Women’s Interhall: McGlinn looks to end Ryan’s undefeated season
Observer Sports Writers | Friday, October 28, 2011
By BRIAN HARTNETT
Ryan looks to finish off an undefeated regular season and possibly secure a No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs when it takes on McGlinn Sunday night.
Ryan (5-0) has enjoyed great success in only its third year of interhall competition, as the Wildcats are one of the two undefeated teams in the league. Versatile junior quarterback Maya Pillai leads an explosive Ryan offense that has scored at least 27 points in every contest so far.
“Having played the full season last year, Maya has a lot of good experience,” senior captain and running back Brianna Curtis said. “It also helps that she is both a running and passing threat.”
Although a three-week break could be seen as a momentum killer, Curtis said the team benefited from the layoff.
“We had some injuries, so the break allowed us to heal up and be ready for Sunday,” Curtis said.
McGlinn (4-1) comes into the game also eager to improve its playoff prospects. The Shamrocks currently sit at second place in the Gold Division standings, one game behind Ryan.
The Shamrocks have relied on a strong defense and late game heroics, as their last two wins have come in the final two minutes of the game.
“We have had a very stout defense all year long,” senior captain and quarterback Lauren Miller said. “This has allowed us to stay in games and give our offense better chances to score.”
Miller said that the team plans to stick to its usual defensive game plan and focus on finding any way to win on offense, relying on veterans like senior receiver Kate Tucker.
“We are anxious to play again,” Miller said. “We see this game as a chance to gain momentum going into the playoffs.”
This battle of the two playoff-bound teams will take place 6 p.m. on Sunday at LaBar Fields.
Contact Brian Hartnett at bhartnet@nd,edu
Cavanaugh vs. Howard
By ERNST CLEOFE
Faced with the regular season’s last week, Howard looks to keep its playoff hopes alive, while undefeated Cavanaugh looks to fine-tune itself before the playoffs begin.
Cavanaugh (5-0) comes into the game undefeated with a spot secured in next week’s playoffs. But the Chaos look to perform well in this game in order to shake off the rust from an extended break between games.
“I think it’s important with such a long break because of fall break and midterms to get back into things,” Cavanaugh senior captain Maggie Fahrenbach said. “It would be great to have a win and be undefeated going into playoffs undefeated.”
Cavanaugh will also use this week to work on a few new schemes to prepare for the uncertainty of the playoffs, Fahrenbach said.
“Defensively, we want to implement a new defense so we have options against the different offenses we might see in the playoffs,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ducks (2-3) need a couple of games to fall in their favor to have a shot at the playoffs, but it all starts with a win against Cavanaugh, senior captain Jenny Gassner said.
“If we win it’ll give us a chance,” Gassner said. “We’re going to have to play as good as we’ve played all year and better.”
Led by a strong defense, the Ducks hope that by improving on offense they can reel in a crucial win.
“We’re working on implementing a new offense in practice,” Gassner said. “And our biggest weakness was our energy and not playing up to what we can.”
The two teams will meet with Howard pushing for the playoffs and Cavanaugh looking to smooth the kinks Sunday at 7 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Ernst Cleofe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lewis vs. Walsh
By JONATHAN WARREN
Walsh will look to play spoiler on Sunday in a matchup that could make or break Lewis’ playoff chances.
The Chicks (2-2) are currently tied with Welsh Family in the standings and find themselves just one point behind in the crucial point differential category. Lewis needs some help from Welsh Family to make the cut, but Sunday’s game is a must-win for the Chicks.
“It would be very exciting for us,” senior captain Libby Redline said. “We’ve had a rollercoaster season so far, so to make it to the playoffs would be pretty cool.”
The Chicks are coming off of a blowout loss to Ryan, but hope the break gave the team time to regroup.
“Hopefully everyone used fall break to get over some injuries and rest up,” Redline said. “We’ve been a little scattered because of fall break and midterms, but we’re hoping to pull it all together in practice this week.”
Walsh (0-3-1) will have to stop dynamic junior Lewis quarterback Connaught Blood, who broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run last game, in order to salvage the season.
“It’s been a rough season for us record-wise, but we’ve grown as a team,” Walsh junior captain Lindy Navarre said. “This week we’ll step it up on both offense and defense.”
