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WOMEN’S INTERHALL GOLD LEAGUE: Bulfin’s interception return paces PW as Farley fails to score

Ben Vincent, Greg Arbogast and Tom Dorwart | Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What looked to be a game of trading touchdowns turned into a defensive struggle as Pasquerilla West defeated Farley, 6-0, in women’s interhall Gold League play Sunday. On the first drive of the game, Farley captain and quarterback Katie Popik was intercepted by Pasquerilla West’s Brigid Bulfin, who ran the ball back nearly fifty yards for a touchdown.

That proved to be the only score of the game as both defensive lines harassed the opposing quarterbacks all game and prevented many good looks.

Pasquerilla West combatted this pass rush with some effective reverses and completed enough passes to put themselves in scoring position several times. But the Farley defense brought out its best effort in the red zone and forced turnovers on downs.

“I am very proud of our defense,” Popik said. “They pitched a shutout and played with great intensity. Our offense is still in development. We obviously need to make adjustments there, but overall I saw a lot of good things to take away from the game.” Though they could not put the ball in the endzone, Pasquerilla West gained significantly more yards then Farley and did not turn the ball over.

The Purple Weasel defense prevented the Finest from making much progress by forcing Popik into hurried throws and coming up with two more interceptions.

“Our offense was okay,” captain Heather Van Hoegarden said. “They just couldn’t finish, but it will come with time and practice. Our defense really stepped up and won us the game.”

They look to put together a win streak against Pangborn next Thursday, while Farley attempts to right the ship against McGlinn.

McGlinn 20Pasquerilla West 0

Quarterback Becky Brown threw for three touchdowns to lead McGlinn over Pasquerilla East Sunday.

What was initially a back and forth game took a quick turn in the Shamrocks favor. On the first play after a goal-line stand, Brown threw from her own end zone and connected with freshman Jen Fedyna for a 78-yard touchdown pass. McGlinn never looked back. The Pyros, who had trouble preventing big plays last year, were undone by the passing game again.

Brown consistently was able to find the open receiver and finished the game with over 125 yards passing. Before halftime, she connected with Liz Maher on fourth down for a ten-yard touchdown pass. Later, Brown again found Fedyna for a long pass to the five-yard line. The pair connected three plays later for Brown’s third touchdown pass of the game to make the score 20-0.

“We have a lot of good receivers that are hard to defend,” Nason said. “That’s probably our team’s best asset.”

While the offense was in fine form, the Shamrock defense was equally impressive.

“We have a lot of athletes and a lot of experience on defense, and we just came out very focused,” Nason said.

The athletic ability of the Shamrock defense was obvious as they applied constant pressure to the Pyro offense. Pasquerilla East attempted a mixture of running and pass plays, but neither was successful as its offense was held to under 50 total yards.

The Pyros used multiple quarterbacks throughout the game but nothing could spark the offense, which finished with three interceptions and punted twice.

If the win was any indication, McGlinn is well on its way to making up for missing the playoffs last year.

“This year, we are more focused, more intense, and we are taking it one game at a time,” Nason said.

Welsh Family 24 Breen-Phillips 0

Slightly less than a year after exiting in the semifinals of the playoffs, Welsh Family made a strong statement to the rest of the women’s interhall Gold League on Sunday.

Returning key players from last year’s squad including senior quarterback Melissa Sands, the Whirlwinds smoked the Babes of Breen-Phillips, 24-0, in both teams’ season-opener.

“I think we made a good statement for the first game of the year,” sophomore wide receiver Kelly Bushelle said. “We prepared well in practice during the week.”

It didn’t take long for Welsh Family to score its first points of the 2005 season. They punched in a touchdown on their first possession.

All afternoon, the Whirlwinds dominated. The defense intercepted errant passes, and the offense rolled behind Sands’ accuracy and patience. She threw four touchdown passes and two to Bushelle.

Sands connected with Bushelle for two, 10-yard touchdown passes on back-to-back drives to open the game. Breen Phillips struggled to get an offense going against fired-up Welsh Family.

Later in the game, Sands launched another touchdown pass, this time to Maggie Forester.

While the offense was at a pinnacle, the defense deserved credit as well, Bushelle said.

There’s a long way to go before either team can start making playoff plans, but, after one game, they at least have an idea of where they stand.

“We’re excited for the rest of the season,” Bushelle said.