Rozendaal’s Recaps – Round 1
Click any of the scores to expand the recap for that game:
By Neal Rozendaal
Cleveland, OH – The Cleveland Fusion’s record-setting season continues. The Fusion scored four second-half touchdowns to outpace the West Michigan Mayhem, 35-6.
West Michigan, making their first playoff appearance in three years, trailed just 7-6 at halftime. But Cleveland quarterback Beth Andrasik threw three touchdown passes in the second half to put the Mayhem away.
The Fusion finished the regular season with an 8-0 record for the first time in the history of a franchise that dates back to 2002. The win over West Michigan was their ninth of the season, establishing a new team record.
New York, NY – The Columbus Comets raced out to a 22-0 halftime advantage before holding off a furious New York rally in the final minutes to defeat the Sharks, 22-20.
The Comets, who missed the playoffs last season after seven straight postseason appearances, took command of the game with three first-half touchdowns. The New York Sharks, however, made a late charge behind two scoring passes from quarterback Karen Mulligan. Mulligan’s second touchdown toss with 1:11 remaining in the game shaved the Comets’ lead to just two points.
But Mulligan’s pass on the two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete, and Columbus recovered the ensuing onside kick to preserve the victory.
St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Slam built a 44-0 halftime lead and easily dispatched the Acadiana Zydeco, 72-0. St. Louis quarterback Kate Evers threw three touchdowns in the first half, and the Slam defense added a safety and three touchdowns as well. St. Louis returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score.
St. Louis, the 2009 WFA champions, advances to face the Kansas City Titans in the conference quarterfinals in a battle for in-state supremacy.
San Diego, CA – The Surge scored 64 unanswered points over the last two and a half quarters, and San Diego began their defense of the WFA league championship by defeating the Las Vegas Showgirlz, 78-14. The teams traded touchdowns to start the contest, and the game was tied at 14 midway through the second quarter before San Diego took control.
Running back Cassey Brick was the standout player for the Surge, rushing eight times for 191 yards and four touchdowns, recording another touchdown receiving, and catching a pass for a successful two-point conversion. The Surge, who won the WFA championship in 2012, advance to face the Sacramento Sirens next week.
Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento Sirens prevailed in their first WFA playoff game, defeating the Pacific Warriors, 25-6. The Sirens, while in their first season with the WFA, are making their 11th playoff appearance, a record in women’s professional football.
The Sirens advance to take on the defending WFA champion San Diego Surge next week in a conference quarterfinal matchup.
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Passion raced out to a 42-0 lead after one quarter and cruised to a 63-0 victory over the Cincinnati Sizzle. Five different Passion players recorded touchdowns in the first period, setting the tone for Pittsburgh’s largest playoff win in franchise history.
Pittsburgh’s rapid start put a damper on Cincinnati’s first playoff appearance in the history of the nine-year franchise. The Passion kept the Sizzle off the scoreboard, notching the team’s first playoff shutout.
Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta Phoenix continued their undefeated season, holding off the Tampa Bay Inferno in a thrilling game, 24-19. Atlanta held a narrow 14-13 lead at halftime before tacking on another touchdown in the second half to extend their advantage to 22-13.
Tampa Bay, making their first playoff appearance after missing the postseason last year despite a 7-1 record, made a late rally. The Inferno scored a touchdown with under three minutes remaining in the contest, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 22-19. But the Phoenix blocked Tampa Bay’s extra point attempt and returned it for two points, then they recovered the onside kick to end the Inferno’s comeback for good. The 9-0 Phoenix advance to meet the undefeated Miami Fury in the conference quarterfinals.
Austin, TX – The Austin Outlaws built a 21-0 halftime advantage and triumphed over the Little Rock Wildcats by a 35-0 count. It was just the second playoff win for the Outlaws since 2002 and their first ever home playoff victory. Meanwhile, the Little Rock Wildcats suffered their second straight playoff defeat by shutout.
Austin advances to the conference quarterfinals for a Texas showdown with the Dallas Diamonds. Austin and Dallas are the only two teams from Texas remaining in the WFA playoffs.
Seattle, WA – The Utah Jynx pulled off the biggest upset of the first round of the WFA playoffs, going on the road to Seattle and stunning the undefeated Majestics, 36-26. The Jynx claimed their first playoff victory in franchise history with style, using a strong second-half effort to build on their 14-13 halftime lead and coast to victory.
The Majestics finished their inaugural season in the WFA with an 8-0 record, a regular season mark that included a 47-18 victory over the Jynx in Seattle’s first ever WFA contest. But the playoffs were a different story. Utah’s powerful offense averaged 54 points per game in the regular season, and they summoned enough offense against Seattle to end the Majestics’ season.
The Jynx now advance to a conference quarterfinal matchup with the Central Cal War Angels, who eliminated Utah from the WFA playoffs last season.
Fresno, CA – Central Cal War Angels quarterback Chantel Wiggins threw three touchdown passes to help lead the War Angels to a 34-0 victory over the Portland Shockwave. Two of Wiggins’ scoring passes went to wide receiver Lisa King, who co-owns the WFA with her husband, Jeff.
The Shockwave concluded their inaugural season in the WFA with a postseason appearance. But they were no match for the War Angels, who ran their season record to a perfect 9-0. Central Cal next hosts the upset-minded Utah Jynx in a conference quarterfinal game.