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Women’s Interhall: Shamrocks repeat as interhall champions

By Mary Green | Monday, November 19, 2012

The women’s interhall championship between No. 2 McGlinn and No. 4 Walsh on Sunday at Notre Dame Stadium came down to a final play. Needing one point to tie it up and force overtime, Walsh (6-3) could not make the conversion, and McGlinn (8-1) took home the trophy for the second consecutive year with a 13-12 victory.

Both sides anxiously watched the decisive play unfold as Walsh senior quarterback and captain Kat Leach threw to sophomore receiver Kathleen Brown on the goal line. Although Brown caught the pass, officials ruled it incomplete because Brown was down before she made the catch. The Wild Women’s captain vehemently argued the call, but it stood.

“Obviously, it was a tough call at the end and I disagreed, but I respect all the refs,” Leach said. “[It was a] tough one to take, but I was unbelievably proud [of Walsh] at the end.”

That goal-line stop opened the floodgates for celebration from the McGlinn sideline, and the team finished the game in a victory formation. Shamrocks senior quarterback and captain Emily Golden said she finally felt her team’s hard work pay off at the end of the game.

“We worked so hard for this, and the season obviously couldn’t have ended any better,” Golden said. “All the tough games and the long practices and sacrificing some studying sometimes were just to get out here and get this, so it means a lot.”

After a scoreless first quarter, McGlinn jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a three-yard touchdown pass from Golden to freshman receiver Grace Maginn to close the first half. The Shamrocks added seven more points on their first drive of the second half with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Golden to Maginn.

Walsh responded on its next drive, putting six points on the board with a fourth-down, 13-yard rushing touchdown by Leach. Two sacks in the following series forced the Shamrocks to punt with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, which gave Walsh one final possession to keep their title’s hopes alive.

Three short passes from Leach to sophomore receiver Maggie Fisher, along with a 19-yard completion to sophomore receiver Kathleen Hough, drove the Wild Women down the field.. After two incompletions from the six-yard line, Leach connected with an open Fisher for a touchdown, which decreased Walsh’s deficit to one point.

Both sidelines anxiously awaited the ensuing extra-point attempt, the determining factor between overtime and a McGlinn victory.

“I thought for sure it was going to overtime,” Golden said. “I mean, I have all the faith in the world in our defense and they got the stop and saved the day for us as they’ve done all season long, but I was sweating bullets.”

The official ruling of an incomplete pass froze the score at 13-12, and the Shamrocks closed out a hard-fought victory. The win was especially special for the McGlinn seniors, including Golden, who accumulated 357 yards of total offense in the game.

“This was the most amazing season.” she said. “I’m sad it’s over, but we couldn’t have gone out on a bigger high.”

On the other sideline, Walsh was disappointed with the finish but prepared to contend again in 2013. Leach, who piled up 112 yards of offense, said the Wild Women have officially returned to the interhall title picture.

“We just proved that Walsh isn’t an up-and-comer,” she said. “They’ve been here to play the entire season, and they’ve been so phenomenal…it’s something that I will always look back on fondly as being a part of my senior year.”

Contact Mary Green at mgreen8@nd.edu