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Women’s Interhall: Shamrocks play Walsh to earn playoff berth

Laura Coletti, Ian Garrahy, Tori Roeck and Connor Kelly | Friday, October 8, 2010

McGlinn’s objective is simple this Sunday, as a win over Walsh will secure a playoff berth for the Shamrocks. They will get the chance to complete a strong regular season as the winless Wild Women try to play spoiler.

“I think the season has been good so far,” senior captain Gillian Allsup said. “Our goal every year is playoffs, so we need to win this weekend to accomplish that.”

In order to achieve their goal, the Shamrocks (2-1) are taking extra time this week in practice to make sure they are finishing plays both offensively and defensively, and are working on being able to adapt to in-game situations as they read how their opponent is playing. McGlinn is coming off a bye week and is hungry to be back in action.

Walsh (0-3) will be a tough opponent for McGlinn, as they strive to prevent a winless season after reaching the semifinals last season.

“Despite our losing record, our team has continued to play hard and put our full heart and body into games,” senior captain Amy Langnecker said.

The Wild Women pride themselves in teamwork and dorm unity and will be looking to their close-knit chemistry to help them emerge victorious over the Shamrocks.

“While we haven’t achieved what we hoped we would, an undefeated season,” Langnecker said. “We have overcome many obstacles and achieved what, in the end, is really important about women’s interhall football: dorm unity.”

The Wild Women have also seen encouraging things from their team as the season has progressed, as they have developed a real identity as a team with passion and love for the game and each other.

“Our team has a lot of talent and athletic ability, but we have struggled in putting everything together at games,” Langnecker said. “We have had blown plays and missed tackles, but have been focusing on these things during the past week of practice.”

The battle between playoff hopefuls and a team hungry for a win will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m. at LaBar Field.

Ryan vs. Welsh Family

The newest divisional rivalry on campus will square off in each team’s final game of the season on Sunday as Ryan faces Welsh Family with both teams needing a win and some help to secure a spot in the postseason.

The Wildcats (1-2) are coming off a 32-7 loss against undefeated Pasquerilla West while the Whirlwind (1-2) are hoping to carry their momentum into this Sunday from their first win last weekend against winless Walsh by a score of 20-6. Both squads look to capture their second wins to end the regular sea son, and earn a possible playoff berth depending on score differentials.

In the absence of the Wildcats senior captain Claire Fisher this weekend, sophomore quarterback Maya Pillai and the rest of her team hope to fill the void and end the season with a win.

“We’re looking to finish the season with a win. We’re hoping to pick up the intensity on both sides of the ball,” Pillai said. “In practice, we’ve been practicing just getting better at what we’ve been learning this season.”

After only scoring seven points last week against Pasquerilla West, Pillai and the rest of the offense hope to put some more points up against a stingy Whirlwind defense that only allowed six points last week. The Whirlwinds are hoping to carry their momentum from their first win last weekend and to finish the season with two straight victories.

“We’re very excited about the results of last weekend. We hope to carry the momentum to Sunday,” Whirlwind senior captain Cari Pick said. “We’re really hoping to win because that will give us a chance for the playoffs, but either way we hope to end the season strong and leave the returning players on the right note.”

The Whirlwinds square off against the Wildcats at 4 p.m. at LaBar Field this Sunday in each team’s final game of the regular season. In pursuit of the playoffs, the teams will battle in a do-or-die scenario.

Lewis vs. Pangborn

A playoff berth is on the line in this weekend’s showdown between Lewis and Pangborn, as the winner will move onto the playoffs while the loser will need to light a candle at the Grotto, praying for a wildcard spot.

Both teams earned much-needed wins last week to put themselves in position to punch a playoff ticket. The Chicks (2-1) come into this matchup after destroying Badin last week 25-6, cementing the Bullfrogs’ winless season, while the Phoxes (2-1) shut out the Pyros 19-0.

“Our receivers did a great job of reading the [Pyros’] defense,” Pangborn senior captain and quarterback Gabby Tate said. “We have smart, talented players on offense. Our no huddle offense keeps the defense on their toes.”

Lewis senior captain Sarah Ceponis was also pleased with the Chicks’ performance last week.

“The team was very enthusiastic and energetic which got us far,” Ceponis said. “We have a phenomenal offense, and the new players are working very hard.”

Both teams are trying to carry over the momentum from last week’s wins to this week’s crucial contest.

“Our team motto is ‘Play with intensity,’ and we’re trying to keep that up,” Ceponis said.

Pangborn will attempt to match the Chicks’ intensity and control the tempo of the game.

“Our strategy is to dictate the pace of the game and keep our energy up,” Tate said.

“We also want to stay calm and confident.”

Because playoff berths are on the line, pressure becomes a factor in this weekend’s game, but the teams are not letting it affect them.

“Our strategy is to be fearless,” Ceponis said. “There is a lot on the line, but we hope to play our game and not be intimidated. Pangborn should expect a tough game from us.”

Tate views the contest the same way.

“We are approaching this game like any other,” Tate said. “But we might wear a little more eye black and cheer a little bit louder.”

Lewis will face Pangborn in a battle for the playoffs Sunday at 2 p.m. at LaBar Field.

Howard vs. Pasquerilla East

Defending interhall champion Howard has shown no signs of slowing down in their quest to repeat. The Ducks look to cap off a second straight undefeated regular season as they face off against a scrappy Pasquerilla East squad.

Although the Ducks (3-0) have been dominant through their first three games, outscoring opponents 65-13, Pasquerilla East junior captain Kristin Mannion believes that the Pyros (1-2) have more than a fighting chance.

“They’re obviously the defending champs, so we know what to expect,” Mannion said. “We know that they have a great quarterback, and the key will be getting containment on her. “

The Ducks are led by senior captain Kayla Bishop, who gives credit to her stout defense for the team’s strong start.

“The key has been our defense getting containment of both the pass and the run and getting our offense the ball,” Bishop said.

That defense will be tested by a Pyros offense that has shown flashes of solid play so far this season despite managing only 13 points through the first three games. The Pyros are coming off a 19-0 defeat by Pangborn and should be hungry for a statement win against the Ducks.

“We’ve drawn up a couple new plays on offense, and our defense has been one of the bright spots to the season thus far, showing how promising they can be, ” Mannion said.

“The key will really be playing under control and getting containment on their quarterback.”

For Howard, the key, according to Bishop, will be to continue to follow the formula that has the Ducks undefeated three games into the season.

“PE is solid on both sides of the ball and should be a good test,” Bishop said. “We just have to go out and play our game.”

The game will be contested at LaBar Field at 2 p.m. Sunday.