Junior quarterback Kat Leach and freshman receiver Maggie Fisher are two offensive playmakers who will try to lead the offense to a win over Lewis.
“It’s clear to us the talent we have,” Navarre said. “We’re pretty encouraged to have one last shot [at a win]. Walsh isn’t a dorm to quit or one to back down.”
Walsh will close out its regular season against Lewis on Sunday at 5 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Jonathan Warren at email@example.com
Lyons vs. Welsh Family
By ISAAC LORTON
Lyons and Welsh Family look to solidify their spots in the playoffs Sunday in an intriguing battle of 3-2 teams.
Both the Lyonites (3-2) and the Whirlwinds (3-2) hope to continue their success after the one-week break.
“We want to keep the intensity we had before break for this game, and we want to carry this into the playoffs,” Whirlwinds’ senior captain and receiver Charlotte Seasly said.
The Lyonites are coming off a hard-fought victory over Walsh, which they hope will bridge the stagnant gap caused by the break.
“We were playing great before break and we were doing things right,” Lyonites’ freshman captain Christina Bramanti said. “I just hope the break doesn’t get in the way of that.”
Along with identical records, the Whirlwinds and Lyonites both have offenses that consist of versatile quarterbacks and strong receivers.
However, the Whirlwinds have implemented new schemes into their offense to counter the Lyonites’ attack.
“[Senior] Natalie Baldasare is the best receiver we have, and the connection between her and our quarterback [junior Vicky Moreno] is great,” Seasly said. “About the new stuff we’re adding, I don’t want to give too much away.”
The Lyonites hope to fight off the storming Whirlwinds as they collide Sunday at 5 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Isaac Lorton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Farley vs. Pasquerilla West
By JAMES SOUTHARD
Farley’s suffocating defense looks to contain the high-octane attack of Pasquerilla West in an intriguing matchup between two powerhouses.
Farley (4-1) has only allowed 12 points on the year, riding its defense to a stellar record as it makes a push for a prime playoff seed. However, the Finest have loftier goals in mind.
“Our goal has always been reaching the Stadium,” senior captain Analise Althoff said, “but we’ll try to focus on this last game and not look too far ahead as we return from break and try to get back in our groove.”
But Althoff also knows Farley has a true challenge ahead.
“Pasquerilla West will bring a strong passing game, so we’ll be sure to prepare for long passes,” Althoff said.
Pasquerilla West (4-1) is tied with Farley in the division standings. A win would catapult the Purple Weasels into one of the top positions in the playoffs.
“[Undefeated] Cavanaugh’s a good team, so putting off playing them would be nice,” senior captain Alison Lindeen said. “Being tied with Farley and playing them in the last game of the regular season is big.”
Pasquerilla West has thrived on both sides of the field this season, Lindeen said.
“We’ve been really adaptable on offense,” Lindeen said. “On defense, we stick to our strengths and come up with stops on the ground and against the pass.”
Farley and Pasquerilla West will clash Sunday at 7 p.m. at LaBar Fields with each looking to gain an inside track on playoff seeding.
Contact James Southard at email@example.com
Badin vs. Breen-Phillips
By PETER STEINER
Although the matchup does not feature playoff implications, Badin and Breen-Phillips will face off Sunday in a game that is sure to be filled with passion and excitement.
Both Badin (1-4) and Breen-Phillips (0-5) view Sunday’s game as a chance to finish their disappointing seasons with a victory. According to senior captain Maria Lynch, the Babes will have to put all the pieces together to come out on top.
“We really want to go out on a good note and play our best in every facet of the game,” Lynch said.
While the Babes have had some bright moments this season, including scoring for the first time in two years, they want nothing more than to add a win to their record, Lynch said.
“With how wide open this season has been, surprises can happen, and we want to surprise them,” Lynch said.
The Bullfrogs have only one win, but according to senior captain Sylvia Banda, the players view this final game as the culmination of their improvement this season and an opportunity to enjoy themselves.
“It’s our last game and we just want to have fun,” Banda said. “We are just going to go out there and give it our all.”
This regular season finale will take place Sunday at 6 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Peter Steiner at firstname.lastname@example.org