Women’s Interhall Football: Lewis, Welsh Family look for spark to season
Andrew Owens, Matthew Robinson, and Chris Allen | Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Lewis (1-3) and Welsh Family (1-3) have each struggled this season, but they have an opportunity to get back on track when they play each other tonight.
The Chicks lost to Howard Sunday, and during the loss they lost their starting quarterback to a broken finger. The injury has forced the Chicks to adjust their offense and find a new identity.
They hope the changes, which include an increased focus on the running game, will pay off when they face Welsh.
“We have been working on more running plays because of the injury,” senior captain Tara Gilbride said. “We’ve been improving and trying to fix the mistakes we’ve been making. We’ve corrected those mistakes and we expect to beat Welsh.”
To compensate for the adapting offense, Gilbride expects the defense to play well.
“Our defense has been key this season,” Gilbride said. “That has been key along with our ability to throw the football.”
The Whirlwinds enter the game disappointed with their season, but they have remained positive and believe that they are primed for a victory over Lewis.
“We’re not giving up,” senior captain Tara Schimpf said. “We know we have talent. We just need to stay focused, prepare for the game, and have fun.”
Welsh Family is coming off a 21-13 loss to McGlinn Sunday. The Whirlwind offense was able to move the ball and put points on the board but fell just short of tying the game on their final drive.
“We’re going to make things happen on offense,” Schimpf said. “We had some positives in our last game and we need to keep it going against Lewis.”
Schimpf – a defensive juggernaut – and the rest of the Whirlwind defense look to stifle the Chicks newly-formed offense. Defense has long been seen as Welsh Fam’s strength, and after a mediocre showing last Sunday the team hopes to right the ship and get back on track.
The two teams will face off at 7 p.m. tonight at Riehle Field.
McGlinn vs. Breen-Phillips
Both McGlinn (1-1-1) and Breen-Phillips (0-3) have made it apparent that they are hungry for a win.
While neither has been a dominant force this season, both the Shamrocks and the Babes have been preparing tirelessly for tonight’s matchup.
“We’ve been practicing twice a week, just drilling into our heads the plays and the defensive strategies,” Shamrock senior captain and defensive lineman Emily Dore said.
The Babes have also adopted a tough practice regimen.
“Our coaches work hard to prepare us by coming up with helpful drills and instructional handouts,” Babes’ senior captain and safety Stephanie Wuerdeman said. “Every time we get out to practice we get better.”
Both squads are looking to exploit some aspects of their game that they have had success with this season as well as working to improve upon other aspects that have caused them problems.
For the Babes, this season has been marked by strong defense but an inability to put points on the board.
“After our last game against Farley, we saw a lot of good things,” Wuerdeman said. “I couldn’t be more proud of thing on [the defensive] side of the ball. As for offense we’ve been working out the kinks and are finally starting to solidify personnel placement.”
The Shamrocks look to improve on their already balanced performances this season with what Dore calls a “stellar aerial attack and tough defense.”
“Our expectations are to perform well in all fundamentals of the game,” Dore said. “We’ve really improved from our first game to where we are now.”
In what appears to be a battle of two squads who will do whatever it takes to win, the Babes and the Shamrocks will meet tonight at Riehle Field at 8 p.m.
Howard vs. Pasquerilla East
Playoff positioning will be on the line when Howard (3-0) takes on Pasquerilla East (2-1) tonight.
“We know Howard’s the team to beat in our division,” Pasquerilla East senior quarterback and captain Tara Pillai said. “We’re looking forward to a big challenge.”
Pillai said she hopes her team will continue to grow offensively in order to keep up with Howard’s dominating passing attack.
“We’ve been trying to add more plays each week in practice,” Pillai said. “That will make our playbook less predictable.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Pyros will face their toughest test of the season in trying to stop the Howard attack that features talented receivers in junior Kaitlin Robinson and freshman Laura Coletti, a fact that is prevalent in the Pyros’ minds as they prepare for the game.
“They have a great quarterback [junior captain Kayla Bishop] who is mobile and throws to all of her receivers,” Pillai said.
Howard heads into the game looking to build on an early season campaign that has established them as front-runners for the championship.
“We’re definitely on track for the playoffs,” Bishop said.
The Ducks have built an identity that has seen them put up more than 30 points in a game effortlessly, all while remaining strong on the defensive end. Bishop still sees room for improvement.
“Our offense gets into a rhythm and we can just march down the field,” Bishop said. “However, we’ve had quite a few dropped passes and we’re definitely working on adjusting that part of our offense.”
In this game, the powerhouse Ducks will likely face their toughest test on defense in the Pyros attack led by the strong-armed Pillai.
“We have to rely on our defense to win the game for us,” Bishop said.
Kickoff will be at 9 p.m. tonight at Riehle Field.