Halifax Xplosion defeat Moncton Vipers to climb to 500-level in MWFL play

The recurring theme for the Halifax Xplosion in the 2015 Maritime Women’s Football League (MWFL) season is change. From a new coaching staff to a new group of recruits, the only MWFL squad in Nova Scotia is hoping that change leads to an appearance in the league’s championship game.

As the improving Xplosion look to improve .500 on the season, their obstacle was the Moncton Vipers. Having not played for the 2014 season, the Vipers have endured their struggles in their return to MWFL play in 2015. In the first quarter, Angela Hoffman tried to turn the tide for the winless Vipers, scoring a touchdown for the early lead. Missing the conversion, it would add to the Vipers woes this season.

Bouncing back as the Xplosion’s Michelle McLeod logged a rushing touchdown to tie the game at 6-each. Jocelyn Masyerman successfully converted the one-point attempt, giving the squad their first lead of the game. On the following kickoff, the Xplosion showed some bravura by attempting an onside kick. Recovered by Natasha Stewart, it would add to the squad’s growing confidence.

Gaining her second touchdown of the first quarter, Michelle McLeod would set the tone for the remainder of the game. Despite the Vipers attempting to assemble an offensive attack, the squad suffered to reduce the Xplosion’s lead. Compounded by injuries to starting quarterback Jenny Miller, the Vipers were unable to score for the remainder of the first half. Defensively, the Vipers continued to struggle, allowing a third rushing touchdown by McLeod, as the halftime lead was 21-6 in favor of the Xplosion.

In the third quarter, the Vipers managed to prevent the Xplosion from scoring. Building momentum with a touchdown pass to Marie Beaudy, the Vipers were successful on a two-point conversion. Heading into the fourth quarter trailing by only a touchdown, the Vipers attempted to tie the game.

Despite their best efforts, the defense struggled to contain the Xplosion’s revived running game. Cody Spence would extend the Xplosion’s lead by a 28-14 margin. The Vipers confidence would return as Cody Spence ran in for a touchdown, reducing the Xplosion’s lead to 8 points. Subsequently, a two-point attempt was successfully converted after a run into the end zone.

Once again, the Xplosion utilized McLeod to extend their lead. Rushing for her fourth touchdown of the game, she turned in one of the greatest performances of the season, let alone her career.

Behind by 13 points, the Vipers attempted to salvage things. Joselyn MacLellan forced a fumble, making things interesting. Recovered by Vipers teammate Christina Bernard, a win was not yet guaranteed for the Xplosion. A combination of pressure, fatigue and inexperience took its toll, and the Vipers could not add points to the scoreboard.

In the second half of the game, Moncton outscored Halifax, but it was not enough to earn a victory. Struggling to contain Michelle McLeod, they allowed two rushing touchdowns as the final score was 35-22 in favor of the Xplosion.

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#halifax-xplosion, #jocelyn-masyerman, #michelle-mcleod, #moncton-vipers

Saint John storms out to commanding win to open the 2015 MWFL season

During opening day of the 2015 MWFL season, the twelfth in its history, the Saint John Storm established themselves as one of the teams to beat. Entering this season as the defending league champions, it is a status that they are not ready to relinquish, as evidenced by their 66-0 trouncing of the Moncton Vipers, who have returned to MWFL play after not competing in 2014.

In the first forty seconds of the contest, the Storm got onto the scoreboard as Kait Girouard ran to daylight on a twenty yard play. Julie Edwards Rocca would catch a pass for the two-point conversion, resulting in an early 8-0 lead. It would set the tempo for the rest of the game as the Storm continued to find ways to score.

At the 7:49 mark, Moncton’s first possession resulted in a turnover. Saint John would reclaim the ball due to a quarterback sack by Kaitryn Sewell. It would only take 3:48 for Saint John to capitalize on the turnover with another touchdown.

Quarterback Trina Graves, who has also played on the offensive and defensive lines in her distinguished career, found Lori Boyles in the end zone on a sterling 55-yard scoring pass. Krystie Perry would catch the conversion as the quarter ended in a 16-0 advantage.

