Three times the bridesmaid, the undefeated Chicago Force full-tackle women’s football team is set to walk down the aisle again this Saturday night, to San Diego’s Balboa Stadium, playing the Dallas Diamonds on Saturday, August 3 for the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) National Championship title.
As Force quarterback/musician Sami Grisafe might sing, “It’s time to put a (Chicago Force National Championship) ring on it.”
The Force (11-0) won its third conference title in team history with a 46-27 win over the Boston Militia (10-1) on Saturday night at Lazier Field.
The Diamonds came to the title game after defeating the Central California War Angels for the American Conference championship title.
“It’s amazing to be in the championship game again,” Force head coach John Konecki said. “It was a team win. We fought through some really tough conditions and got the win. I’m just proud of how they battled.”
On the way to their third conference title, the Force waited through lightning delays and provided several of their own electrical surges throughout the game. Quarterback Sami Grisafe completed 17-of 29 passes for 183 yards while Darcy Leslie contributed 70 yards rushing in the second half. Jeanette Gray caught seven passes before leaving with a minor injury.
Defenseman Jennifer Dulski had ten tackles and a sack, and was named the defensive game day MVP for her efforts.
Jessica Javelet, an offseason pickup from the San Diego Surge, the team that defeated the Force for the 2012 championship, may have been, according to the team’s website, ‘the best free agent pickup in football since Joe Montana or Peyton Manning.’
It is true that Javelet had an outstanding performance in the conference final against the Militia, opening with a 90-yard run in the first quarter and adding two more touchdowns in the first half. The defense limited Boston’s Whitney Zelee to only 13 yards on eight carries and added five quarterback sacks.
The Force had 486 yards on offense while allowing 362 yards. Boston quarterback Allison Cahill was sacked six times and completed only 17-of-39 passes.
“I don’t think I have ever been part of this in sports,” Javelet admitted. “The Force is so organized. It has been an amazing pleasure to play for this team.”
As with football title games everywhere, a celebration weekend is planned by the host city.
Gates open at Balboa 10AM with the WFA All-American game kicking-off at 11AM, followed by the Championship game at 6PM. The official championship tailgate will start at 3PM and will include games, music, and fun for all ages.
Balboa Stadium today is a 3,000-seat facility owned by the City of San Diego and leased to the San Diego Unified School District. It is currently used for the professional soccer San Diego Boca FC of the NPSL , high school sports including football, soccer and track, graduation ceremonies, and special events.
In a previous life, from 1961-66, Balboa Stadium was home to the San Diego Chargers, when they were American Football League which moved from Los Angeles. Balboa Stadium witnessed the Chargers‘ glory years, which featured such players as John Hadl,Lance Alworth, Jack Kemp, and Ernie Ladd, and hosted the 1961, 1963, and 1965 American Football League championship games, as well as the 1961, 1962, and 1963 AFL All-Star games.
The WFA was founded by Jeff and Lisa King to create the highest level of football for women in North America. Within the first five months of starting, the WFA had grown to 32 teams, making it the fastest growing league in the history of the sport. This momentum continued as the WFA grew by an additional 25% after its first year, making it the fastest growing league in the country.
Now in its third year, the WFA currently has 63 teams making it the largest-ever women’s football league in the world.
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