Call it a Super Bowl of their own.
The San Diego Surge women’s semipro football team is going where the San Diego Chargers haven’t been since 1995—the national championship game.
Led by 5-foot-6-inch quarterback Melissa Gallegos, the 2-year-old Surge returned to the title contest by beating the Dallas Diamonds 56-29 in the American Conference championship game Saturday night in Santee.
The Santee-based team will face the Chicago Force on Super Saturday—Aug. 4 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Force beat last year’s champion Boston Militia 35-34.
A record-breaking crowd of more than 1,000 paid $10 a head and enthusiastically cheered and stomped their feet as the Surge extended its lead in the second half at West Hills High School.
The Surge played a close first quarter, but pushed ahead with interceptions and touchdowns to lead solidly throughout the remaining three quarters. Both teams had been unbeaten.
Gallegos staked her team to a 35-13 first half lead by conncting with key receiver Jessica Javelet and Cassey Brick, who both scored touchdowns.
The team has players aged 18 to 47, from 5 feet all to 6 feet, weighing 120 to 320 pounds.
The Surge has dominated its opponents this season, opening with a 42-0 trouncing of the Silver State Legacy and rolling up scores of 64-0, 69-12, 55-0, 57-0, 48-0, 62-0, 49-0, 48-0 and 42-7.
The Surge— previously known as the Sunfire and Scorpions—is owned by Christine Carrillo. The head coach is Mike Suggett—one of 62 teams full-contact women’s football teams across the United States and Mexico.
“From Florida to Oregon and from New England to California, the WFA is the largest and fastest growing league in America,” says its website.
Gallego is a veteran at QB—having led the Women’s Football Alliance and its predecessor leagues for the past eight seasons.
She was on the U.S. women’s national team that won a gold medal in American football in Sweden.
Owner Carrillo began as a player in 2001 and promotes the team mission: “To provide exposure for the sport of women’s football while competing at the highest level possible by stressing the importance of discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and honesty.”
The WFA began play in April 2011 with teams including the Bay Area Bandits, Boston Militia, Chicago Force, Dallas Diamonds, DC Divas, Kansas City Tribe, New York Sharks, Pittsburgh Passion—and the San Diego Surge. Other teams arethe Philadelphia Liberty Belles, Columbus Comets, Lone Star Mustangs, St. Louis Slam and the West Michigan Mayhem.
The WFA unified several women’s football leagues.
“This 2011 unification and landmark growth structure echoes that of women's basketball and women's tennis,” says the league.
“In addition to delivering fans the most competitive match-ups seen to date, this is an imperative threshold to creating a sustainable and blossoming future for the sport.”
Jeff King, WFA president, said earlier: “This is an exciting time for women's football and the WFA. With 62 teams across the country working together for a common goal, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. We are looking forward to one of the most competitive seasons in women's football history.”
Ken Stone contributed to this report.