Passion take show on the road for 2nd-round playoff game
The Passion’s 2013 record away from Highmark Stadium remained perfect in five games, even if the team didn’t travel far from its Station Square base for a first-round playoff game in the Women’s Football Alliance.
The club, while under contract to play home games at Highmark Stadium, welcomes occasional opportunities to play at other venues.
“It’s good for us to get out there and for people to get a chance to see what we’re all about,” team owner Teresa Conn said. “We’ve always had good support, no matter where we go.”
Playing at Hempfield High School, the Passion (7-2) set a club record for largest margin of victory with a 63-0 rout of the Cincinnati Sizzle on June 15, moving them into the second round at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Boston Militia (8-0).
Both of the Passion’s regular-season losses at Highmark Stadium, including a 42-28 decision to the Militia on May 11.
The Passion were forced to play their most recent game at a neutral site because Highmark Stadium was hosting a United Soccer League Pro Division game between the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Charleston (W.Va.) Battery.
“We had a nice crowd,” first-year Passion coach Muzzy Colosimo said of the gathering at Hempfield, estimated at 1,000. “It showed we could play out there.”
Colosimo, the former coach at Greensburg Central Catholic where he is the school’s all-time winningest coach, took over the Passion’s coaching duties after a former coaching colleague, Monroeville businessman Lou Biondi, encouraged him to meet with Conn.
“Lou knows Teresa well,” Colosimo said. “Like me, he was disappointed when I was let go at Central. He told me to give the Passion a try. I went to practice one day a week, then two days — you’re teaching something and you don’t want to let it go; you want to see it through — and it got to the point where I just started going all the time.
“My wife will be the first to tell you she’s never seen me smile so much.”
Even though the job is on a voluntary basis, Colosimo has been rewarded by his players’ acceptance.
“The girls love Muzzy,” Conn said. “He’s a teacher, and they are sponges.”
Colosimo also is involved with Renaissance Christian Academy, a first-year private institution in Penn Hills. He joined with former Kiski Area and Imani Christian coach Harvey Smith to start a football program at RCA that plans to play an independent schedule made up mainly of out-of-state opponents.
“It’s a Christian-based school,” Colosimo said. “It’s an academic institution where we’ll work on past grades and future grades. We want to get the kids academically sound.”
Prior to Colosimo’s arrival, the Passion played a 2012 playoff game at Franklin Regional High School and before that at North Allegheny High School for two seasons when their former home field, Cupples Stadium, on the South Side, was under renovation.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.