IWFL: Pittsburgh Passion Set To Swim With New York Sharks


The battle begins anew Saturday as the Pittsburgh Passion host the New York Sharks at Cupples Stadium in a rematch from last season of the Independent Womens Football League Eastern Conference final.

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The Black and Gold defeated the Sharks 26-12 Saturday, July 12 at Cupples Stadium to advance to the IWFL World Championship Game against the Houston Energy. Pittsburgh beat Houston 41-7 on Saturday, July 26 to claim the title and finish the season a perfect 11-0.

The Passion are 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the IWFL as they occupy first place in the Mid Atlantic Divison. They have put up 121 points and surrendered just eight in IWFL action. Pittsburgh is 6-2 all-time against the Sharks.

In the pair of IWFL victories, quarterback Lisa Horton has 365 passing yards and eight touchdowns. She has not thrown an interception. Her favorite target has been wide receiver Rachel Wojdowski, who has 10 receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

Rookie running back Tara Catone has contributed to the ground attack with 183 rushing yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.

The defense has picked up where they left off during last season’s championship run. Linebacker Olivia Griswold has collected 10 tackles and two 1/2 sacks in two games. Defensive end Jessica Nelko has put up eight tackles and two 1/2 sacks. Rookie defensive back Jillian Croce has come through with an interception that was returned 80-yards for a touchdown.

One does not over look placekicker Amy Fallon, who has gone 11-of-11 in her point-after attempts for the Black and Gold.

New York is 3-0 in the IWFL and in first place in the North Atlantic Division. The Sharks are coming off a 19-0 victory over the Washington Prodigy last week at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn.

Veteran quarterback Karen Mulligan leads head coach Richard Harrigan’s offense while linebacker Amber Terrell takes charge on the defense.

The Passion will honor two groups at the game. The first is “Those Who Serve” which will include military, police, firefighters, and EMS technicians. Tickets will be discounted to $10 for all those who serve. The Black and Gold will also celebrate all Mom’s, who will receive the same discount, in recognition of Mother’s Day.

Interestingly, on this Mother’s Day weekend, this will be the first game in Passion history with a mother and daughter playing together. Ceree Wilkerson, a free safety, will be joined on the field by her daughter, linebacker Michelle Peters. Michelle has been playing since 2005, but switched, last year, from free safety to linebacker.

Up Next: The Passion host the Carolina Phoenix Saturday May 16 at Cupples Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Pittsburgh downed the Phoenix 29-6 during Week 1 last season in Durham, North Carolina. The Phoenix were the 2013 IWFL World Champions and the 2012 IWFL Founders Bowl Champions.

From The Clipboard: The Passion played an exhibition contest Saturday, May 2 against the Comets of the Women’s Football Alliance in Columbus. Pittsburgh won 35-6.at the Huffaker Community Sports Complex.

The regular season game with the Nighthawks in Baltmore has been moved to Saturday, June 20 at 4 p.m. The match-up will be held at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Pittsburgh defeated the ‘Hawks 31-0 last season at Cupples Stadium.

Our own Rachel Wojdowski was one of four new inductees into the New York University Athletics Hall of Fame. She and the other new members were honored at an event celebrated at the Rosenthal Pavilion of the Kimmel Center, overlooking the Washington Square Park.

Next: High-scoring Hounds focusing on defensive improvements

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