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Pasquerilla East set to break out of the cellar against Lyons

Joe Meixell | Friday, October 3, 2008

It might be easy to say that Lyons, at 2-1, is a better team than Pasquerilla East, who sit at 0-3, but the underdog Pyros beg to differ.

“Sunday is a big game for us,” Pyro junior linebacker and captain Liz Ruiz said. “It’s make or break time, and we are overdue to prove that we have a good team put together.”

The Pyros lost Sunday to their cross-quad rivals Pasquerilla West, then again to McGlinn on Tuesday night, but PE is hungry for a victory.

The Lions have the necessary momentum, after defeating Cavanaugh Tuesday night.

“Two freshman really stepped up for us,” junior Lyons quarterback and co-captain Claire Connell said. “Caroline Maroney gave us a real boost at wide receiver and running back and Carolyn Henderson played great defense and had a game ending interception at the safety position.”

Despite their record, there have been a few bright spots for the Pyros.

“Two freshman wide receivers continually stand out week after week, and we are looking forward to having three more years with both Nneka Ekechukwu and Kristin Mannion,” Ruiz said.

Based on the previous performances of each team, Sunday should be interesting as they each show strength in opposing areas of the game.

“The offensive line has shown a lot of improvement and gave me time to move around in the pocket and find my receivers downfield,” Connell said.

For the Pyros, the defense remains the strong point.

“Our defense as a whole is a strong force and is exciting to watch,” Ruiz said.

The battle between the Pyros and the Lions will start at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday at LaBar fields.

Farley vs. Welsh Fam

Two undefeated teams will face off this Sunday when Farley (2-0-1) takes on Welsh Fam (3-0) Sunday at 3 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Farley’s strong start is a result of its potent, dynamic offense. However, this offense has had difficulty finishing drives.

“We have been moving the ball down the field really well,” Farley captain Jennifer Rolfs said. “However, we have been unable to capitalize on our chances and finish in the red zone.”

This offense was absent in its last game, which ultimately ended in a scoreless tie against Breen-Phillips. The lack of offense may be attributed to the lack of two starting receivers, one of which is out because of an injury.

Although its defense held Breen-Phillips scoreless, further work is needed for Farley on the defensive side of the ball.

“We have a young defense and definitely need to work on coverage,” Rolfs said.

Middle linebacker Brighid McGann and corner Emma Klosterman both bolster the defense. On offense, quarterback Emily Murphy will rely upon receivers Kelly Weber and Kelly Hogan as well as receiver/running back Molly Casanova.

Farley is preparing for a competitive, aggressive game this Sunday.

“We have to contain their experienced quarterback,” Rolfs said. “[We must] finish all of our opportunities seeing as we don’t get as many with the strong defense that Welsh Fam has.”

Similarly, Welsh Fam has had success this year because of both a dominant offense and defense.

“Our defense shuts down the opposing team while our offense has easily moved the ball and scored,” Welsh Fam captain Jenni Gargula said.

The Welsh Fam team relies on consistency in practice no matter who its opponent may be. Gargula directs the offense downfield while all receivers and members of the offensive line strengthen the overall attack. Defensively, Welsh Fam hopes to continue to force interceptions as it have been doing so far this season.

Welsh Fam also expects an intense game against Farley this Sunday.

“We plan to move the ball down the field efficiently and on a consistent basis rather than relying on lucky big plays,” Gargula said.

McGlinn vs. Pasquerilla West

Fresh off a compelling 14 – 13 win against Pasquerilla East Tuesday, McGlinn hopes to complete the Pasquerilla sweep this Sunday against the Purple Weasels.

The Shamrocks overcame a large deficit after trailing most of the game and scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes of play to beat the Pyros.

“I’m really proud of the girls for not giving up and staying focused until the very end,” McGlinn captain Sarah deGroot said. “It’s that kind of focus and heart that wins close games.”

The Shamrocks hope to bring some of this energy with them into the game against PW. They have been consistent on both offense and defense throughout their first three games. Senior Maddie Boyer has anchored the offensive line this year. On the other side of the ball, Junior Emily Dore and Freshman Jill Stinchcomb have manned the tight defense and placed constant pressure on the opposing quarterback.

“I expect big things from the girls this weekend in our game against PW,” deGroot said. “We’re all pretty pumped up about playing.”

The Purple Weasels come into the showdown against McGlinn following a 6-6 tie against Howard Tuesday.

“Ties aren’t going to put us in the playoffs,” PW captain Cara Davies said. “We need to win.”

The Purple Weasels will work on tightening up their offense for this weekend after being frustrated in the previous game.

“We can’t afford to miss scoring opportunities because of dumb turnovers,” Davies said. “We’re going to move the ball downfield on offense one down at a time.”

PW is strong on the defensive side of the ball and performed well against Howard, shortening the time Howard’s quarterback had to throw with blitzes.

“On defense, we’re setting a goal for 3-and-outs every time,” Davies said.

Like McGlinn, PW is excited for the game this weekend.

“The West Quad teams tend to show up for games,” said Davies, “So we’re looking forward to Sunday.”

The teams kick off at 3 p.m. on Sunday at LaBar Fields.

Breen-Phillips vs. Walsh

Captain Kehau Meyer and the rest of the Wild Women want to teach their opponents a few lessons in their game this Sunday against Breen-Phillips.

“We play hard but we play fair. I think a few teams in the league could learn from that,” Meyer said.

Meyer said she was confident Walsh’s potent offense would keep rolling Sunday against Breen-Phillips.

“I expect our offense to make big plays, from our quarterback Amy Langnecker, our offensive line, and our athletic receivers and flex backs,” Meyer said. “I promise that each of them will make huge plays just like they did in our last two games”.

The Wild Women also expect to see great defensive play this weekend.

“Our defensive playmakers will definitely include senior captain Cindy Brenner, and fellow defensive players Molly McCarthy, Jennifer Valencia, and Allison Vincenzi”, Meyer said.

However, Walsh is at its best in the clutch.

“Our strength lies in our ability to make big plays when it counts,” Meyer said. “We don’t have the most experienced team, considering they are so young, but we pull it through. I think great coaching and amazing team work are a big part of that.”

Don’t expect an intimidated Breen-Phillips squad to show up Sunday, though, as it has several playmakers and strengths of its own.

“Tara McCarron, our senior receiver, has been big for us in the past few games,” Breen-Phillips captain and senior quarterback Melissa Meagher said. “Also, Christina Golubski, our senior safety, has been making a lot of big tackles for us. They’re our two most consistent players on each side of the ball”.

Its on-the-field success is no accident as Breen-Phillips has worked hard in practice to improve their team.

“Our coaching has been solid,” Meagher said. “We’re working on making our defense more aggressive and executing our offense like we do in practice by not making mistakes.”

The result of the game will come down to which team can best apply its game plan and implement it on the field on Sunday.

“We just need to execute,” Meagher said.

Pangborn vs. Lewis

Captain Kathy Poploski and Pangborn are searching for another great offensive outing this Sunday against Lewis.

The Phoxes (1-2) hope to build on their 21-9 victory over Badin Tuesday night. After two early touchdowns, Pangborn kept the momentum for the rest of the game and walked out with its first win of the season after two losses.

Just as Pangborn seeks a repeat performance, Lewis (0-2) wants a complete turnaround following a 14-0 loss to Walsh earlier this week. The Chicks are looking for a more efficient and effective passing attack after throwing four interceptions against the Wild Women last week.

“We need to cut down on the turnovers,” Lewis captain Katie Sushinsky said.

The Chicks and Wild Women face off this Sunday at 5 p.m. at LaBar Field.