hold an edge over the Acadiana Zydeco (2-5) on the basis of a 30-8 victory earlier this season. The Zydeco will need at least a 22-point win Saturday when they host the Threat to capture the Gulf Coast Division crown.
In addition to their six division champions, both conferences will have six wild card teams that qualify for the WFA playoffs. Several teams have effectively clinched a wild card playoff berth, while the final spots will be determined by the outcomes of this weekend’s contests.
In the National Conference, the Cleveland Fusion (5-2), Indy Crash (4-3), and Columbus Comets (4-3) have all secured their places in the WFA playoffs. The runner-up in the South Atlantic Division, either the Tampa Bay Inferno or the Miami Fury, will also qualify as a wild card team. The final two National Conference playoff spots are currently held by the Detroit Dark Angels and West Michigan Mayhem, but the Jacksonville Dixie Blues and Derby City Dynamite are still in contention as well.
Out west, the Las Vegas Showgirlz (5-2) and Portland Shockwave (5-2) have secured two of the American Conference’s six wild card entries. The two teams that fall short in the Kansas City Titans-Nebraska Stampede and the Austin Outlaws-Houston Power matchups Saturday will still claim wild card spots as well. The final two playoff spots in the American Conference are currently held by the Everett Reign and Minnesota Machine, but the Portland Fighting Fillies, Utah Blitz, and Tulsa-Acadiana loser this weekend could all find their way into the playoffs as well, depending on the outcomes of contests Saturday.
Around the WFA – The winner of the Divas-Militia game will advance to the National Conference championship game against the winner of the Chicago Force and Miami Fury. The reigning WFA champion Chicago Force (7-1) began their title defense with a dominating 66-0 victory over the West Michigan Mayhem. The Force are making their 11th playoff appearance, tied with the Divas for the most playoff appearances in women’s football history…The Miami Fury (7-2), on the other hand, won the southeast region championship by going on the road and upsetting the reigning southeast champion Atlanta Phoenix, 9-7. It was the first non-forfeit playoff victory in the Fury’s franchise history, which dates back to 2000.
In the Midwest Region championship, the Austin Outlaws will travel to take on the Kansas City Titans. The Austin Outlaws (8-1) narrowly held off the Minnesota Machine in the previous round, 14-3. The Outlaws are one win away from qualifying for their first conference championship game since 2002, when they advanced to their only national championship game in team history…Standing in their way are the Kansas City Titans (9-0), who easily handled the WFA’s other Texas team, the Houston Power, in the previous round. It was the first official playoff victory for the Titans, a team that was formed in 2013 from a merger of the Kansas City Spartans and Kansas City Tribe. The Titans hope to be the first Kansas City team to advance to a conference championship game since the Tribe captured the national title in 2009.
In the Pacific region, the Seattle Majestics (8-1) pulled off the upset of the conference quarterfinal round, traveling to Fresno and toppling the Central Cal War Angels, 13-12. Seattle is attempting to move on to the conference championship game for the first time since 2008, when they fell to the eventual national champion Dallas Diamonds…Seattle will host the San Diego Surge (9-0), who advanced to the conference semifinals by downing a stubborn Las Vegas Showgirlz squad, 48-16. The Surge, who have a 41-3 record since 2011, are looking to get back to the national title game for the third time in four years and add another trophy to the national championship they won in 2012.