As the Maritime Women’s Football League proudly enters its second decade, the release of the 2014 season schedule brings with it a frenzied anticipation for fans and players alike. With the defending champion Fredericton Lady Gladiators hosting the playoffs, expectations will be high to repeat on home soil.
Opening weekend launches on April 26 with the inaugural game of the 2014 season kicking off with the Saint John Storm. The orange and black, who hosted the 2013 playoffs, open their campaign by hosting the Moncton Vipers. The Lady Gladiators shall begin the defense of their title on the road in Nova Scotia, challenging an ambitious Halifax Xplosion franchise, looking for their first-ever championship.
May 3 brings the first pair of home-and-home series in the season. A rematch of SupHer Bowl X sees Saint John travelling to Fredericton for what promises to be an intense matchup. With the rematch also signifying Fredericton’s home opener, the squad will want to set the tone early on.
Halifax Xplosion visit Moncton for a tete-a-tete with the Vipers, while the following week sees the Vipers hosting Halifax. Saint John shall host Fredericton on May 10 for their home opener. A win shall prove to be crucial as it marks the last game before the bye week.
Although no games shall take place on May 17, there will be plenty of activity. The MWFL will host a Jamboree in Richelieu, Quebec. Partnering with the Pirates de Richelieu, a newly launched female football team, various MWFL players shall be on hand for scrimmages, instructional sessions and an overall celebration of the game.
Following the Jamboree, the weekends of May 24 and 31 see another pair of home-and-home series. Saint John visits Halifax on May 24 in what shall prove to be a big test for the Xplosion. With Saint John having set the standard as one of the league’s most dominant franchises, a win on home soil for the Xplosion would be essential for the team’s confidence. The May 31 game in Saint John, especially if one of the teams manages to win both games, should help determine playoff seedings.
Fredericton and Moncton renew rivalries in this May 24-31 series. Perennial title contenders, the series may turn out to be a battle for first place. Moncton shall host the opening game, while home field advantage may work to Fredericton’s favor on May 31.
June 7 marks the final weekend of the regular season. Saint John visits Moncton in what could possibly be a playoff preview. Renewing rivalries, a win will be crucial in order to enter the playoffs on a positive note. Halifax closes out their season on the road versus defending champion Fredericton.
Playoffs kick off on June 14 as the first and second place teams host the first round games. All four teams shall be on hand for championship weekend in Fredericton on June 21. The defeated teams from the first round shall take to the field in the Friendship Bowl. Later in the day, the battle for the Judy Upward Trophy takes place in SupHer Bowl XI.
For Fredericton football fans, the festivities continue afterwards. The weekend after is another jamboree, closing out the season in time for Canada Day weekend.