Women’s Interhall Football: Howard looking for undefeated season
Chris Allen | Wednesday, November 11, 2009
For a small residence hall like Howard, success in interhall football is hard to come by. Howard houses around 150 girls, nearly 100 less than many of the dorms they compete against.
Nonetheless, the Ducks have battled against those odds this season, not only making the playoffs but also compiling a perfect 7-0 record. Junior captain and quarterback Kayla Bishop doesn’t think being undefeated entering the playoffs adds any pressure to her team.
“This is a dorm that’s never even won a playoff game so we’ve already kind of made history,” Bishop said. “At this point we are just trying to finish the season strong, because we’ve already surpassed our goals. Being undefeated doesn’t add any pressure.”
The Ducks defeated Cavanaugh 13-6 in the quarterfinals and will face Walsh in the semifinals. They are in awe of the opportunities their successful season has brought them.
“[Playing in the Stadium] would be so special,” Bishop said. “Especially for us because it’s something the dorm hasn’t experienced.”
If Howard wins Sunday and gets to the finals, their opponent might be another team chasing an unblemished record, Pasquerilla West. The Purple Weasels have won two titles in the past five years, and are used to success. They don’t put any extra stock in chasing a perfect record.
“We kind of knew that the season would be preparation for the playoffs,” senior captain Cynthia Curley said. “We realized there was a target on our backs because our dorm has had a lot of success. Every playoff game there is a lot of intensity, so being undefeated doesn’t particularly add to it.”
Without a loss to their record, the two teams have had to look in unconventional places for lessons in overcoming the adversity that will inevitably come with a long playoff run.
Bishop said a nail-biting matchup against perennial powerhouse and larger dorm Welsh Family was a character-building game for her team.
“When we played Welsh [Family] it was a tight game the whole way through,” Bishop said. “It really made us dig deep and figure out just what we were capable of early on in the season.”
Curley remembered a game earlier in the season where her Purple Weasels battled not only Pangborn, their opponent in the semifinals this weekend, but also the elements.
“We have a little bit of a history with Pangborn ever since we beat them in the championship, and there was a Thursday night game against them in the pouring rain,” Curley said. “The ball was slippery, there was no traction. It was a big struggle for our offense. It was 0-0 the whole game and then we scored in the final minute. Every moment was high pressure and we really came together.”
Both Howard and Pasquerilla West, despite being undefeated, are battle-tested, and while both teams chase perfect records, their focus is squarely on winning a championship.