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Women’s Interhall: Badin and Ryan struggle over playoff berth

Lex Daniels, Kaitlyn Murphy, John Helms, Tim Singler, Matthew Robison and Kelly Zenere | Friday, October 30, 2009

Badin and Ryan are ready to play the final game of their regular season Sunday at 6 p.m.  The Wildcats’ reworked offense has allowed them to be competitive with league powerhouses, while a big win over Lyons will be the Bullfrogs’ fuel in the upcoming contest.

Ryan’s work ethic is very apparent on the field.  They are organized and disciplined on the defensive side of the ball, and run a very balanced, efficient offense.  The Wildcats previously faced Badin’s squad in a preseason scrimmage. While both teams were rusty, Ryan hopes their reworked offense and stifling defense will break the momentum of the Bullfrogs.

“We’re looking forward to seeing them again,” said Badin senior captain Kelley Daniels. “They’ve improved for sure, but we’ve improved a lot too.”

The last game was certainly an improvement for Badin.  The Bullfrogs steamrolled Lyons 36-0, boosting their record to 1-3.

Daniels is confident in her team, her only concern being the long break.

“Getting back into the swing of things after the fall break is going to be tough,” Daniels said.  “We’re going to shake off the rust at practice this week and try to repeat the outstanding performance we pulled off in our last outing.”

Both of these teams are fighting for a possible playoff berth in the wide-open flag-football division, and the less than perfect records of these two make this game a must win for both.

Walsh vs. Lyons

Winless Lyons hopes to score their first touchdown of the season against Walsh (4-1) Sunday. Despite the difficult season that the Lions have faced, they refuse to lose their positive attitude.

“Although we haven’t yet seen the last two minutes of a game due to our consistent losses by the slaughter rule, we always look fly,” sophomore receiver Caroline Maroney said. “We’ll make you feel really good about your defense, and our defensive line is guaranteed to bring the pressure.”

Maroney lamented the loss of senior quarterback and captain Claire Connell due to a season-ending knee injury.

The Whirlwinds hope to rebound after their season’s only loss to Pasquerilla West. A win on Sunday could help improve Walsh’s standings as they enter the playoffs.

Whirlwind’s senior captain Meghan Hadley cited the importance of her team’s consistent offense, particularly by junior quarterback Amy Langnecker.

Langnecker hopes to rebound from last week’s scoreless game against the Weasels against a vulnerable Lyons’ defense.

Defensive leaders for the Whirlwinds include senior Molly McCarthy and junior Amanda Speigelberg. Walsh’s defense will hope to extend Lyons’ winless streak.
Kickoff is Sunday at 5 p.m. at LaBar Field.

Pangborn vs. Cavanaugh

Playoff implications are on the line as Pangborn and Cavanaugh face off Sunday afternoon. Both teams have been fighting for their playoff lives since before fall break, and both teams have fought their way back to .500 to have a chance to earn their way into the postseason.

Cavanaugh started out 0-2 with two quick losses, but seemed to have turned their season around with two wins in a row. The Chaos are led by a strong group of players, most notably two sophomores: quarterback Rebecca Cink and wide receiver Brittni Alexander.

“Rebecca has been able to scramble and run really well,” Alexander said. “She’s also made really good decisions with the ball all year long.”

Much of the Chaos’ turnaround this season can be attributed to a long layoff in the middle of their season, due to a bye week and a rained out game. During this break, the team revamped their offense and changed their defensive strategy. The girls have now been able to salvage the season.

“Now we’ve put ourselves in position to make the playoffs if we can win the next two games,” Alexander said.

Pangborn finds itself in a similar situation. With a record of 1-2, the girls responded by getting a must win game against Badin, keeping the Bullfrogs winless. The Phoxes trailed for the majority of the game, but were able to come back keeping their playoff hopes alive. They now find themselves at 2-2 and are faced with another must win game against Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh and Pangborn will fight for their playoff lives Sunday at 4 p.m. at LaBar Field.

BP vs. Howard

As the regular season draws to a close, every game still matters as Breen-Philips looks to gain their first win and hand mighty Howard their first loss.

Howard has amassed a perfect 5-0 record this year. By maintaining a perfect record throughout the season, they climbed to the top of their division.

This game however, could damper their season. They would not only lose the perfect record, but would also lose some momentum going into the playoffs.

“Our final game against Breen-Phillips will set the tone for playoffs,” Ducks junior captain Kayla Bishop said. “So we’re looking to come out strong.”

