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WOMEN’S INTERHALL – BLUE LEAGUE: Defending Champion Walsh Opens Against Lewis

Chris Hine, Jay Fitzpatrick, and Francis Tolan | Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Defending champion Walsh takes the first step in defending its title tonight at 8 p.m. at Riehle West Field against Blue League rival Lewis.

“We’ve lost some people, but we’re still strong,” Walsh captain Mary Ellen Botta said. “We feel the pressure this year with people expecting us to be good.”

Botta and her team are led by a high-powered offense returning several starters, most notably quarterback Mary Sullivan, a dangerous runner.

In addition to using her legs, Sullivan will be looking for returning receiver Cigi Moore.

The Walsh defense is anchored by Botta on the line and senior Patty Rose at cornerback. Lewis is hoping to establish some stability on offense after having three different starting quarterbacks the last two years. Under center tonight for Lewis will be Elisa Valdez, a transfer from Cavanaugh.

Valdez will have a solid receiving corps to which to throw, consisting of Kara Bailey, tight-end/flanker Joslyn Moya, wideout Bridget Blum and Katy Clune. Clune returns to Lewis after spending a year abroad.

On defense, Lewis features middle-linebacker Julia Burke, safety Lauren Mullins and Mia Idelaros at corner. They will try to contain Sullivan and Walsh’s veteran offense. When asked about facing the defending champions, Bailey said the team isn’t intimidated.

“The playing field is level every year,” Bailey said. “Reputation means nothing.”

Cavanaugh vs. Howard

Cavanaugh (1-0) kicks off the second week of Blue League action Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Howard (0-1) at Riehle Field.

The Chaos played well in their first game against Lewis, a 12-0 victory. The Chaos offense led the charge in the first half, but penalties hurt Cavanaugh last week and could prove costly against Howard.

“The offense was consistent in the first half but made some silly mistakes in the second half that stopped us from scoring more touchdowns,” center Michelle Hamrah said.

Despite the shutout, Hamrah said the defense did not play perfectly.

“The defense had some mental mistakes that we need to learn from and talk about,” Hamrah said.

The Ducks are coming off a tough 20-0 loss to Lyons. The defense worked hard last week, but mental mistakes and a lack of experience allowed Lyons to get in the end zone three times.

“A lot of girls were playing both sides of the ball and positions they had never played,” receiver Mary Kaminski said. “Considering that, we were happy with how we played.”

The Ducks offense also needs to improve after being shut out and also needs to cut down on the mental mistakes to get the ball down the field more effectively.

Lyons vs. Badin

Lyons and Badin are both displaying early-season optimism going into today’s game at 9 p.m. at Riehle Field West. The Lions, coming off a 20-0 win against Howard Sunday, hope to maintain the momentum they have already built. This will be the Bullfrogs’ season opener, however.

“We’re definitely going to be able to stay focused, and we’ve even added some new plays,” Lyons captain Katie Mackin said.

The Badin Bullfrogs, meanwhile, are also confident in the potential of their squad. The players believe the returning players and newcomers will form a cohesive unit.

“The tremendous leadership of the seniors seems to be one of our strongest points,” Bullfrogs captain Meg Charlebois said.

Charlebois feels this experience will help the team return to the form it had displayed before the disappointing conclusion to last season. Badin was knocked out in the first round of last year’s playoffs, but Charlebois said that loss only made them hungrier to win this year.

Both captains claim practices have been going well and hope to continue with their good form.