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July 9, 2010 > Bandits aim for conference championship

Bandits aim for conference championship

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.
Photos By William Mancebo

Four weeks after winning in the Independent Women's Football League Tier II divisional playoff round, the Bay Area Bandits return to the gridiron with the conference championship on the line.

Bay Area, who won the Pacific West Division with a 5-3 record in its inaugural season, advanced to the Conference Championship by beating the Modesto Maniax (1-7, 2nd in Pacific West) in the opening round, 46-0, on its home field at Tak Fudenna Memorial Stadium in Fremont.

Now, the Wisconsin Warriors (6-3) is the only team that stands in the way of the Bandits and a trip to the North American Championship. Wisconsin got to the Conference Championship with its 36-6 home victory over the Memphis Belles.

On Saturday, July 10, the Bandits will have home-field advantage, but not at its regular home at Tak, instead hosting the bout at Contra Costa College.

"Home advantage is huge," said Bandits GM Neda Mohammadi. "Not having to travel across the country and being in the comfort of our own home and having our fans behind us gives us a big advantage over our opponent."

For the Bandits sake, they are fortunate to have had a month between the divisional round and conference championship, with many of their players getting banged up, and suffering from injuries. All the players, except Jen Romanini (out with a season-ending ACL injury) will be ready to play.

With full health, the Bandits, who have been studying film and practicing hard to gear up for its biggest game of the season, need to focus on stopping the Warriors run game if they hope to advance.

"Wisconsin has a very powerful running game that we must contain if we are to win this conference championship game," said Bandits coach Jim Goulden. "They have a QB that has the ability to run if needed and we must take that ability away from her."

Kickoff at Contra Costa College on Saturday is at 1 p.m.

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