Women’s Interhall: Phoxes look to keep rolling against Babes
Matt Gamber, Eugenia Alfonzo and Sam Werner | Thursday, October 4, 2007
Tonight’s game between Pangborn and Breen-Phillips at 7 on Riehle Field features two teams going in opposite directions.
While Pangborn’s 13-9 victory over reigning champion Pasquerilla West kept its playoff hopes alive, the Babes are desperately trying to recover from their 6-0 loss to previously winless Lewis.
Leading the Phoxes’ offense will be freshman quarterback Gabby Tate. Sophomore receivers Annie Kotz and Meghan Bescher, the team’s captain, both caught touchdown passes last week.
Bescher also had an interception in the Phoxes’ upset win over Pasquerilla West, as did freshman Kathy Poploski. They’ll anchor a defense that hopes to contain the Babes’ attack.
“We’ve been working hard, trying to get both our offense and defense working,” Tate said. “Our main goal all along has been to make the playoffs, so we’re pretty pumped to keep this thing going.”
Breen-Phillips will rely on its captain, junior quarterback Melissa Meagher, to rejuvenate the offense. She’ll target receiver Tara McCarron, a fellow junior, early and often.
“She runs quick routes, and she just always seems to find herself open,” Meagher said.
The Babes defensive line, led by senior Colleen Stehlin and freshman Kristin Moore, will hope to slow down a Pangborn running game that torched the Babes in last year’s matchup.
“Our coaches have been preparing for a week and a half by watching [Pangborn’s] games, so hopefully we’ll be able to tailor our defense to attack their offense in appropriate places,” Meagher said. “They have a strong offense, so we really have to focus on stopping them.”
Pasquerilla West vs. Badin
As the two-time defending champion, Pasquerilla West has earned a lot of respect from the other teams in the league. Not this year.
Pasquerilla West has lost to Welsh Family and Pangborn, but senior captain Tina Martinek hopes to prove doubters wrong tonight against Badin.
“I don’t want people to think that we’re out of this, the fact that we’ve lost doesn’t deter us at all,” Martinek said. “We’re looking forward to playing in the stadium again.”
With a strong defensive line, the Purple Weasels have also been working on adding more to their offensive strategy.
Martinek said the team has attempted to revamp all aspects of its offense.
“We’re expanding our offense and got new [passing] and running plays,” Martinek said.
The Purple Weasels face a Badin team that is eager to get back on the field after having its game against Lewis postponed at halftime because of lightning.
The Bullfrogs hope to retain the momentum they had built up before the contest against Lewis was stopped. Badin scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the first half to take a 13-7 lead.
The Bullfrogs have focused on preparing to take on Pasquerilla West’s intimidating offense.
“We have worked on being more aggressive on defense in terms of going after the ball,” Hackney said. “Our offense plans to be a bit more efficient this week. PW is a very strong team and this will be a must-win game for us.”
With a record of 2-2, Pasquerilla West is confident it will make it to the playoffs.
“I still definitely think we can make it to the playoffs, it’s a whole new ball game,” Martinek said. “Pangborn and Welsh Fam better expect to see us again with better results.”
Badin, too, wants to make a statement in tomorrow’s game.
“We think that our record does not indicate how strong we are as a team,” Hackney said. “With a win on Thursday, we are hoping to increase our chances of making it into the playoffs.”
Lyons vs. Lewis
Lyons and Lewis meet tonight in a game that will be crucial to both teams’ playoff aspirations.
Lyons currently sits in fourth place of the Gold League standings, ahead of fifth-place Lewis by only a half-game. The Lions need just one win in their final two games to secure a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, a win would propel the Chicks into a three-way tie with Lyons and Pasquerilla West for the final playoff spot.
Lyons senior captain Judith Kaczmarek is confident in her team’s ability to make the playoffs, but believes that her team has much more talent than its 2-2 record indicates.
“We’ve been a little overconfident,” Kaczmarek said. “The little stuff has been killing us.”
Leading the charge for the Lions will be sophomore quarterback Claire Connell and freshman receiver Neva Lundy.
“Claire’s definitely a key player,” Kaczmarek said. “And Neva is really athletic.”
The duo is complemented by a strong defense centered around Kaczmarek, a middle linebacker, and senior safety Joanna Collins.
Kaczmarek was reluctant to put too much emphasis on any one player but said the unit plays well together.
“Our defense, as a group, is really pretty strong,” she said. “We’re definitely looking to get some turnovers.”
The Lions will be forced to play without senior captain Katie Mackin, who will be missing the game for personal reasons.
They will be facing a Lewis team that, despite its 1-2 record, is still in contention for a playoff berth.
The Chicks are within striking distance and have a game pending because of a rain-out against Badin earlier in the season that will be made up at a later date. Lewis captain Alexandra Persley could not be reached for comment.