Revere standout excels on ‘D’ as Renegades advance to Super Bowl
By Cary Shuman
Boston Renegades player Jessica Penta has been selected to the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) All-American Second Team, but her dream season has one more step to go.
Penta, playing the professional football game in her hometown, made several tackles and helped the Renegades’ defense withstand a late surge by the Chicago Force and earn a 47-34 victory Saturday night at Harry Della Russo Stadium.
The victory sends the 10-0 Renegades to Pittsburgh for the W-Bowl – the WFA version of the Super Bowl – and a showdown with the Dallas Elite for the national championship.
Penta, a former Revere High and UMass/Boston soccer goalkeeper, had the largest personal rooting section of all and the 5-foot-8 outside linebacker lived up to her All-American status. She was a leader in helping to contain the Force’s running game while also inducing some hurried passes by the Chicago quarterback.
Sparked by the All-American trio of quarterback Allison Cahill, running back Whitney Zeele, and fullback Stacey Tamfook, the Renegades built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Chicago rallied in the second half to make things interesting, but Penta and the Boston defense made their presence felt in the final minutes, repelling the Force’s challenge and stamping its ticket to Pittsburgh.
Penta was excited about the victory but said there’s still one more game left on the Renegades’ schedule.
“We’re conference champions and it feels good to win this one but there’s still one more to go,” said Penta. “This wasn’t a perfect game but I’ll take it and we have a lot to build on there. We stayed together as a team and there was never a thought in our mind that we were going to lose this game.”
As for the many Penta people wearing specially made jerseys in her honor, she said, “I saw them in the stands and I appreciate their support. It was unbelievable to be back on this field. We had good energy, great vibes, and the fans were amazing.”
Also adding to Jessica Penta’s memorable night was a special tribute paid by the Renegades on the public address system to her father, the late Revere city councillor Richard A. Penta, who was a big supporter of women’s professional football and Jessica’s teams.