Teams fight for playoff spots
Joe Meixell | Thursday, October 7, 2004
Playoff seedings will be on the line tonight when Badin and Welsh Family meet at 9 p.m. at Riehle West field.
As the postseason rapidly approaches, Badin (3-1) and Welsh Family (3-0-1) are part of a group of teams jockeying for the top spots in the Gold League standings.
“It’s a really, really close race,” Badin captain and quarterback Stephanie Heath said. “There are several teams with only one loss, and Welsh Family has just the one tie. This game is really important for us.”
The Whirlwinds will be looking to rebound from their disappointing tie with Howard on Sunday.
“We had a breakdown on Sunday and it was a reality check for us,” Welsh captain Mary Pendergast said. “I think we came into the game complacent. We need to improve on both sides of the ball.”
Badin fully expects that Welsh will come prepared to play.
“They weren’t happy with their last performance, so I know they are going to bring the intensity,” Heath said.
Heath cites both the Whilrwinds’ explosive offense and the team’s stingy defense as reasons for concern.
The Bullfrogs, however, will fall back on their potent aerial attack. Heath has developed quite a rapport with Badin’s stable of talented receivers, particularly Erin Diminick and Meg Charlebois.
Welsh will have its hands full trying to slow the Badin passing game. Both teams believe that defense will determine the outcome of tonight’s game.
“The key is defensive execution,” Prendergast said. “We know we have the tools. We have the athleticism. We just need to execute.”
Heath feels the Badin defense must create turnovers and prevent the Welsh offense from getting into a rhythm. The captain is confident her team can slow the Whirlwind attack and come out on top.
“We just need to play our game and hopefully that will be enough to win,” Heath said.
Lewis vs. Off-Campus
Defense will be the name of the game when the Lewis Chicks and Off-Campus collide tonight at Riehle Field.
Both teams are coming off sluggish offensive performances; the two teams combined for seven points in their games on Sunday.
Off Campus (0-4) will need to improve on both sides of the ball as they have suffered two lopsided defeats in a row. Captain Lauren Blum realizes her team’s weaknesses.
“Our team has reached a plateau,” Blum said. “We need stronger play on both sides of the ball to break through this week.”
The team has struggled to find its stride in its initial season, but Blum feels her team can build on its unity to win its first game tonight. She and receiver Megan Furman will be critical to sparking the recently struggling Off-Campus offense.
Lewis (1-2-1) comes into the game striving for consistent play as it has had an up and down season. The Chicks are coming off a scoreless tie against a proven Lyons team on Sunday. Captain Shelia Dawes will look to continue to lead strong defensive play tonight against Off-Campus while quarterback Meg Bustin will look to jump-start a Chick offense that has scored only 19 total points in four games this season.
A low scoring defensive slugfest is to be expected tonight as two hungry teams with disappointing records look to earn a much-needed win.
Pangborn vs. Howard
Tonight’s interhall matchup between Pangborn and Howard pits two teams who have recently regained respectability among the women’s interhall ranks.
After four years of futility in which the Phoxes won just one game, Pangborn has reasserted itself into the women’s interhall mix with a 26-0 victory over defending champion Badin and a 14-7 upset of Lewis, last year’s runner up. These wins give the Phoxes a 2-1 record, putting them in good position to make a playoff run.
The Ducks of Howard have had similar troubles of late, beginning the season with two shutout losses and an 0-3 record. With a game against top-ranked Welsh Family looming, a fourth straight loss seemed inevitable, but the resilient Ducks played the No. 1 team to a 13-13 tie on the strength of a last-minute goal line stand.
With these impressive performances behind them, both teams have newfound confidence in their abilities and a bright outlook on their seasons’ outcomes. At 2-1, the Phoxes are likely candidates for playoff contention and Howard – despite having yet to register a victory – remains in postseason consideration. When asked if the Ducks could use the momentum from their impressive performance to get the two wins necessary for a playoff bid, Duck captain Callie Whelan simply responded, “Totally”.
“We’re just having fun now,” Whelan said. “We played ‘capture the flag’ at practice”. Whelan hopes that the freshman, who constitute the majority of the starters, will be mature enough to help carry the team to victory on tonight against Pangborn.
The Phoxes are equally optimistic about their chances in tonight’s match, hoping the ride the momentum from two impressive victories. Whatever the result, tonight’s game will feature two tough teams with newfound hope and excitement. Game time is set for 7 p.m.