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Women’s Interhall: Cavanaugh narrowly beats Walsh with one play

Observer Sports Writers | Monday, September 17, 2012

Sports Writer

In a defensive struggle between two tough teams, Cavanaugh snuck by Walsh to earn a 7-0 victory.

Although both sides displayed first-game jitters early, both the Chaos (1-0) and the Wild Women (0-1) showed flashes of midseason form.

“Defense has always been our core, and we definitely picked up where we left off last year,” Cavanaugh senior quarterback Rosemary Kelly said.

Cavanaugh junior linebacker Meghan Ayers and senior cornerback Michelle Young gave Walsh’s offense fits and prevented the Wild Women from moving the ball through the air. Young had several pass breakups and an interception that ended Walsh’s deepest drive.

On the other side, the Walsh defense prevented prolonged drives, as the Wild Women received constant pressure from a stout defensive line and strong play from sophomore cornerback Molly Johnson.

Cavanaugh could not break through until Ayers’ punt return gave it the ball deep in Walsh territory in the second half. Kelly connected on several passes to move the Chaos to the red zone, and the senior quarterback powered it in herself for the game’s first points.

“I really thought our offense picked it up in the second half,” Kelly said. “[Sophomore running back] Olivia Dietzel was great running the ball, and our [offensive line] was great too.”

The touchdown was all the Chaos needed, as Walsh could not respond. Despite the loss, the Wild Women were far from discouraged.

“We have a very young team with a lot of sophomores contributing,” Johnson said. “It’s a great team, and we are working really hard.”

Walsh will try to rebound next Sunday against Breen-Phillips, while Cavanaugh will attempt to build on its win when it faces Lyons tonight.

Contact Casey Karnes at wkarnes@nd.edu

McGlinn 8, Pasquerilla East 0
Sports Writer

Backed by its stout defense, McGlinn defeated Pasquerilla East 8-0 on Sunday in each squad’s season opener.

McGlinn’s defense started out the game strong, as the unit made several early stops for the Shamrocks (1-0). The Shamrocks took the early lead with a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Emily Golden to senior receiver Katie Ritter. Sophomore receiver Emma Collis contributed heavily to the Shamrock offense with multiple catches throughout the game. A late safety by the Shamrocks secured the final points of the game, bringing the score to 8-0.

“Defense won us the game,” Golden said. “This was a good confidence booster. We were a little off on the offense, but, once we get clicking, we will be deadly.”

“The team looked good and sharp,” senior coach Derek Wolf added. “There was great energy.”

In a sloppy third quarter, the Pyros (0-1) took the ball with an interception by freshman Amy Rizzo. The Shamrocks, however, intercepted the ball right back on an excellent catch by sophomore Laura Thomas.

The Pyros showed promise in the fourth quarter with back-to-back sacks by sophomore Liz Zolper and junior Caroline Kuse. Pyros sophomore receiver Nicole Ameli provided a late spark for the offense when she made an outstanding grab far downfield.  

“The team was on fire,” Ameli said. “We’re ready for next week and we’re all excited.”

Sophomore quarterback Macy Mullhall said she was confident and focused on the team’s main goals.

“We like short-term goals, but we definitely have one long-term goal: the Stadium,” Mulhall said.

McGlinn hopes to remain undefeated when it plays Pangborn next Sunday, while Pasquerilla East will look to pull off its first win against Lewis the same day.

Contact Meg Handelman at mhandelm@nd.edu

Pasquerilla West 14, Badin 0
Sports Writer

In a tough defensive battle, Pasquerilla West made more stops, as it shut down Badin’s dynamic receivers en route to a 14-0 victory.

The Purple Weasels (1-0) faced a challenge in the Bullfrogs’ receiving corps, but senior captain Meghan Schmitt said her team was ready with a game plan.

“We knew they had a couple of good receivers, so we wanted to be able to adjust and not just have one set defense,” Schmitt said.

The defensive strategy worked, as the Purple Weasel defense shut out the Bullfrogs (0-1). Schmitt said she was excited about her players’ execution of the team’s strategy.

“I think our defense was unstoppable,” Schmitt said. “They got two or three first downs, but they were really on our penalties. We were too aggressive.”

Aggressiveness was key to the Purples Weasels’ success on offense. Sophomore quarterback Lauren Vidal showed off her powerful arm and fearlessness, as she did not hesitate to make a long pass or throw into coverage.

Although Badin went into the game prepared with set plays, senior quarterback Tommasina Domel said the Purple Weasels’ defense caught on fast. Despite the loss, Domel found positives in her team’s performance.

“We had a very specific strategy, and their defense was well set-up for us … But our defense was really strong,” Domel said.

Senior defensive lineman Margaret Bellon said she was proud of the defense’s effort but noted some areas where it could improve.

“Our defense was really good today,” Bellon said. “We need more strategy. Our girls are all good athletes, and we just need to adjust better.”

