June 16th Results
The upset of the night: the Slam beat the OKC Lightning. This was the first time in four years of playing OKC that the Slam won. The Passion beat the Vipers and the Comets beat the Sizzle. The Illusion froze out the Freeze and the Locomotion won over the Rhythm. The Fusion beat the Mayhem. The Flash beat the Spitfire. The G. C. Herricanes won over the Barracudas. The Karma beat the Momentum. The Pensacola Power beat the ever determined New Orleans Blaze. The Dream won against the Renegades. Congrats to the Passion, the Locomotion, the Prowlers and the Mutiny for perfect 8-0 seasons!
Check out WomensFootballCentral.com for stats and playoff schedule.
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR
The National Women's Football Association has announced that tickets for the 2007 FOOTBALL PALLOOZA are now on sale. The ticket are on sale through ticketmaster and are $15.00 if ordered prior to the game on Saturday, July 21st. At the gate, tickets are $20.00.
In addition to the 7th Annual World Championship Game on July 21st, there will also be a Player's Reception on Friday, July 20th at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. The event is open to the public and tickets are $20.00. These tickets are available by calling (615) 860-4084. There is a limited number of tickets available for this event.
US ARMY PARTNERS WITH WOMEN'S PRO FOOTBALL
Nashville, TN - The National Women's Football Association has announced that the U.S. Army recruiting station in Nashville will participate as one of the sponsors of the 2007 Football Pallooza World Championship Game. The game will be held Saturday, July 21st at 7:00pm and tickets may be purchased through ticketmaster.
The U.S. Army will be one of the exhibitors participating at the event. "This is a great opportunity for us to help the U.S. Army promote their recruiting efforts," states league VP, Debby Lening.
WOMEN'S FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2007 DIVISION WINNERS
The National Women's Football Association has concluded the 2007 regular season and the following teams have been named Division Winners.
Southern Division winner - Baltimore Burn
Northern Division winner - The Mass Mutiny
Central Division winner - The Pittsburgh Passion
Western Division winner - The West Michigan Mayhem
Southern Division winner - Pensacola Power
Northern Division winner - St. Louis Slam
Central Division Winner - Chattanooga Locomotion
Western Division winner - OKC Lightning
For a complete breakdown of the 2007 Playoff schedule, please visit the NWFA's global website at WomensFootballCentral.com
WOMEN'S FOOTBALL EXPANSION TEAM DEADLINE
Nashville, TN - The National Women's Football Association has announced August 1, 2007 as the deadline for expansion team applications. All potential teams wishing to join the NWFA for the 2008 season must have completed their ownership applications and have all fees paid by the above date.
The NWFA is looking at the following markets for expansion: Jacksonville, Kansas City, Omaha, New York, San Francisco, Lubbock, Augusta, Memphis, Las Vegas, Birmingham, Little Rock, Alexandria, Albuquerque, Naples, Vero Beach, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Peoria and San Antonio.
"We've had quite a few calls regarding some of these markets and in order to get any of these teams set up and organized for the 2008 schedule, we have to get them in now," states league CEO, Catherine Masters.
Potential team owners should contact the NWFA at (615) 860-4084 for the owner's application.
MYSPACE MEMBERS TO MEET AT
Nashville, TN - The organizers of Football Pallooza, the world championship of women's professional football, have announced that there will be a special section in the stadium designated for MySpace members.
"We know that lots of people in Nashville are members of MySpace and thought this might be a great way for all of them to meet in a safe and fun way," states league CEO, Catherine Masters. All MySpace members who attend the game will be seated in a section reserved just for them and given name tags so that they can meet and greet one another.
Football Pallooza will be held on Saturday, July 21st at White's Creek High School with kick off at 7:00pm. Thousands of women's football fans will be attending from around the country and Nashville. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.
For additional information on the National Women's Football Association, please visit WomensFootballCentral.com or call (615) 860-4084.
From The Teams:
Fusion defeat Mayhem 22-6. Next up - the Connecticut Crush!
One of the oldest rivalries of the National Women's Football Association closed out another chapter Saturday night as the Cleveland Fusion traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan to battle the West Michigan Mayhem. Following tradition, the Fusion emerged victorious by a score of 22-6. The previous seven games since 2002 when both teams entered the league, have the Fusion ahead by five wins to two losses. Even so, West Michigan won their division this year, advancing to the playoffs, as did the Fusion.
It was a hard-fought game, which fortunately ended with no serious injuries to either team, although there were plenty of bumps and bruises to show for the effort. There was no scoring in the first quarter, as the teams traded downs and field possession for most of the time. Fusion defensive end Mary Erne, Jr., tipped a Jan Johnson pass early on, but the play was called back for a penalty against the Mayhem. Near the end of the same quarter, Erne sacked Johnson for a loss of seven yards.
The Fusion's 'Mighty Mite' running back Erica Ware started the second quarter with a 15 yard run, following up with several others, resulting in the touchdown four minutes later. Sometime quarterback and defensive end Casey Stinson turned into a kicker, was successful in the first of her two attempts, and the score at the half was 7-0.
The third quarter was more Ware running here, running there, with another touchdown following a 4-yard run with 11:13 remaining. Stinson was again successful, as well. Ten minutes later, Ware caught a 29 yard pass from quarterback Mary Deitrick, taking it into the end zone. The snap was a bit off center, so holder Shauna Nevel adroitly flipped the ball to running back Marina Latessa who ran it in to the end zone for two points. The score was now 22-0.
