Women’s Interhall: McGlinn captures title with 13-6 win over Chaos
Brian Hartnett | Sunday, November 20, 2011
In a matchup of high-powered offensives, defense proved to be the deciding factor as No. 6 McGlinn’s defense slowed No. 1 Cavanaugh’s passing attack to claim the women’s interhall championship, 13-6.
Cavanaugh (8-1) received the ball first and looked to utilize its strong passing set, but a series of incompletions and untimely penalties forced a three-and-out.
McGlinn (7-2) started with good field position and used a series of strong runs and short passes by senior captain and quarterback Lauren Miller to move quickly down the field. Miller, narrowly evading pressure from Cavanaugh’s defensive line, then connected with senior receiver Kate Tucker on a 12-yard touchdown pass to give the Shamrocks a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish.
After stopping Cavanaugh deep in Chaos territory, McGlinn again utilized field position to its advantage. The Shamrocks needed only two plays to move 46 yards to the end zone, as Miller completed a 29-yard pass before she found Tucker again in the left corner of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass.
“I just put the ball where I thought Kate was going to be, but Kate was really the one who worked for both of those touchdowns,” Miller said. “She got up there and made both of those clutch plays, [even] though she was double-covered on both plays.”
Cavanaugh looked to strike for a quick touchdown to end the half, but McGlinn junior safety Caitlin Day intercepted Chaos senior quarterback Rebecca Cink’s pass to keep Cavanaugh scoreless at the half.
“I think it was hard for us to get behind early, especially when they had a really good quarterback,” Cavanaugh senior captain and defensive back Maggie Fahrenbach said. “Starting off rocky in the first half definitely put more pressure on our offense.”
Cavanaugh looked poised to turn the game around in the second half, as junior cornerback Rosemary Kelly intercepted Miller on the second play of the half. The Chaos had a first-and-goal, but were quickly stopped by the Shamrock defense, which twice stymied the Chaos within the two-yard line to force a turnover on downs.
“It was the most clutch play our team has had all year,” Miller said.
Despite the deflating goal-line stand, Cavanaugh managed to keep the game very close. The Chaos scored on their next possession, with Cink hitting senior receiver Megan Robertson for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
McGlinn turned the ball over on downs on its next possession, giving Cavanaugh the ball with two minutes left on the clock at midfield. The Chaos, however, were not able to capitalize, as a long fourth-down pass from Cink to senior receiver Brittni Alexander fell incomplete, sealing the win and the championship for the Shamrocks.
The loss was a difficult way to conclude Cavanaugh’s season, but Fahrenbach remained proud of her team’s effort.
“They were just able to throw the ball deep on us, since they had good receivers and a quarterback who threw some beautiful passes,” Fahrenbach said. “But, I think we were able to bring it back in the second half, and we played our hearts out as best we could.”
For McGlinn, the game represented a perfect conclusion to a great year, especially for the team’s seniors, who will leave Notre Dame with two interhall championships.
“We had the trophy in the hall three years ago, and we’re glad to finally have it back,” Miller said. “We’re really excited that the seniors get to go out on top and that the younger girls get to experience how much fun it can be to win in the Stadium.”
Contact Brian Hartnett at firstname.lastname@example.org