Heading into the second quarter, the Vipers tried to build momentum. Dale Murray would intercept a pass, trying to turn the tide her team’s favor. Unfortunately, the Vipers could not take advantage of the turnover. Trina Graves would redeem herself for the interception. Just 2:17 after Murray’s pick, Graves ran the ball seven yards into the end zone.

Fellow Storm player Lori Boyles (who also played with Graves on the Canadian national team) would add to the lead as she logged an interception with 7:59 remaining. Picking off veteran quarterback Jenny Miller, she returned it for a touchdown. With the Vipers unable to assemble any type of offensive attack, the score at halftime would show 28-0 for Saint John.

Once again, Dale Murray would try to strengthen the Vipers morale. Less than two minutes into the third quarter, she intercepted Graves, but the result was more struggles on offense for the Vipers. Only 47 seconds after the pick, Saint John not only regained the ball, but added to their already overwhelming lead. Edwards Rocca ran on an impressive 63-yard scoring run, making the score 34-0 for the Storm.

Despite their best efforts, the Vipers struggled throughout the game, as their one-year absence from league play showed. After Edwards Rocca’s touchdown, the Vipers continued to struggle on the offense, as a fumble was recovered by Kara Fillmore. On the very next play, Trina Graves found Krystie Perry on a 35-yard scoring pass.

Gaining her second touchdown of the game, Edwards Rocca opened the fourth quarter with a 47-yard scoring run. On the Storm’s next possession, Edwards Rocca scored on another impressive run, scampering 49 yards into the end zone. As a side note, the Storm succeeded on the two-point conversion with Perry making a reception.

With the game out of reach for the Vipers, the struggles continued. Merely 32 seconds later, quarterback Jenny Miller took a safety in the end zone.

Meanwhile, Edwards Rocca would add to her prime time performance. In the last minute of the game, she scored on a game-high 72 yard touchdown run, giving her over 200 yards in the game. Once again, Perry would score on the two-point conversion as the Storm’s season began on a very strong note.

#dale-murray, #jenny-miller, #julie-edwards-rocca, #kait-girouard, #krystie-perry, #lori-boyles, #moncton-vipers, #saint-john-storm, #trina-graves

Lady Gladiators heroes Bosse and Neill lead the way in fundraising efforts for Team New Brunswick

With the common thread of having both suited up for the Capital Area Lady Gladiators, Stephanie Bosse and Robyn Neill are more than just gridiron heroes. Having both won the Judy Upward Trophy during the 2013 Maritime Women’s Football League season, Bosse and Neill are focused on the bright future ahead.

As the next edition of the IFAF Women’s World Championships looms quickly, the first rung in the ladder towards a berth with Team Canada is participation in the National Cup Challenge. With the event being held in the football hotbed of Saskatchewan, Bosse and Neill are making off-field efforts in the hopes of assisting Team New Brunswick.

Quite possibly the greatest offensive lineman in MWFL history, Neill was part of the Canadian contingent that earend the silver medal at the 2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds. In addition, she competed for Team Atlantic during the inaugural National Challenge Cup, back in 2012. This season, Neill shall not only be an offensive line coach for the Lady Gladiators, but she will be sharing her expertise with the New Brunswick squad in a similar capacity.

Bosse represents the new generation of stars making her mark on the fields of the MWFL. From earning an All-Star nod in 2012, Bosse has also attended the first two editions of the Women’s World Football Games (joined by Lady Glads teammate Alex Black), respectively. Establishing herself as a remarkable leader off the field, Bosse elaborates on her various initiatives, which also includes providing assistance for other elements of the game,

“I am also doing a practicum with Football NB and acting as the fundraising coordinator. I am currently working on the Women’s online auction which will take place shortly and am also preparing fundraising opportunities for the U18 boys’ team.

For the Lady Gladiators I am also the fundraising coordinator and am working on a fundraising barbecue at the Victory Meat Market.”

Together, the two are now assisting Football NB with a special fundraising event. News concerning the Social and Auction is shared through various methods, most notably via social media outlets such as facebook. Of note, the Social event is hosted by the Lady Gladiators trying out for Team New Brunswick.

