Call of the Wild

Chicago Force: Women's full contact football Archives

Chicago Force eliminated after 27-20 playoff loss to Dallas Diamonds

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

by George Howe

North Richland, Texas--- The Force 2010 season came to an end last Saturday just outside of Dallas as they lost a tough first round battle 27-20 to the Diamonds.  This was the first time that these two teams have met since the 2008 IWFL National Championship game, won by Dallas in overtime. Both teams had identical 7-1 conference records coming in. The game time temperature hovered in the low 90's and everyone was aware of the importance of hydration.
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The Chicago Force were eliminated in the Women's Football playoffs after a 27-20 loss to the Dallas Diamonds. Credit: Chicago Force


The Force took the opening kickoff, and in typical Texas style QB Sami Grisafe was the gunslinger throwing the ball 6 out of the ten plays. First she found Patricia Harper for an 18 yard strike, moving the ball to the Force 39. Then a pretty slant pass to Jeanette Gray for 23 yards marked the ball at the Diamond 25. On fourth down and ten, Grisafe looked left and once again found Gray who timed her jump perfectly in the right corner of the end zone, eluding three Diamond defenders. The first of many controversial calls by the officiating crew started on the extra point attempt by Carolyn Lee. The Force was flagged for a player being in an ineligible position. The five yards cost the Force the point.

The Diamonds came right back on their  first possession of the game with an impressive 13 play drive led by Jessica Springer who took it up the middle  4 yards. Force linebacker Kim Marks blocked the extra point attempt.   After a 19 yard field goal attempt by Lee  hit the right upright, the Diamonds took the lead on the legs of Springer who proved to be very tough to bring down all day,  and had runs of 26, 3 and scored from one yard out.  This time Jamie Menzyk blocked the PAT.

The Force defense kept up the pressure on Diamond QB Monica Foster, flushing her out of the pocket. It paid off with just under two minutes to play until the half. Foster coughed up the ball at her own 41. Marks was in the middle of everything throughout and recovered the fumble. Grisafe threw a post pass to Harper and she did the rest running down the left sideline. Lee made the PAT and the Force took a 13-12 lead into the locker room.



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Chicago Force finish season 7-1 with loss to Kansas City Tribe

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Kansas City, MO.   There was no post game celebration. Nor claim to a division title. In less than three hours last Saturday afternoon, a chance for a perfect 8-0 regular season record went by the wayside. The Force traveled to Kansas City June 5 for the highly anticipated rematch with the Tribe. Chicago took game one 14-12 with timely offense and solid defensive play. It was a completely different story this time, as sloppy play, missed opportunities, and defensive breakdowns, allowed the Tribe to dominate 30-12.
Chicago Force v Kansas City Tribe

The Chicago Force ended their regular season 7-1, after losing to the Kansas City Tribe. File Credit: Steve Stearns


Temperatures hovered in the 90's for the game that would decide the playoff fate of both teams. Chicago could secure home field advantage for the first round of playoffs with a win. A loss would either put the Force on the road or possibly out of the playoffs entirely. KC's only playoff hope was not just to win, but to win by enough points to overtake Chicago in the overall rankings. Despite losing, Chicago still secured the wild card spot as a result of their previous win over KC and a better overall record.

The Force jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter when Kim Marks blocked a Tribe punt and Alisha Brennon scooped it up and ran it in for a touchdown. The PAT by Carolyn Lee was good, but Chicago was flagged for a mouthpiece violation ... a rarely-called offense. It was the first in a series of questionable calls by the officiating crew. The re-kick failed and Chicago led 6-0. KC answered immediately with a 37 yard touchdown run on a trick play. The Tribe offense quick-snapped and the Force defense - confused by an official's whistle - never got into position. KC converted the PAT to go up 7-6.

Chicago QB Sami Grisafe then fumbled on the first play of the next possession and KC quickly turned that opportunity into another touchdown. The Tribe also added a field goal at the end of the 2nd quarter to go into halftime with a 16-6 lead. 

