The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Women’s Interhall: Shamrocks and Lions face off

Tim Lang, Bobby Graham and Sam Werner | Tuesday, September 23, 2008

While their enthusiasm to open the season has not been dampened, the lousy weather and persistent rain have thrown a wrench into the preparation of both the Shamrocks and Lions, who are prepared to square off at Riehle Fields tonight at 7 p.m.

While McGlinn senior captain Sarah deGroot expects the Shamrocks to gel as the game progresses, she did not downplay the effect the weather has had on getting ready for this match.

“It has been kind of unfortunate because we have had three practices rained out,” deGroot said. “However, I fully expect our players to develop and get comfortable not only in the next couple of weeks, but also over the course of the game tomorrow.”

It seems McGlinn was not the only one hampered by the elements as Lyons junior captain Claire Connell echoed many of deGroot’s comments.

“Trying to practice the last couple weeks has been tough,” Connell said. “But we have continued to develop and work with our younger players, making sure they are prepared for the game on Wednesday.”

Despite its youth, Lyons has some of the same players back from a squad that made the playoffs last year with a 2-3-1 record. To build on that success, though, the Lions will have to deal with an untested Shamrock team hungry for a win after going a disappointing 0-5-1 last season.

Inexperience and limited practice time are usually not a recipe for success. Luckily, both squads face the same dilemma and whichever team can acclimate themselves to the game quicker should prevail in this opening match of the season.

Pasquerilla East vs. Howard – Bobby Graham (rgraham@nd.edu)

Pasquerilla East captain Tara Pillai said she feels confident about the improvements her team has made since last year, when it posted an anemic 1-4-1 record with each loss coming by less than a touchdown

“We feel very optimistic about this upcoming season,” Pillai said.

Pillai has good reason to be hopeful on the defensive side of the ball, as the unit returns all of its starters from last season. The questions marks are on the offense, as sophomore quarterback Caitlin Smith looks to bring some experience to the table after playing as a freshman last year.

“[Smith] has definitely improved from last year,” Pillai said.

Pillai said there will be multiple freshman contributing early and often at the wide receiver and offensive line positions.

“We are a young team,” she said. “But we have a lot of talent as well as a few upperclassmen who can provide us with experience.”

Their first opponent will be another young team, Howard. Coming off of a disappointing 14-8 loss to Lyons Hall, Howard looks to make a statement and rack up its first win since last year when it made its first playoff appearance in hall history.

“We’re excited to redeem ourselves,” sophomore captain Kayla Bishop said. “We have something to prove.”

Bishop said the keys to this week’s game will be strong play from wide receivers Laura Giezeman and Caitlin Robinson as well as lineman Mary Jenkins. The Ducks plan to keep players circulating in and out throughout the game to keep their legs fresh, but their biggest concern is the readiness of their new players.

“We don’t have a lot of experience on the team,” Bishop said, “So we need get freshmen on same page as our returning players.”

The Pyros and Ducks will face off at 9:00 on Riehle Field.

Cavanaugh vs. Pasquerilla West

The Purple Weasels look to get their season off to a hot start, while the Chaos hope to remain perfect when the teams face off at 9 p.m. tonight at Riehle Field.

The Chaos got their title defense off to a winning start Sunday, edging McGlinn 6-0.

“If there’s one thing that McGlinn taught us, it’s that we’ve got a target on our back bigger than Sarah Palin’s, the Russian government’s, and Wall Street CEOs combined,” Chaos captain Katie Dunn said.

Dunn, who rushed for Cavanaugh’s only score against the Shamrocks, said the team was still trying to integrate the freshmen into the game plan.

“I think they’re doing great,” she said. “We expect them to step in without a hitch and they have.”

Pasquerilla West will be playing its first game tonight, and captain Cara Davies said that, offensively, the team would look to junior receivers Cynthia Curley and Alyssa Moya.

“As a team, I think we’d like to end up back at the Stadium,” Davies said. “That’s the standard we set a couple of years ago.”

Despite the playmakers on offense, Davies said that defense was the Purple Weasels’ calling card.

“Defense has always been our keystone,” she said. “We’ve got a good offense, but when it comes tight, our defense holds tough.”

In practice, Davies said her team had just been working on getting rid of their opening-day jitters.

“We’ve just been going over the basics,” she said. “We’ve got a few kinks, but all in all we’re in good shape.”