Taking place on May 13, 2015, at the Blue Door club (located at 100 Regent Street in Fredericton), tickets are $40 per person, with the doors opening at 6pm. Wine and appetizers shall be served while attendees shall also gain the opportunity to meet two professional football players. Former CFL player Dan McCullough, along with player Jake Thomas shall be in attendance as a gesture of support.

Of note, those who cannot attend but would still like to contribute are encouraged to contact Bosse (more information on the facebook page). In addition, the Auction shall take place online and the event is geared towards helping to raise funds for Women’s Team New Brunswick.

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

#capital-area-lady-gladiators, #new-brunswick-provincial-womens-team, #robyn-neill, #stephanie-bosse

MWFL releases 2014 schedule as defending champion Lady Gladiators host playoffs

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.

MWFL

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.

#2014-mwfl-season

MWFL looks to ride strong momentum of anniversary season into 2014

With the Maritime Women’s Football League having held its Annual General Meeting on November 30, 2013, the theme of growth was prevalent. As the first Canadian women’s football league to reach the magical ten year milestone, the meeting put forth into place the elements required to propel its ambitions.

Several decisions were made in order to bring about an element of preparation while laying the foundation for strong direction. Of note, a key initiative also involved clarity. The revision of the league’s constitution and by-laws in order to better reflect its growth passed unanimously.

Also part of the agenda was a motion to advance the schedule to an earlier time in the year. Voted in unanimously, opening day for the 2014 season shall be held on April 26, 2014. Postseason play, including the Friendship Bowl and the SupHer Bowl will both be held on June 21, 2014. Compared to 2013, the postseason shall finish before Canada Day.

Plans to implement a jamboree were also passed unanimously. It was announced that the first one is planned to be held from May 17-19, 2014 in the province of Quebec. The league will be partnering with a fairly new women’s team; les Pirates sur Richelieu. Considering the number of French speaking players from the MWFL, a jamboree would help with networking while strengthening bonds with other football playing regions in the country.

In addition, a jamboree would also be held a week after postseason play. The period of June 28-30, 2014 would see the league hold a second jamboree in New Brunswick. Considering the number of MWFL players that give back to the community as coaches, such an event would be a terrific way for young female football players to end their school year.

The planning committee for these events shall feature the four team representatives. With the approval to take on their roles for the 2014 season at the meeting, each franchise features several women that have been key members of the league over the last few seasons. It is a key leadership role that ensures players have a stake in the league’s plans.

Lisa Harlow, the President of Football New Brunswick, shall be representing the Saint John Storm in 2014. Having been a key member of the Halifax Xplosion, Tasha McMaster adds the portfolio of team representative to her remarkable role with the organization.

The Moncton Vipers feature Mel Legere as their representative for 2014. The defending champion Capital Area Lady Gladiators will benefit from Kristen (Shot) Chatterton as their representative. Of note, she was also on the Canadian national team that claimed silver at the 2013 IFAF Women’s Worlds. Such leadership in place ensures that experience is a key factor in the leadership for the upcoming campaign.

Elections for the executive portion of leadership were also part of the meeting. Cheryl O’Leary, a player with the Lady Glads and a mentor coach for Team Canada 2013 succeeds Hannah Hamilton as league president. Hamilton stays on in a vice-presidential capacity. Tina Theriault supplants Saint John competitor Trina Graves as treasurer for 2014.

Amy Salter is another new face on the executive committee. With Moncton quarterback Jenny Miller having served in the Communications post for 2013, Salter assumes that portfolio. Holly Arthur of the Halifax Xplosion retains her position as league secretary.

As the league prepares for its eleventh season in 2014, the AGM is an extension of the league’s commitment towards growth. A strong communication tool, it is a step in the right direction as the league looks toward another decade even stronger than the previous.

#capital-area-lady-gladiators, #cheryl-oleary, #halifax-xplosion, #hannah-hamilton, #holly-arthur, #kristen-chatterton, #moncton-vipers, #saint-john-storm