Consistently one of the top teams in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), the 2015 edition of the Cleveland Fusion have experienced an offensive renaissance. Heading into her fourth season as the starting quarterback for the club, Beth Andrasik has established herself as a potential All-America selection.
A two-sport star at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), where she excelled in basketball and softball, Andrasik is also highly educated, earning a BSc in mechanical and aerospace engineering in 2011. Currently employed in Industrial Engineering, she also balances her career obligations with time spent as a coach for the CWRU women’s softball team .
Of note, Andrasik is not the only CWRU alum on the Fusion’s roster. Head coach Erik Keister was a linebacker for the CWRU Spartans, and served in a coaching capacity from 2002-2003, respectively. Wide receivers Christy Conlin and Katie Green graduated in 2009 and 2011. As a side note, Conlin had aspirations to play rugby for the Cleveland Iron Maidens. Offensive lineman Marie Vibbert is employed at CWRU.
Having joined the Fusion in April 2012, Andrasik is not the only CWRU alum on the Fusion’s roster. Head coach Erik Keister was a linebacker for the CWRU Spartans, and served in a coaching capacity from 2002-2003, respectively.
Through the first six weeks of the season, Andrasik (who is sponsored by Tupperware) contributed to a Fusion squad that enjoyed a 5-1 start, while ranking fifth nationally. In addition, she also threw for 14 touchdown passes, compared to just a pair of interceptions. For the last three seasons, she has shown statistical improvement. In 2013, she was intercepted 13 times, despite 19 touchdown passes. Last season, she managed to reduce her interception totals to seven, while increasing her touchdown passes to 20. A key ingredient in her success involves third-year Fusion wideout Maria Jackson.
After Week 6, Jackson (sponsored by First Service Commercial Loans) was leading the WFA with 14 touchdown receptions, already surpassing her previous career high. As a side note, it marks the third straight season that she enjoys double digits in receiving touchdowns. Kansas City’s Liz Sowers is the only receiver this season to have more receptions and receiving yardage than Jackson, maintaining her status as one of the league’s elite receivers.
Such a strong passing game has benefitted nicely from the emergence of an impressive running game, anchored by first-year player Mercedes Ephraim. Like Andrasik and Jackson, Ephraim established herself as one of the league’s finest at her position. Leading the WFA in rushing after six weeks, she is only 79 yards away from 1,000 on the season. Complemented by a solid defensive unit that ranks second in the nation, Andrasik’s presence ensures that a deep playoff run for the Fusion is very possible.