After several threats, the Mayhem finally put points on the board just after the fourth quarter opened. Running back Jennifer Plummer scored on a 3-yard run. Jackson tried a two-point pass conversion to running back Catherine Converse, but she was stopped before the end zone. The score held and at the end of the game it was Fusion 22, Mayhem 6.
Even though the two teams were nearly even on time of possession for the game, the Fusion's total offense was 280 yards compared to 153 for the Mayhem. Perhaps the most telling stat for the game is 3rd down conversions. The Fusion were successful on 6 of 12 attempts, for 50%, while the Mayhem managed only 1 of their 12 tries, for 8%.
For the game, Ware carried 21 times for 104 yards, and caught 2 passes for 47 yards, and all three touchdowns. Latessa ran for 86 yards on 17 carries. Nevel had 2 receptions for 21 yards. Deitrick completed 3 of 13 for 57 yards, and Stinson's five attempts resulted in two completions for 21 yards.
Defensively, Peru Barber had 2 solo tackles, six assists, deflected 3 passes and had one interception. Erne ended with 3 solos, 3 assists, and a deflect in addition to her sack. Marie Spencer also tipped two passes, to go with her three tackles (1 solo and 2 assists) Maritza Gonzalez led all tacklers with 2 solos and 8 assists, while Jen Ryba contributed 2 and 7, and Stephanie Balochko chipped in with 1 and 7. Stefanie Russo had 3 and 4.
During the bus-ride home, in the wee hours of the morning, it was learned that the Fusion, seeded 5th in the Eastern Conference of the NWFA will travel to Berlin, Connecticut for the first playoff game on Saturday, June 23, against the Connecticut Crush. West Michigan, seeded #3 will host Baltimore. The other Conference matchup for this weekend will send #7 Erie against #2 Pittsburgh. The winner of the Cleveland-Connecticut game will play Conference champion Massachusetts in Boston on June 30. --Kelly Ferjutz, Staff Writer, Fusion
ST. LOUIS SLAMS DOOR ON LIGHTNING’S PERFECT SEASON IN HARD FOUGHT DEFENSIVE STRUGGLE
St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Slam had their best performance ever against the Oklahoma City Lightning, shutting the OKC team down offensively, resulting in a 7-0 loss for the Lightning. This is the first time in the history of meetings between the two teams, which spans 5 seasons and 10 games, that the Slam has beaten Oklahoma City. Even with this loss however, for the second year in a row, the Lightning has clinched the NWFA Western Division championship of the Southern Conference with a 7-1 record and a #3 seed in the playoffs, behind the Chattanooga Locomotion (#1) and the St. Louis Slam (#2).
Offensively, the Lightning Ladies could never get much together. There were some opportunities when OKC moved the ball, only to get stymied by the tough St. Louis defense on fourth down and short. As a result the Lightning offense turned the ball over on downs at least twice to the Slam.
Both defenses played superbly, with the stingy OKC team shutting down at least 4 offensive drives for the Slam. For St. Louis, leading 2006 NWFA Tackler of the Year Kelly Kozlen spearheaded the very quick and talented Slam defense to keep a talented OKC offense at bay. A blocked punt from Lightning kicker Lacey Schulz resulted in the Slam recovering the ball on Oklahoma City’s 15 yard line. After that turn of events, St. Louis went on to score the only touchdown of the game.
For the Lightning, the route to Nashville and next month's championship game begins with the New Orleans Blaze. The OKC Lightning’s 7-1 regular season clinched a first round playoff spot for the Lightning, a game that will be played Saturday evening, June 23rd at historic Taft Stadium in the MidCity.
OKC LIGHTNING TO PLAY NEW ORLEANS BLAZE IN FIRST ROUND OF PLAYOFFS
The 7-1 Oklahoma City Lightning will play its first round game in the NWFA playoffs against the 5-3 New Orleans Blaze at home in Taft Stadium on Saturday, June 23rd with the kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Oklahoma City, coming off of a tough 7-0 road loss against the St. Louis Slam last week will face a good New Orleans Blaze team. The Lightning has the #3 seed in the playoffs with the Blaze as the #6 seed. The game should provide quite a showdown between the two teams, who have never met. For OKC, they feature 2006 NWFA Rusher and Scorer of the Year, RB Iliana Calderon. Look for the Lightning defense to be stingy on the New Orleans team and the offense to resume their productive pace. This match-up with the Blaze will surely be an interesting offensive and defensive performance for Oklahoma City as well as for New Orleans. The winner of this game advances to the second round playoff game against either the #7 seed 8-0 Arizona Prowlers or a possible rematch with the #2 seed 7-1 St. Louis Slam.
The OKC Lightning will retire at least one player’s jersey, announce the players name/years played and take lots of pics on the field. All former female OKC football players, either from the Lightning or from Dolls, are invited to come out and attend the game. Come support the Lightning and be recognized during this important game. Hope to see you there!!!
Last year, the OKC Lightning won the Southwest Division, the Southern Conference and ended up NWFA League Runners-up against the D.C. Divas in the 2006 NWFA National Championship in Pittsburgh, PA, closing the season with a 10-1 record (the lone loss in the national championship).
For information on the OKC Lightning, please visit okclightning.com or call (405) 760-1406
The 2007 World Championship will be held Saturday, July 21st in Nashville, Tennessee. For tickets please contact ticketmaster at 615-255-9600. For additional information on the NWFA, please call (615) 860-4084.
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photo Dan Vernon
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photo Dan Vernon