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Women’s Interhall: Chaos look to best Phoxes and diverse offense

By Observer Sports Writers | Friday, November 8, 2013

 

By ALEX CARSON

Sports Writer

No. 3 Pangborn and No. 6 Cavanaugh will compete for a spot in the semifinals when they meet in Sunday’s quarterfinal matchup.

The Phoxes (5-0-1) rode a two-quarterback system throughout the regular season. Juniors Caitlin Gargan and Elizabeth Quinn split time this year calling the signals.

“We’ve had a lot of success using [Gargan and Quinn] and spreading the ball around,” senior captain and offensive lineman Mary Kate Veselik said. “We have a lot of great receivers and offensive weapons.”

While the Pangborn offense might be flashier, its defense is just as strong, having only surrendering 20 points all season.

“Defensively, we’ve had success using some different schemes,” Veselik said. “[Sophomore] defensive lineman Molly Cullinan has been a big part of that success.”

The Chaos (3-3) will enter the game looking to pull off a bit of an upset over undefeated Pangborn

“We’re just focusing on looking at all different kinds of special plays or formations we might see and ways to combat those strategies,” Ayers said. “We’re looking at things outside of our comfort zone.”

Cavanaugh’s charge to the playoffs has been a team effort, Ayers said.

“We’ve had lots of freshmen step up after some injuries, and everyone has been playing her part,” Ayers said. “Junior quarterback Samantha Flores will continue to be a key part of our offense.”

Pangborn and Cavanaugh will meet Sunday at 5 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Contact Alex Carson at acarson1@nd.edu

Lyons vs. Ryan 

By ZACH KLONSINSKI

Sports Writer

The excitement of playoff football arrives this Sunday, as No. 7 Lyons and No. 2 Ryan meet to move one step closer to Notre Dame Stadium.

The Lions (3-3) had to wait almost a full month since playing their last game to see if they would even make the playoffs.

“Everyone’s been asking every day, ‘Did we make playoffs?'” senior receiver, safety and captain Christina Bramanti said. “I was really happy to send out that email saying, ‘Yes.'”

The Lions are a young team led by the play of freshman quarterback Kristen Lombardo and freshman cornerback and receiver Taylor Sears. 

“We’ve got some strength in the freshmen,” Bramanti said. “They get out there and take care of business both offensively and defensively.” 

The Wildcats (5-0-1) are led by freshman twins Kathleen and Clare Conaty at quarterback and running back, respectively, and a defense that did not allow a point until the fourth game of the season. 

Senior captain and receiver Maddie Swan said she believes the team is ready for playoff competition.

“I think that the atmosphere will be a little bit more intense, but I think that we’ll be able to handle it,” Swan said. “Our closest game of the season was with Pangborn, and that was definitely a high-strung, intense game, so hopefully that gave us a little taste of more important games.”

Both teams look to stay alive in the title chase when they meet at LaBar Fields on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Contact Zach Klonsinski at zklonsin@nd.edu

Pasquerilla East vs. Howard 

By ANDREW EISENREICH

Sports Writer

With its first winning season in over three years, No. 4 Pasquerilla East heads into the quarterfinals of the playoffs eager to gain a win versus No. 5 Howard. 

Lead by junior dual-threat quarterback Macy Mulhall, the Pyros (5-1) will face off against the defensively sound Ducks (4-2). With Mulhall at the helm, Pasquerilla East features a diverse offense, complete with a solid run game, an electrifying passing attack and Boise State-like trick plays. 

Senior co-captain Caroline Kuse said she is simply happy to be in the playoffs for the first time. 

“The season has been phenomenal,” Kuse said. “I never would have expected we would be so successful.”  

Plagued by injuries during the regular season, Howard is looking to regain full strength and play a solid game Sunday.  

On defense, the Ducks have been dominant, senior captain Claire Robinson said, thanks to the contributions from several players.

“Everyone pitches in,” Robinson said. “I think that is what’s made Howard so strong so far.”  

Competing in separate divisions, neither team has much insight on the other, but both captains said they expect formidable challenges. Despite the two teams’ differences, each has agreed to sing the Alma Mater if it loses.  

The Ducks and Pyros will duel Sunday at 6 p.m. at LaBar Fields.  

Contact Andrew Eisenreich at aeisenre@nd.edu

 

Pasquerilla West  vs. Welsh Family 

By MEGAN WINKEL

Sports Writer

As the season comes to an end, the championship is in near sight for No. 1 Pasquerilla West and No. 8 Welsh Family.

Welsh Family senior captain and linebacker Carissa Henke said she believes the Whirlwinds (2-4) can hold its own if it plays to its full potential. 

“[Pasquerilla West] is going to be a tough battle because it hasn’t lost a game yet, but we have potential to surprise some people,” Henke said. “We plan to come out and show what we’re made of, and hopefully play our best game yet and get a win.”

The Purple Weasels (6-0) enter the playoffs as the top seed.

“It feels good coming out of the season undefeated, but every game is a new game, and we can’t just focus on our past wins,” senior captain and linebacker Breezi Toole said. “We have to take it one game at a time and hopefully make it all the way to the championship.” 

Pasquerilla West and Welsh Family will meet 4 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Fields.  

Contact Megan Winkel at mwinkel@nd.edu