Division 2 National Conference Semifinal

NY Wolves at Pittsburgh Passion

-Michael Burmeister

In the first 2019 Women’s Football Alliance Division 2 National Conference Semifinal, it’s a showdown in the Steel City between two Northeast powers as the #4 seed New York Wolves Football (5-3, 2-1 D2) make the 400-mile trek west on I-80 to take on the #1 seed, the three-time National Champions Pittsburgh Passion (6-2, 4-0 D2).

This is the first time the Wolves and Passion have ever played each other.

Thoughts on the Wolves: Although they’re the spiritual successors of the two-time (and 2018 WFA D2) National Champions New York Sharks, the Wolves’ inaugural season was not without its growing pains…after a 1-3 start (including a loss to the Cleveland Fusion and a close call against the D3 Maine Mayhem), many pundits had begun to count the Wolves out and focus on “next year”…but the Wolves were NOWHERE NEAR finished-under Fabian Alesandro’s leadership, the Wolves won their last four games by a combined score of 105-10, placed nine players on the WFA All-Americans (including six on the first team) and captured the fourth and final playoff spot in the National Conference. Of course, now is just the beginning, and the Wolves begin to set out on bringing the Big Apple its second straight National Championship (and third overall)…if they can pick up the road win against the much-touted Passion, EVERY head will be turning their way as this pack begins its rampage towards Colorado.

Thoughts on the Passion: This offseason, there had been plenty of speculation regarding the Passion and their plans for the 2019 season, such speculation fueled by their voluntary relegation to D2. However, over the course of the season itself, the Passion have proved that, as long as Teresa Conn’s at the helm, the Passion WILL be as strong as they’ve always been, finishing a perfect 4-0 among their D2 peers, getting ten players on the All-American team (including seven on the First Team), and ensuring the top seed so they won’t have to hit the road until the big trip to Colorado in July. Needless to say, the Passion can NOT afford to take ANY opponents for granted, and they’re going to play with EVERY BIT as much fire as they had all season long…first on their quest, they look to tame their rival pack from the Empire State.

The questions are: Will the Wolves #OurFamilyvsYourTeam mindset lead to the BIGGEST win in team history as they pick up the road upset and put themselves one win away from the big one? Or will the Passion continue to dominate and get themselves within a win of getting to #GoForFour in Colorado this July?