WOMEN’S INTERHALL FOOTBALL: Runner-up Chaos start new season vs. Chicks
James Fegan, Jason Galvan and Greg Arbogast | Friday, September 16, 2005
The opening game of the 2005 women’s interhall football season pits an up-and-coming Lewis team with last year’s runner-up, Cavanaugh.
The two halls will meet Sunday for the first time in three years. Cavanaugh, which stormed through the 2004 regular season undefeated, appears to be strong once again with six returning starters on both offense and defense.
With the core of last year’s team intact, Cavanaugh has legitimate ambitions of returning to the title game in Notre Dame Stadium.
Not to be overlooked is Lewis, which is coming off a promising 2-2-2 season when they fell just short of a playoff berth. Lewis returns much of last year’s offense, and despite a slew of losses on defense, the team is very confident about the quality of this year’s freshmen class.
Returning a majority of its starters, Lewis is going to rely on its offense to take the pressure off of its younger defense. The Chicks’ strong receiving core is headlined by co-captain Kara Bailey, and it should ease the transition of a new quarterback. Cavanaugh will depend on stalwart quarterback Lisa Ruffer to lead its offense again this season. The Chaos also possess several impact players on a tough defense, including Lauren Manning and middle linebacker Kerri Bergen.
Despite the high expectations, the first game will serve as an opportunity for both teams to get a feel for how their teams will compete this year.
“It’s the first game of the season, so we really want to just see how our offense and defense work,” Lewis co-captain Julia Borke said.
While this game will be a bit of a trial run for both teams, Cavanaugh captain Rachel Byrne wants her team to remain focused.
“We really just need to focus on executing the game plan, and not really pay to much attention to what the other team tries to do,” she said.
Cavanaugh looks to begin its quest to return to the championship game Sunday, and is supremely confident.
“We have the athletes and the discipline, so that if we just execute our game plan, we don’t have anything to worry about,” Byrne said.
However, Lewis counters with a capable offense and young talent on defense, and will provide Cavanaugh with a significant challenge Sunday.
Lyons vs. Howard
Two teams look to start the season on good footing as the Lyons Hall Lions square off against the Howard Ducks this weekend. The Ducks and Lions, each fresh off their pre-season training, will face each other at 2 p.m. Sunday at West Quad.
The importance of this game is enormous for the two ballclubs, with each team seeking to gain momentum going into the regular season.
The Lions, led by co-captains Katie Mackin and Megan Hassell, are confident going into their first test.
“We are really excited … everyone is really pumped for Sunday,” Mackin said.
Each team has lost starters from last season and will have newcomers at several key positions. However, they are confident their new players will step up to the challenge.
Despite some key losses on offense from last year’s starters, the Lions’ captain expresses a great deal of confidence in her rookies.
“We have some girls with some really good hands,” Mackin said.
Despite some unproven areas for each team, there are still several positions with veteran players. These leaders will prove to be crucial in this contest and as the year progresses.
Mackin is especially confident about the strength of the Lions’ defensive unit, which sports several returning starters.
“We’re very quick and nasty,” Mackin said of her defense.
The Lions will be coached by newcomers John Harrington, Chase Gunner and Pat Reidy. This new staff has been implementing a new offense, and they are hopeful that the girls will be ready for the upcoming contest.
“We have a strong program this year with a lot of returning talent,” Harrington said.
Despite a strong regimen of workouts during the off-season leading up to this weekend’s game, the true test for the teams will come at game time.
“I think we will be successful once we come together as a team,” Mackin said. “We have a lot of talent, we just need to come together.”
Howard Ducks representatives could not be reached for comment Thursday.
McGlinn vs. Pasquerilla East
The 2005 women’s interhall football season begins Sunday evening fresh with new hope for the McGlinn Shamrocks and the Pasquerilla East Pyros, when the squads face off at 5 p.m. on West Quad.
Both teams are looking to rebound from subpar years.
While neither team made the playoffs a season ago, the new season is full of hope for either team as both McGlinn and PE return starters at key positions.
For McGlinn, quarterback and now-captain Bridget Meacham returns to direct the Shamrock offense along with the assistance of senior running back Raquel Ferrer. These two should provide a balanced offense throughout the season, not allowing defenses to concentrate solely on the run or pass.
For PE, the potent combination of quarterback Laura Adams and wide receiver Caroline Nally returns to again provide the bulk of the offense.
With a year of experience, these two should only improve on their performances from a year ago.
The real question for the Pyros in this game is defense.
Susceptible to the big play a year ago, the Pyros will have to improve in this area if they plan on a trip to the playoffs.
With both teams having experience at such key positions, expect some points to be put on the board this Sunday night, and the winner will likely be determined by which team’s defense plays better.