Pittsburgh Passion Ready To Take On Carolina Phoenix


The Pittsburgh Passion (9-0) stand strong and united in their quest to repeat as Independent Womens Football League World Champions. All that stands between them and returning to the title game in Rock Hill, South Carolina are the Carolina Phoenix (7-2) this Saturday, July 11 in the IWFL Eastern Conference Championship Game. The contest will get underway at 7 p.m. at Mansion Park Stadium on Sixth Avenue in Altoona, Pa.

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After defeating long-time rival, the New York Sharks 35-28 on Saturday, June 27, Teresa Conn’s crew is ready to engage the Phoenix for the second time this season. The two squads met during the regular season on Saturday, May 16 at Cupples Stadium, and Pittsburgh downed Carolina 41-6. Quarterback Lisa Horton had four touchdown passes while rookie running sensation Tara Catone collected 97-yards rushing and a touchdown on just eight carries. The Passion are 3-0 all-time against the Phoenix.

This season’s journey has seen the Passion clinch the 2015 Mid Atlantic Division, and their sixth division title overall. Over the course of the IWFL regular season and one playoff meeting, offensive coordinator Adam Santoro’s unit has rolled up 362 points. Not to be overlooked is defensive coordinator Janice Masters’ gang, who allowed a total of 74 points. Her group has three shutouts to their credit.

If you go back to last season’s 11-0 championship title run, the Passion have won 20 consecutive contests. In the last 10 seasons, the Black and Gold has made the playoffs nine times.

The Phoenix, under the direction of head coach Willie Parker, is coming off a 20-0 win at home Saturday, June 27 against in-state rival, the Carolina Queens. Through the regular season and one playoff game, the Carolina offense has generated 205 points. Their defense has surrendered a total of 61 points, and forged seven shutouts.

The winner will go on to meet the victor of the Utah Falconz (6-0) versus Madison Blaze (8-1) match-up out of the Western Conference in the IWFL Championship Saturday, July 24 in Rock Hill. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at District 3 Stadium on South Cherry Road.

The Passion went 7-0 during the IWFL regular season and 8-0 overall. Their achievements led to 11 members of the Black and Gold being chosen for the Eastern Conference squad in this year’s All-Star Game. It will be held on Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m. in Rock Hill, as part of the IWFL’s Championship Weekend. The following Passion players and coach were selected for the event:


Coach Harvey Smith (4th Season)
Quarterback – Lisa Horton (13th Season)
Running Back – Tara Catone (Rookie Season)
Wide Receiver – Rachel Wojdowski (5th Season)
Tight End/Offensive Lineman – Kate Sullivan (13th Season)
Defensive End – Jessica Nelko (4th Season)
Center – Shelby Horak (5th Season)
Wide Receiver/Strong Safety – Sharon Vasquez (11th Season)
Wide Receiver – Angela Baker (4th Season)
Defensive End – Kim Zubovic (11th Season)
Offensive Tackle – Veronic Burress (9th Season)

SECOND TEAM: Offensive Lineman/Defensive End – Kaitlain Niedermeyer (6th Season)

Seven members of the Passion participated in the 2014 All-Star Game. Vasquez, Horton, Wojdowski, Nelko, Baker, Zubovic, and Sullivan were first or second team All-Stars last season.

From The Clipboard: Passion running back Ciara (Chic) Kimbrough, who was the team’s leading rusher in 2014 and contributed two touchdowns in last season’s championship game, will be inducted into the Pittsburgh Sportsline Hall of Fame on Monday, July 13th. Kimbrough still holds West Virginia high school track records in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes from her days at Riverside High School in Charleston. She was an All-American in track for the Mountaineers at WVU.

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