The second half featured more Force turnovers - 2 INT's and two more fumbles - helping to derail an offense that was already struggling to score. Meanwhile KC added 2 more touchdowns as the Force defense missed tackles and blew pass coverage. The Chicago special teams played a part in the other Force score when they partially blocked another punt in the 4th quarter, which was again corralled by Brennon and returned to the KC 10 yard line.

Two plays later RB Darcy Leslie burst in from 7 yards out to give the Chicago offense it's only score of the game.

Head Coach John Konecki, while relieved to make the playoffs, was clearly frustrated with the lack of execution from his team. "We cannot make a run in the playoffs if we continue to turn the ball over and fail to execute. In football, the team who wants it more usually wins. Today, that team was not us."

The Force must now travel to Texas to take on the higher-seeded Dallas Diamonds on June 12 at 3 pm.


Gallery 45-Chicago Force Play Toward Perfection

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Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The women of the Chicago Force always a formidable team, are working on a perfect season, now boasting a record of 7-0. The fortunate fans who turned out for  last regular season game got to see the game under perfect conditions.  The final score was Chicago Force 7, Pittsburg Passion 0, in a well matched contest.  Yes, it was a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.  


Next week the force close the regular season in Kansas City.  June 12th is the first round of the playoffs.  I have been told that they just might happen here, if they do you look for ten details here!


Gallery sneak peek (20 images):

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Force 5-0 on season; Shutout MN Vixen 56-0

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

by George Howe

The Chicago Force are 5-0 on the season after waxing the Minnesota Vixen 56-0 in a game last Saturday in Burnsville, MN.


In 40 degree fall-like weather the Force wasted little time. Rookie Receiver Jeanette Gray ran the kickoff back 30 yards, then caught a pass from Quarterback Sami Grisafe for an additional 15 yards. Two plays later Receiver Patricia Harper caught a 23 yard pass and ran into the end zone for the first score.


The Force never looked back, racking up 409 offensive yards.


On their second series, Carolyn Lee took a hand off, the "O' line blew open a huge hole, and Lee scampered 49 yards. She barely got to catch her breath quickly setting up for the pat. At the seven minute mark of the first quarter rookie Dana "speedy' Vermilye recorded her first career touchdown running around the right sideline from the 10.


Long runs of 26 and 20 respectively by Brandy Hatcher and Jennifer Benson allowed 'Cat" Converse to score relatively easy from the 7. Rookie receiver Taylor Malloy set up the next Force score taking a Grisafe hand off 25 yards to mid field. Next Gray had an impressive 50 yard scoring run breaking three tackles and getting some help from Harper who made a key block.


"Jeanette had a breakout game and is starting to become the player that we thought that she would be," said receivers coach Bill Smith. Benson tallied the next 2 scores showing great speed bursting up the middle on a 72 yard run, and 22 yards down the left side.


"Jennifer has a lot of speed and when she finds the hole most times it's tough to catch her," said Head Coach John Konecki.

 
The coaching staff rewarded the non-starters who work hard in practice with ample playing time in this contest as every member contributed to this win. The defense has given up just 12 points all season ranking them near the top of the 51 team league. Standouts included guard Tracy Johnson who delivered a crunching hit late in the game to preserve the shutout.


"We took care of business today and walked out of here relatively healthy," explained Konecki. "I told my players that we are in the driver's seat and need to stay on the path to control our own destiny.  I'm glad that everyone participated in this win."
 

In support of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, in collaboration with Nike, players and coaches from both teams wore pink wristbands.


The Force is on the road again next weekend, traveling to Madison to take on the Wisconsin Wolves.The final home game of the regular season is planned for Saturday May 22nd, 3 PM at Winnemac Park, Jorndt Field, Foster Avenue at Leavitt, Chicago.


George Howe is the Public Relations Director of the Chicago Force.

Gallery 31- Women of the Chicago Force

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Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

It was a perfect day for football, the sun was shining and it was in the low seventies. The score?  62-0 Chicago Force over the Madison Wolves now that's what you call a shut out, well done Force.

