Chaos and Wild Women set to face off in final
Brad Wallace | Friday, November 12, 2004
Before the leaves changed and one could still go outside without a parka, Cavanaugh and Walsh met in the first game of the 2004 interhall season. They played to a 0-0 tie.
Eight weeks later and 30 degrees cooler, the Wild Women will butt heads with the Chaos once more, but this time, there will be no tie.
The scenery will likely be the biggest change Sunday when the teams make their way to the Stadium for the 12 p.m. game; it will be a battle of prolific offenses and smothering defenses as this season’s best will put it all out there in hopes of being the 2004 women’s interhall football champion.
After winning close semifinal games, neither team will need much pumping up before Sunday. For senior Walsh captain Carrie Campbell, the idea of playing in the Stadium is more than enough to get her juices flowing.
“Our last game against Welsh Family was really exciting, and it definitely got us pumped up for the championship,” she said. “This is our first time in the Stadium – we got beat in the semis my freshman and sophomore years, so we’re really excited to get the chance to play in there.”
Feeling the same rush after defeating Pangborn in her semifinal game, Cavanaugh captain Sara Gilloon is ready for Sunday’s game but is going into it looking for one thing.
“We had a really tough game against Pangborn, and the win really gave us a lot of momentum,” Gilloon said. “We were in the Stadium two years ago and got beat by PE, so the juniors and seniors on the team know what this game is all about. Getting there isn’t enough for us this time. We’re better prepared than we were then, and we’re here to win.”
But Gilloon and the Chaos know how difficult that goal will be to realize, as it was the Wild Women who handed them the only blemish on a near-perfect record.
“I think the tie can be attributed to their tough defense, but at the same time, our offense wasn’t up and running the way it is now,” she explained.
Campbell agrees the first game was well-fought on both sides, but feels Walsh has made a lot of progress since then.
“We felt like we morally won the first game. Cavanaugh was ranked first, and we did a good job of shutting them down,” Campbell said. “I think both teams have improved a lot since the beginning of the season. I know we feel a lot more confident, and our offense has really begun to click in the second half of the season.”
Over the last eight weeks, both Walsh and Cavanaugh have developed what they consider strengths, but both are extremely well-rounded teams exhibiting impressive skills on both sides of the ball.
“As far as our play goes, defense has been our greatest strength,” Campbell said. “Our corners have been solid, and we’ve held all of our opponents to few or no points. We’ve also got a very athletic offense that makes big plays.”
Walsh quarterback Mary Sullivan feels that her team’s biggest asset comes off the field.
“One of our biggest strengths is our unity,” Sullivan said. “It doesn’t matter who is on the field. When we play, it’s always about the team.”
The indiscriminate talent of the Wild Women will be evenly matched Sunday by the far-reaching abilities of the women of Cavanaugh.
“We’ve got a really strong offense that makes big plays,” Gilloon said. “We’ve got a lot of great receivers, and our quarterback, Lisa Ruffer, is getting more accurate every week. Our defense has also come up with several interceptions at crucial times, and they’ve made a lot of key stops.”
Each team is aware of the other’s strengths and will go to great lengths to make sure that it comes out on the winning end.
“Cavanaugh is a great team. They have a very talented offense, and their quarterback is very athletic,” Sullivan said. “But I have a lot more confidence in our defense than I have in her, and I know they can shut her down.”
As Walsh and Cavanaugh are so evenly matched, it is likely this game will come down to who wants it more.
“It’s going to take the combination of momentum and playing our hearts out to win this game, but I know we’re going to do it,” Gilloon said.
Sullivan feels representing her dorm will add the necessary motivation to take the Wild Women to the top.
“We just want to take advantage of the opportunity and bring a little glory back to Walsh Hall,” Sullivan said.