The 2023 Women’s Premier League (WPL) season has been nothing short of spectacular. With a renewed focus on professionalization, the league underwent significant changes, including fewer teams, an expanded schedule, and an overhauled postseason format. The transformation has added a new level of intensity and anticipation to the WPL, culminating in the highly anticipated upcoming postseason.
A Shift in Postseason Dynamics
This year’s WPL season has witnessed a shift in the way the postseason operates. Gone are the days of the postseason being a “festival” atmosphere with a multitude of teams competing. Instead, the 2023 WPL postseason has been streamlined to feature only the top-four teams, heightening the level of competition and tension.
The semifinals, scheduled for October 7, will see the top-four teams battling it out for a chance to secure a spot in the Championship. The higher seed in each matchup will have the privilege of hosting the game. The winners of these intense encounters will earn the right to advance to the Championship, which is set to take place on October 14 at the Infinity Park Turf in Glendale, Colorado.
Berkeley has emerged as the standout team of the season, clinching the coveted overall #1 seed. Having played a total of 11 matches, Berkeley has won an astonishing 10 of them, with their only draw coming against New York. Impressively, they’ve secured the maximum bonus points in all 10 of their victories, underscoring their unrivaled performance in the league. As the defending Champions, Berkeley’s reputation precedes them, making them a formidable opponent for any team they face. Their remarkable track record sets the stage for an electrifying postseason showdown, where they aim to cement their status as the top team in the league.
While Berkeley has secured the top spot, the remaining three seeds are still up for grabs. The suspense is building as this week’s matches will determine which teams will occupy these crucial positions. The team in the fourth seed will face Berkeley, while seeds 2 and 3 will battle each other for a shot at the Championship.
Beantown, facing overall league leaders Berkeley, has an opportunity to upset the order and catapult themselves into second place. Meanwhile, New York also has a crucial match against the Twin Cities Amazons, making it almost certain they will earn valuable points. This could result in a reshuffling of the overall standings, with positions 2, 3, and 4 potentially changing hands.
The Outlook for the Bottom Half
While the focus is primarily on the top four teams and their quest for glory, it’s worth noting the standings in the bottom half. Life West is expected to finish the season in fifth place, with the Twin Cities Amazons in sixth and Chicago North Shore in seventh. Although these teams won’t be part of the postseason this year, they’ll be looking ahead to the 2024 season with renewed determination.
See all the 2023 league results and final scores: https://scrumhalfconnection.com/2023/02/21/2023-usa-womens-premier-league-wpl-schedule-results/