Pasquerilla West will return to the field tonight to play Breen-Phillips, while Badin will look for its first win when it takes on Lyons next Sunday.

Howard 20, Lyons 0
Combining a strong passing attack with talented receivers, Howard rode its offense to a 20-0 victory over Lyons on Sunday night.

Junior quarterback Clare Robinson threw three touchdown passes for the Ducks (1-0), with two of those passes coming as she ran from an aggressive Lyons pass-rush. Robinson said she was comfortable improvising her offensive plays.

“We hadn’t heard much about Lyons coming in, so we focused on what we could build,” Robinson said. “It worked out pretty well, and we got some different receivers in there.”

Howard’s receivers displayed the ability to create plays as well. On one play, junior receiver Amelia Vojt received an unexpected pitch that left her with an open field.

Lyons (0-1) received contributions from several receivers but failed to capitalize on its offensive opportunities, as it was shut out.

On the other end, the Lyons defense stayed aggressive to the final whistle. In the fourth quarter, sophomore Sabine Mosal intercepted a pass in the end zone, but Howard got the ball back after a referee flagged another Lyons defensive lineman for illegal contact.

Senior captain Christina Bramanti said the call was confusing.

“At first, he said it was pass interference, but then he called illegal contact because [the ball] wasn’t going to her,” Bramanti said. “It was across the field.”

To make matters worse, Mosal injured her ankle trying to stay in bounds on the play. Despite the loss, Bramanti said her team could adjust and bounce back.

“Because it’s our first game, and it’s a very young team, we had girls change positions from where they started the game,” Bramanti said. “We need to reposition girls where they fit better.”

Both teams will meet Cavanaugh in their next matchups. Lyons will face Cavanaugh tonight, while Howard will take on the Chaos next Sunday.

Contact Samantha Zuba at szuba@nd.edu

Welsh Family 12, Lewis 0
Sports Writer

In a battle of talented senior quarterbacks, Welsh Family came out on top, defeating Lewis 12-0 in the season opener for both teams.

On the first possession of the game, Welsh Family senior quarterback Victoria Moreno found sophomore receiver Natalie Branch for the team’s first touchdown.  At the end of the first half, Branch added to her offensive output, as she caught the second touchdown for the Whirlwinds (1-0).

Despite her success on the offensive end, Branch was quick to give credit to her team’s defense.

“Although I am on offense, the defense did a really good job today,” Branch said. “They shut them out. It was really impressive.”

Lewis (0-1) struggled to keep its quarterback protected from Welsh Family, which sacked senior quarterback Connaught Blood multiple times in the first half. Despite the general offensive struggles, Blood still completed many passes to her receivers.

Blood took the blame for the offense’s difficulties, saying she hadn’t fully prepared the unit for the game.

“I blame myself for the offense not really having it together,” Blood said.

On defense, Lewis (0-1) held Welsh Family to two touchdowns in the first half.

“We have great defensive unity,” Lewis sophomore safety Amarpreet Rai said.

As both teams are fairly young, players on both sides said they were excited to see how underclassmen would contribute to the team.

“We are loaded with freshmen,” Blood said. “It’s exciting to see how they will do.” Branch also commented on the youth of the Welsh Family team.

“We are pretty young,” Branch said. “We graduated a lot of people last year.”

Lewis looked to earn its first win Monday night against McGlinn, while Welsh Family will try to keep its undefeated record intact when it faces Ryan next Sunday.

Pangborn 20, Farley 0
Pangborn received strong efforts on both sides of the ball on its way to crushing Farley in a 20-0 victory Sunday afternoon.

Farley (0-1) started with the ball but soon ran into trouble on the offensive end, as the Finest began the game with three incomplete passes.

As Pangborn (1-0) took possession of the ball, the duo of sophomore quarterback Caitlin Gargan and senior receiver Meredith Angell led the Phoxes’ offense and soon proved to be unstoppable.

On Pangborn’s first possession, Gargan made a long run to the end zone, putting the Phoxes on the board. In the next series, Farley received two penalties and struggled to get into a rhythm.

“We need to get more coordinated and more in sync,” Farley junior quarterback Lauren Ladowski said. “We are still figuring who goes where.”

On the last play of the first half, Gargan ripped off an almost 70-yard run and scored Pangborn’s second touchdown. The Phoxes suffered two false starts on their attempt at an extra point and failed to make the conversion.

At the end of the third quarter the Phoxes found the end zone once more, as Angell snagged a touchdown pass.

“I felt pretty exhilarated,” Angell said.  “I was so excited to score for my team.”

Farley senior captain Courtney Currier said the Finest were looking forward to getting in more practice time and making necessary improvements.

“We just need to tighten up our offense with crisp routes and confidence,” Currier said.

Farley looked to get its first win of the season against Ryan Monday night, while Pangborn will try to remain undefeated when it meets McGlinn next Sunday.

Contact Sarah Connors at sconnor1@nd.edu