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Thursday, June 5, 2014

D.C. Divas Tackle Top-Ranked Boston Militia in Regular Season Finale

Militia @ Divas Live On US Sports Radio Saturday 5:15pm EST
Neal Rozendaal

Washington, DC – In a game with major playoff implications on the line, the D.C. Divas host their archrivals, the undefeated Boston Militia, Saturday. The contest pits two of the very best teams in the sport against one another and renews a rivalry that ranks as one of the best in all of women’s football.

The D.C. Divas (4-2) will come into the game riding a four-game winning streak after two losses to start the 2014 season. The Divas most recently took the field against the Atlanta Phoenix and captured a 44-0 victory in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

“It was really good to play them,” Divas head coach Alison Fischer remarked. “It’s not a team that we had played before. It was good to see a different offense and defense and to see a team that plays at a very fast speed. I thought our team responded well to the challenge.”

In particular, the defense pitched its third consecutive shutout victory and has played 13 consecutive quarters without surrendering a point. The Divas haven’t allowed an opponent to score since the Chicago Force notched a touchdown in the third quarter when the two teams met on April 19.

“The defense is coming around and getting better each and every week,” Fischer said. “They continue to improve and gel and get more confidence in the scheme. They’ve been playing with more confidence as the season has gone on. That’s what’s really important for us – that we get better every single week. I think we did against Atlanta, so I was pleased with that.”

Offensively, the Divas were sparked by the return of quarterback Allyson Hamlin, who had missed the previous three games with an injury. Hamlin threw three touchdowns in half of one quarter to ignite the Divas’ passing attack.

“It was good to get her in the Atlanta game. We didn’t want to push her too much because she’s just getting back, but she came in and set the tone. Ally really got things going for our offense. It was good to see her get back in the saddle, so to speak,” Coach Fischer observed.

The Divas close up the 2014 regular season with their biggest test of the year – a visit from the undefeated Boston Militia (6-0). The Militia come into the game sporting a #1 ranking in the WFA, while the Divas are ranked fourth in the league. The Divas lost to Boston in the teams’ season opener, 36-32, and every time these two teams collide, it showcases women’s football at its highest level.

“I expect another great game,” Fischer remarked. “It’s one of the best rivalries – if not the best – in women’s football. They’re a great team; we’re a great team. I expect another hard-fought, good, solid football game from both sides.”

The Boston Militia have a record of 49-1 over their last fifty regular season contests. Their only regular season defeat over the past six years was a 35-20 setback to the Divas on April 2, 2011.

Yet the Divas fell to the Militia by just four points earlier this season, which gives Saturday’s contest enormous importance in the playoff race. If the Divas can hand Boston a rare defeat – and beat the Militia by five points or more in the process – the Divas would secure home field against Boston should the two teams meet in the WFA playoffs. Otherwise, the Militia will have effectively clinched home field advantage all the way through the National Conference playoffs.

To secure a home field advantage against Boston in the WFA playoffs, the Divas will need to pull the upset in their final regular season game of the year. That means relying on the home crowd Saturday as well.

“It’s good that we have this game at home,” Coach Fischer declared. “We love to play in front of our home crowd; they’re a tremendous help to us. This game does have some big playoff implications, but we’re going to concentrate solely on this game and try to play our best football. We’ll wait and see what happens after that.”

Get your tickets today for the D.C. Divas’ final regular season home game of the 2014 season on Saturday, June 7, against the undefeated Boston Militia by visiting Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 6 PM at Prince George’s Sports Complex in Landover.

Around the WFA

The D.C. Divas-Boston Militia game is one of several contests being held Saturday that could have an impact on the WFA playoffs. Eight teams – the Chicago Force, Boston Militia, D.C. Divas, Toledo Reign, Atlanta Phoenix, San Diego Surge, Central Cal War Angels, and Seattle Majestics – have clinched division championships and automatic playoff berths. The other four division championships will be decided in games Saturday.

The only division championship still up for grabs in the National Conference is in the South Atlantic, where the Tampa Bay Inferno (7-0) will try to close out an undefeated regular season by holding off the Miami Fury (5-2). The Fury can squash those dreams and capture the South Atlantic Division championship by erasing a 14-13 defeat they suffered against Tampa Bay two weeks ago.

In the Midwest region, none of the three divisions have been conclusively decided. Like Tampa Bay, the Kansas City Titans (7-0) are chasing an undefeated regular season record. To do it, they will need to hold off the Nebraska Stampede (6-1) Saturday. The Stampede can claim a Midwest Division championship by winning by 20 or more points to overcome their only loss, a 33-14 setback to the Titans on May 10.

The Austin Outlaws (6-1) are in the driver’s seat in the Southwest Division, thanks to a 17-8 victory over the Houston Power (5-2) in the first game of the season. But Houston can snatch the division title away with a victory of at least ten points when the Power travel to Austin Saturday.

Finally, the Tulsa Threat (3-4) hold an edge over the Acadiana Zydeco (2-5) on the basis of a 30-8 victory earlier this season. The Zydeco will need at least a 22-point win Saturday when they host the Threat to capture the Gulf Coast Division crown.

In addition to their six division champions, both conferences will have six wild card teams that qualify for the WFA playoffs. Several teams have effectively clinched a wild card playoff berth, while the final spots will be determined by the outcomes of this weekend’s contests.

In the National Conference, the Cleveland Fusion (5-2), Indy Crash (4-3), and Columbus Comets (4-3) have all secured their places in the WFA playoffs. The runner-up in the South Atlantic Division, either the Tampa Bay Inferno or the Miami Fury, will also qualify as a wild card team. The final two National Conference playoff spots are currently held by the Detroit Dark Angels and West Michigan Mayhem, but the Jacksonville Dixie Blues and Derby City Dynamite are still in contention as well.

Out west, the Las Vegas Showgirlz (5-2) and Portland Shockwave (5-2) have secured two of the American Conference’s six wild card entries. The two teams that fall short in the Kansas City Titans-Nebraska Stampede and the Austin Outlaws-Houston Power matchups Saturday will still claim wild card spots as well. The final two playoff spots in the American Conference are currently held by the Everett Reign and Minnesota Machine, but the Portland Fighting Fillies, Utah Blitz, and Tulsa-Acadiana loser this weekend could all find their way into the playoffs as well, depending on the outcomes of contestsSaturday.

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