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Women’s Interhall: McGlinn falls short in tight semifinal game

Matt Unger and Joseph Monardo | Thursday, November 4, 2010

One yard short — that describes how close McGlinn came to earning a last minute victory over Pasquerilla West Tuesday night in the women’s B-league semifinal game.

The Purple Weasels defense stopped Shamrock freshman wide receiver Mary Clare Houlihan at the one-yard line on a three-point conversion after she caught a pass from freshman quarterback Melanie Mines and held on for a 14-12 win.

“It was a unanimous decision by our players to go for it,” McGlinn junior coach James Moore said of his decision to go for the win. “We just came up a little short.”

The call followed a 60-yard touchdown pass from Mines to Houlihan, who beat two Pasquerilla West defenders to get open downfield.

Highlighted by the game-ending stop, the Purple Weasel defense proved key in the outcome of the game, picking off two McGlinn passes, including an interception by freshman Katie Heit which she returned 50 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Pasquerilla West lead.

“It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time after our pass rush forced an errant throw,” Heit said.

The defense also stopped McGlinn freshman wide receiver Kelsey Fink at the three-yard line as time expired in the first half, preserving a 7-6 lead.

The Purple Weasel’s lone shortcoming was preventing the big play, which kept McGlinn in the game. Mines completed two long passes to Houlihan, one for a 79-yard touchdown to cut the Weasel lead to 7-6 in the first half and the other the 60-yard touchdown in the game’s final minute.

But the highlights weren’t enough for McGlinn as the

Pasquerilla West offense delivered late in the second half with a touchdown to put the Purple Weasels ahead 14-6. Freshman quarterback Liz Arevalo completed a five-yard pass to freshman running back Tori Creighton for the touchdown. The scoring play capped a six-play, 45-yard drive, spearheaded by Creighton and the Purple Weasel running game.

With the win, Pasquerilla West advances to face Welsh Family at 1 p.m on Sunday at LaBar for the women’s B-league championship.

Welsh Family 6, Cavanaugh 0

The B-League women’s interhall playoffs began Tuesday night with Welsh Family pulling out a 6-0 victory over Cavanaugh in a defensive showdown.

The overwhelmingly defensive tone of the game was established on the first drive, when Cavanaugh (3-1-1) sophomore linebacker Caitlin Desmond snatched a one-handed interception, the first of the Chaos’ two interceptions on the day. The Cavanaugh defense also forced three turnovers-on-downs in the game, all of them coming in the second half.

Not to be outdone, the Whirlwinds (4-0-1) recorded eight turnovers on the night, including six interceptions, two of which were pulled in by freshman defensive back Jill Briody.

Cavanaugh junior quarterback Steph Sirianni was hurried all night by the relentless Whirlwind front line.

“On defense, obviously, the interceptions helped,” Welsh Family sophomore linebacker Elizabeth Pallante said. “Keeping the pressure on the quarterback allowed us to do that.”

The only score of the night was the result of a defensive play, when Welsh Family freshman linebacker Carissa Henke brought an interception back for a touchdown early in the second half.

With a lead to defend, the Whirlwinds recorded a key stop on fourth down to end Cavanaugh’s longest drive of the night with only minutes left in the game. For the Chaos, it was a disappointing end to a disappointing season. With only nine teams in the women’s B-League, not all of which were able to field a full team every week, finding enough teams to play in the regular season was the main problem.

“We went into the season with big hopes about having a strong B-League that we could play in,” sophomore defensive lineman Tegan Chapman said. “We only played one and a half games because all the other teams forfeited. So we didn’t really have an opportunity to improve our game or to really have strong competition.”

None of Welsh Family’s opponents forfeited.

“I think [the season] turned out pretty well,” Pallante said.

“Being on a B team let us come together better than we would have all on the A team.”

That team unity is one of the reasons that the Whirlwinds will be playing in the championship game Sunday against Pasquerilla.