Passion prepared to debut in brand new home stadium
By Chris Adamski
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013, 11:09 p.m.
The Pittsburgh Passion will open their season in front of the first sellout crowd at brand new Highmark Stadium in Station Square.
They're out to end it with a berth in the Women's Football Alliance national championship game.
The Passion kick off their season at 7 p.m. Saturday against the visiting D.C. Divas.
But to hear longtime quarterback Lisa Horton tell it, the team's preparations for this season go back much further than that.
“August 5, the day after the national championship game we hosted, we were back on the field practicing and going through things getting ready for this season,” said Horton, a three-time national MVP.
“The mentality we took as a team was to work hard in the offseason and keep continuing to get ready physically and mentally for the season. I'm just ready to play today. You can't watch anymore more film — we're ready to go.”
It was the rival Divas that beat the Passion in the second round of last season's playoffs after splitting two meetings during a 7-1 regular season.
“I watched all the film we can watch and drawn up fronts and looks we can bring against them,” said Muzzy Colosimo, who has taken on a prominent role on the coaching staff since joining the team this season. “We have a pretty extensive game plan. This team we have can spread it out and throw the ball or line up and run the ball right at you.
“It's been an awesome thing to be involved with.”
The Passion have been a consistently winning team and boast the 2007 national championship among their 10 prior seasons in Pittsburgh, the area's longest-tenured women's professional football team. The Pittsburgh Force, who also are part of the WFA, are taking the season off.
The Passion have a new home this season at 3,500-seat Highmark Stadium. Although the professional men's soccer Riverhounds are the primary tenant, the Passion figure to benefit from having such a new, highly visible pro stadium at which to host games.
“Absolutely, that venue with the views and the look out at the city skyline is great,” said Horton, who also serves as the Passion's director of business operations. “To just know you're not calling a high school stadium home and we have this stadium, that's awesome and huge for Pittsburgh — and other teams coming in to play here, that brings another element, too, knowing they're coming to a pro stadium.”
The $15 seats for the opener are sold out, but co-owner Teresa Conn said Thursday that standing-room tickets are available. The team also is selling $50 season passes for a four-game home schedule that runs through June 8.
Conn shares ownership of the franchise with Steelers Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris.
“Moving into Highmark Stadium opens up some fun opportunities for our fans,” Conn said. “There's a lot of plusses to it. It's such a beautiful place with a lot to offer.”
Horton is coming off a season in which she passed for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdown during the regular season. Her top receiver, Rachel Wojdowski, caught a team-record 10 touchdown passes.
Amanda Haeg had 393 rushing yards and 594 receiving yards last season in addition to filling in at quarterback. Running back Ciara Chic is another offensive standout, and veteran Olivia Griswold is arguably the Passion's top defensive player after leading the team in tackles last season.
“Our expectations are to bring another national championship home to Pittsburgh,” Horton said. “Our mindset has been that from day one.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Neal: Not my ‘smartest decision’
- Host of Steelers veterans look toward career survival mode
- Steelers film session: Polamalu not at fault on long run
- UPMC doctor killed trying to help at 50-vehicle pileup
- Early-morning snowstorm hampers Western Pa. commuters
- Expert: KO doesn’t mean ‘worst’ concussion for Pens’ Orpik
- Monroeville police officer kills Freeport man in shootout
- 2-vehicle crash kills Ruffsdale man
- Consol acquires drilling rights from Dominion
- Pirates notebook: Huntington narrows team’s offseason targets
- Pittsburgh City Council OKs red-light cameras