Her are some images of the game..

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Chicago Force win 2nd game of season; Shutout Madison Wolves 62-0 Saturday

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

Chicago Force (62) v Wisconsin (Madison) Wolves (0)

CHICAGO The Chicago Force womens tackle football team took a 39 to 0 halftime lead and shut down the Wisconsin Wolves of Madison 62 - 0 at the final whistle in action at Winnemac Stadium this afternoon.

The Force dominated the smaller and lighter Wisconsin squad holding the Wolves scoreless and  never allowing the Wolves to penetrate past the Force 37 yard line.

'We came out here to get the job done,' Catherine Converse said. Converse scored five Force touchdowns. 'We wanted to stick it to them today.'
 
The Force play in the Independent Womens Football League, a nationwide league composed of 51 teams. The Force competed in the 2008 national championship. In 2009 the Force were aced out of the championship game in a semi final round loss.
 

Chicago Force Game Today 3:00!

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Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

The Chicago Force will line up against the Wisconsin Wolves today at 3:00.  The weather report is for classic football weather so dress for it, check out the ladies of the Force in their new home and have a great time!

http://www.chicagoforcefootball.com/


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Gallery VI: Chicago Force, Ladies to Contend With.

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Jane Rickard

I'm nuts just ask anybody.

What can you say about these ladies of the gridiron? When I was first approached about covering professional womens football I was admittedly hesitant. After all I had spent several traumatic years as a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder in the 1990's and had suffered through four Super Bowls. Still I was intrigued. What I thought I'd find walking on the field was a group of 20 somethings, the inheritors of Title IX,feminists all. I couldn't have been farther off the track.


On that hot May afternoon I was greeted by George Howe who would guide me back into football. His questions were simple. "What did I know about football?"  I had been a season ticket holder of a NFL team. Good, if allowed to shoot on the side line "what was the most important thing to rember "? George asked looking me straight in the eye, "easy, stay the heck out to the way". Excellent I was on the field with the players!



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Tryouts at Chicago Force: 2 seasons playing late into playoffs, 3rd time a charm?

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Patrick Boylan

I write the Wolves blog for ChicagoNow

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Credit: Jane Rickard

It's never too early to be talking about next season's football, especially when it's just six short months away. The Chicago Force, an all-women full contact football team that does not feature lingerie is having tryouts for next season. This is the same team that went to the semi-finals last season and the finals in the 2008 season.


Facing a league of 53 teams, the Chicago Force are in the top tier of the league: twenty-four markets, including rivals Kansas City, Minneapolis and Detroit.


"We want to give any woman who wants to play a chance," Kim Duffey, Player Personnel Coordinator and team owner said. The team which plays at North Park University Holmgren Athletic Complex, located on Foster Ave between Albany and the River, just east of Kedzie Ave, is in a league of 52 teams. The Force had 54 women attend a tryout at Northeastern Illinois University last weekend.


"We find athletes and make them into football players," Linda Bache, another owner of the Force said. She said she finds many players among other sports. Players need to be at least 18 years of age on game day and they need to pass a physical. The Force, noted for its physical conditioning and team camaraderie, has had several players apply with USA Football to send players to an international women's football event in Sweden next summer.


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Chicago Force tryouts. Credit: Jane Rickard

The NFL is offering more support for the woman's league, according to Duffey who noted the sports' recognition by the US Olympic body for football. As the women worked their way through sprints, obstacles and drills, Duffey noted "people cut themselves; we don't have to cut them." The team which is allowed a full bench of 32 for competition has carried a roster of more than 50. However, as the women must pay their own way to out of town games, travel and scheduling creates an opportunity to participate.


The team is holding another tryout Saturday, December 12th, 9 AM - Noon at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N Broadway (at Thorndale).The season starts in April. The season schedule should be released shortly.


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Chicago Force tryouts. Credit: Jane Rickard


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Chicago Force tryouts. Credit: Jane Rickard

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