By winning the final game, Howard would lock up the top playoff spot in their division. This game cannot be overlooked otherwise the Babes will be ready to seize the moment and steal the victory.

While Breen-Philips enters the game as the underdog on paper, they expect nothing short of competing with the best and coming out with a victory. Despite experiencing a rebuilding year, the Babes look to end the season on a positive note.

“This game affects our season because we want to finish as strongly as possible,” senior captain Stephanie Wuerdeman said.

The Babes will be looking to improving on past performances.

“In this final game look for a touchdown on the offense and some serious aggression from the defense,” Wuerdeman said.

To help their team to victory, the Ducks however, plan to use a striking strategy to complete their season.

“We’re going to look for our defense to put pressure on their quarterback and force turnovers, which our offense will hopefully capitalize on,” Bishop said.

The Ducks and Babes will meet at 3 p.m. at LaBar Field.

McGlinn vs. Lewis

When McGlinn (2-2-1) and Lewis (1-4) square off on Sunday, the pressure will all be on the Shamrocks, as Sunday’s game is essentially a playoff game.

If the Shamrocks win, they are in the playoffs. If not, they can look to next year.

For the Chicks, Sunday is an opportunity to have fun as a team in the last game of the season.

“Failure is not an option,” McGlinn senior captain and defensive lineman Emily Dore said. “I believe this is our finest hour. Win big or go home.”

“We know we are probably not going to make the playoffs,” Lewis senior captain Tara Gilbride said. “But the girls will be pumped and ready to go.”

To prepare for the matchup, both teams have been practicing hard to work out the kinks.
“We’ve been practicing every week, running drills and such,” Gilbride said.

“With the last game in the mud and rain, we had a problem with our aerial attack.” Dore said. “But we’re confident our schematic genius coaches will put together the right formula to let us play to our best potential this Sunday.”

Both teams have also had to deal with a fair amount of adversity both on and off the field this season.

“Our quarterback is out,” Gilbride said. “And injuries and sickness will keep a few of our players out as well.”

On the other hand, McGlinn has faced on-the-field troubles.

“I think we’ve worked out our glitches. I don’t care if we don’t win according to the game plan we have designed.” Dore said. “We make a few changes here and there; all that matters is what those girls can do on that football field. And what they can do is be full of heart and determination and that sure wins football games.”

The Shamrocks and the Chicks will meet Sunday at 2 p.m. at LaBar Field.

PE vs. Farley

Sunday in the final match of the regular season, Pasquerilla East (3-2) will take on Farley (3-1-1). Both teams need this game to secure a spot in the playoffs, and who ever wins will knock the other out of contention.

Senior Pyros’ captain Tara Pillai said the team is ready to win, and cannot wait to play Farley.

“This game is crucial for playoff positioning, so we will be ready to go.” Pillai said. “Pasquerilla East has not made the playoffs in a long time, so we are excited to make sure we secure a spot.”

Some key players Farley will need to look out for are sophomore receivers Kristin Mannion and Shelly Fuhrman, who both can get down the field in the blink of an eye, and freshman receiver Erica Chenard, who has brought her talent to the Pyros.

Pillai has amazing confidence with these three receivers, and said that they will be scoring touchdowns.

“Every play could be a potential touchdown,” Pillai said. “We have a lot of playmakers on the field.”

The Pasquerilla East defense has also been working hard this year. Senior Liz Ruiz is a linebacker and anchor on defense. Also senior safety Anne Horst is a key player whose goal is to get down field and defend the long pass.

“Our defense has worked a lot on defending long passes this year,” Pillai said.

Farley senior Caity Shepherd said that the Finest defense is going back to basics.

“Defensively we’re working on keeping our shape and knowing our zones,” Shepherd said. “Our defensive showing this week was nothing of what it will be this weekend.”

The Finest offense has also been improving their routes in order to throw off the Pyros’ defense.

“Offensively we’re working on running perfect routes,” Shepherd said. “We may try to mix it up and show Pasquerilla East a little something different.”

The key players to lookout for are captain Emma Klosterman, senior quarterback Megan Bastedo, and sophomore Katie Smith on defense. These three girls will keep Pasquerilla East on their toes in all aspects of the game.

“This definitely isn’t our last game,” Shepherd said. “We are focusing on winning our last regular season game and getting a good seed in the playoffs.”

Farley and Pasquerilla East will meet at 1 p.m. at LaBar Field.