Washington, DC – It’s a perfect time for a bye week.
The D.C. Divas battled the Boston Militia down to the final minute but were ultimately bested by their archrivals, 36-32, on Saturday. Divas head coach Alison Fischer acknowledged that the travel, the rivalry, and the level of play from Boston meant that her team could already stand to have some extra time to regroup.
“It’s a tough way to open the season. It’s like having a playoff game in Week 1,” Fischer admitted. “It’s a very physical battle every time we play Boston, and this time was no different. That’s why it’s good that we have the bye week right now. We’ve got some folks who need to heal over the next two weeks, and we have some players who could use a little more prep time.”
Although the Divas came within a whisker of handing Boston their first home loss in five years, Coach Fischer believes that her team can play much better. “There were some positives for us that came out of Saturday’s game, but there were a lot of mistakes we made, too. We shot ourselves in the foot several times. We feel like all of that can be corrected, but it’s going to take a lot of work.”
In particular, the D.C. defense had a much improved showing. After surrendering 81 points in their last regular season trip to Boston, this year’s defense only yielded 36 points. “The defense has definitely come along. [Defensive coordinator] Coach Bennett has done a great job, and we have some rookies and some youth playing on defense that have made a big difference,” Coach Fischer noted. “We’re not quite there yet. The effort was good, and when we were in the right place, we did really well. It’s a matter of fine-tuning a few things and fixing some of the mistakes we made.”
D’Ajah Scott electrified the Divas sideline with two kickoff returns for touchdowns. “We feel pretty good about our special teams,” Fischer said. “Again, we have some work to do on them, but we have a lot of people that if they can touch the ball, they can take it to the house. We feel we’re pretty dangerous in that respect.”
Not to be outdone, Kentrina Wilson also notched two touchdowns in her D.C. Divas debut. With Boston’s secondary understandably blanketing Ashley Whisonant’s every move, Wilson got free for two touchdown receptions. “She’s a big target. She’s got great hands,” Fischer said of Wilson. “She catches the ball up high, and she really uses her body well. She had a couple of very good catches and a pretty spectacular run after the catch on one of her touchdowns.”
The Divas now have a much-needed break to prepare for their home opener on April 19. The Chicago Force will arrive in D.C. for their first ever meeting with the Divas, and it stands to be one of the most anticipated women’s football games ever played in the nation’s capital. Chicago, the defending national champion, defeated the Detroit Dark Angels in the season opener, 70-0, proving that it’s more than ready to defend its title.
“It’s really tough to have Chicago for the second game,” Fischer conceded. “They’re the national champions for good reason. They have a very explosive offense and a defense that complements that. We expect to see the same things from them this year that they did to win the national championship last season.”
Get your tickets today to see the D.C. Divas make their home debut Saturday, April 19, against the reigning national champion Chicago Force. Kickoff will be at 6 PM.
Around the WFA – Fresh off of a 70-0 road victory over Detroit, the Chicago Force play their home opener this weekend before heading to DC. They will face the Indy Crash, who had a bye last week and will make their season debut in Chicago…The Cleveland Fusion won their ninth straight regular season contest Saturday, downing the Columbus Comets, 20-6…The Tampa Bay Inferno started their season with an impressive, hard-fought road victory over the Atlanta Phoenix, 32-25…The Jacksonville Dixie Blues (62-0 over the Daytona Breakers) and Miami Fury (56-0 over the Orlando Anarchy) both secured convincing victories to start their seasons. The Fury host Jacksonville Saturday night in this weekend’s most compelling contest…The Tulsa Threat travel to play the Kansas City Titans this weekend in the season debut for both teams…On the west coast, the battle for Portland takes center stage, as the Portland Fighting Fillies host the Portland Shockwave.