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Women’s Interhall Football: Ryan looks for first victory against Lyons

Megan Finneran, Chris Allen and Barrick Bollman | Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday will mark a beginning for both Ryan and Lyons.

Granted, Ryan has played one game, a 14-7 defeat to Pasquerilla West, but it was the first game in dorm history, and the team is still in the beginning stages.

“We have really been meshing this season,” senior captain Kenzie Bowen said. “We have a lot of young enthusiasm. I would like to believe that we have the most fun week in and week out.”

In terms of key players, Ryan does not recognize any, but rather chooses to acknowledge its team as a whole on both the offensive and defensive ends.

“We play as one unstoppable unit,” Bowens said. “Our defense is certainly one of the most intimidating defenses in the league and our offense is quickly gaining confidence.”

Even with their rookie status, the Ryan women are more than ready for Lyons. Last week’s game brought improvement even between the first and second halves, so the extra practice time will surely prepare them even more.

“We look to come out with a bang and plan to prove that Ryan, even as a new team, is a force to be reckoned with,” Bowen said.

While Ryan is rather new to existence as a whole, Lyons is new to the 2009 season. After successful scrimmages and practice time, Lyons is ready to actually play.

The defense is led by sophomores Kat Rodriguez and Caroline Maroney, both of whom proved their strengths last year. They are joined by numerous freshman.

Offensively, Lyons is looking strong, especially with its upperclassmen. Wide receivers senior Maria Petnuch and sophomore Caroline Maroney are ready to catch any ball that comes their way.

“We have an impressive receiving core that I think will be effective at moving the ball down the field,” senior quarterback Claire Connell said.

The Lions are ready to take on Ryan and start out with a strong season.

“We are just going to have to come out aggressive against Ryan and make sure we stick to the game plan,” Connell said.

Ryan and Lyons will play Thursday at 7 p.m. at Riehle Field.

Cavanaugh vs. Walsh

Two teams looking to build more momentum off of already impressive starts will meet Thursday as Cavanaugh and Walsh battle at Riehle Field.

Cavanaugh started their season with a 14-7 win over Badin, giving up one touchdown after an interception left Badin with excellent field position. The Chaos expect an even better performance from their defense against Walsh.

“We’re confident that we can earn a shutout Thursday,” senior captain Sarah Cline said.

The defensive identity of Cavanaugh’s team can be traced back to the intensity of its leaders, and the high expectation the Cavanaugh players carry with them every time they step on the field.

“To play Cavanaugh football is to be part of a family and a legacy,” Cline said. “Knowing we’re playing for the greatest dorm on campus gives us extra motivation to win.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Cavanaugh pours equal passion into their aerial attack, boasting a strong passing game.

“Our receivers are quick and athletic, and we expect them to consistently make plays,” Cline said. “Our top receivers are senior Erin Dolan, junior Holly Hinz, and sophomore Brittni Alexander.”

If Cavanaugh expects to continue its march to the playoffs, they will have to contend with an equally fiery Walsh team coming off a come-from-behind 18-12 win against Pangborn.

“[Coming from behind] was a good reminder that this season is going to be a lot of work,” senior captain Meghan Hadley said. “But the team handled it marvelously and we came out on top.”

Walsh is looking to duplicate their undefeated regular season record of last season, and will benefit from new freshman face such as defensive lineman Alyssa Casill who had two sacks last game, as well as seniors returning from abroad.

“We are looking forward to getting [the seniors] back in as well as getting some new faces in the mix,” Hadley said. “But everyone on our team contributes. It’s the truth.”

The Wild Women will look to put together all of the pieces against Cavanaugh and come out on top with a statement victory.

“We have the talent. We have the heart,” Hadley said. “Now we just need some good football.”

The two undefeated squads will face off at Riehle Fields Thursday at 8 p.m.

PW vs. Pangborn

Pangborn (0-1) hopes to rebound from an opening loss with a victory over Pasquerilla West (1-0) Thursday.

“We were disappointed in our first game’s loss, but it was a very even match and we are looking forward to our next game,” Pangborn sophomore captain Julie Cooney said. “Our team has meshed incredibly well. We aren’t worried about bouncing back.”

At the center of the Phoxes offense is junior quarterback Gabby Tate, who will lead a high octane passing attack. All-purpose senior Megan Bescher and sophomore wide receiver Liz Pawlak will be on the receiving end of Tate’s passes.

Opposing Tate and company will be an outstanding Pasquerilla West defense, which used multiple fourth down stands against Ryan last week to preserve a 14-7 victory.

The Purple Weasels defense, led by senior linebacker Cynthia Curley and senior defensive back Alyssa Moya, will focus on shutting down the Phoxes’ aerial attack.

The Pasquerilla West offense not only hopes to continue the success it had with option football last week, but also find more balance through the air.

“Our passing game is only going to continue to develop. We have six or seven very athletic receivers and our quarterback, junior Simone Bigi, is gaining more confidence with each throw,” Pasquerilla West senior captain Cynthia Curley said. “We know we can run, but we know we can pass and catch too. Pangborn will not see a one-dimensional offense on Thursday, and that may be difficult to adjust to.”

Both teams promise to bring plenty of intensity to this game and hope to come out on top.

“We are going to come out with the same intensity from the start and ensure it’s carried on throughout the game,” Cooney said. “We will play to the end and hopefully come out with a victory.”

Pasquerilla West takes on Pangborn on Thursday night at 9 p.m. at Riehle Field in a game that will see plenty of passing, well-executed plays, and defensive stands.