The Pittsburgh Passion has four players that will be part of Team USA for the International Federation of American Football’s 2017 Women’s World Championship in Canada. The six-team full-contact tackle tournament is Saturday, June 24 – Friday, June 30 at McLeod Stadium in Langley, British Columbia. The American and Canadian squads take on teams from Great Britain, Finland, Australia, and Mexico.
The Black and Gold passing combo of quarterback Lisa Horton and wide receiver Angela Baker along with offensive lineman Lauren Ferragonio are part of head coach Jim Farrell’s 45-player roster. Wide receiver Laura Baden is an alternate for the Red, White, and Blue.
During the Women’s Football Alliance 2016 regular season, Horton put up 1,835 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. Baker recorded 15 touchdowns and 935 receiving yards. Ferragonio was part of an effective offensive line that helped running back Tara Catone collect 831 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in eight contests. Baden was a rookie last season and carried the pigskin six times for a total of 39 yards and one touchdown.
Farrell spoke with Stephen Spiewak at usafootball.com about the makeup of his team, “This is truly a remarkable group of talented women that we have representing the U.S. National Team. Our team is a solid mix of youth and experience. We have young players looking to prove they belong and experienced veteran leadership that set the standard of how the game needs to be played at their positions.”
Competing under the USA banner is not new for Passion players. Pittsburgh defensive back and wide receiver Sharon Vasquez, who caught a pair of 2016 touchdown passes, and Horton were members last September of Team USA for the 2016 IFAF Women’s Flag Football World Championships in Miami, Florida.
Looking back, the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championship was on Sunday, June 30 – Saturday, July 6 in Vantaa, Finland. The event was at the Myyrmäen jalkapallostadion football stadium, formerly known as ISS Stadion in 2013. Team USA claimed the gold medal with a 64-0 shutout of Canada. Finland captured the bronze medal with a 20-19 victory over Germany. Vasquez was a member of the winning USA roster.
The inaugural IFAF Women’s World Championship was 2010 and held in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday, June 26 – Saturday, July 3 at Zinkensdamms IP Stadium. The USA collected the gold with a 66-0 triumph over Canada while Finland took the bronze with their 26-18 conquest of Germany. Vasquez, who was the game’s Defensive Most Valuable Player, said on USA teammate Donna Wilkinson’s website, “It was amazing to win gold medal. It was very emotional. We played an awesome team and it feels great to be in this moment.”
From The Clipboard: Pittsburgh begins the 2017 WFA regular season at home Saturday, April 1 against the Columbus Comets at 7:00 p.m. The Passion plays at Joe P. DeMichela Stadium, part of West Allegheny High School in Imperial, Pennsylvania.