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Women’s Interhall: Pasquerillas face off in rivalry showdown

By Observer Sports Writers | Friday, November 15, 2013

By REBECCA ROGALSKI

Sports Writer 

As playoffs continue Sunday, Mod Quad rivals No. 1 Pasquerilla West and No. 4 Pasquerilla East will battle it out in their semifinals matchup.

Pasquerilla West (7-0), who finished the regular season with an undefeated record, continued their winning streak in the postseason with a 25-7 victory over No. 8 Welsh Family last Sunday. Senior linebacker and captain Breezi Toole said she hopes Pasquerilla West can defeat the Pyros (6-1) for the second time this year, but she expects a challenge. 

“Pasquerilla East is a great team, and [the Pyros] have been constantly improving since our regular season matchup,” Toole said. “We’re trying to come up with some new plays that’ll give us an advantage, as well as play the game to the best of our abilities so we can once again come out on top.”

Pasquerilla East hopes to redeem itself against the Purple Weasels, the only team the Pyros lost to in the regular season. After a close 14-7 overtime victory against No. 5 Howard last Sunday, the Pyros know they need to step up their game on both offense and defense, senior defensive lineman and captain Caroline Kuse said. She said, however, she believes the Pyros are in much better position to beat the Purple Weasels this time around.

“We played Pasquerilla West in our second game of the season, so we didn’t have players comfortably settled in positions yet,” Kuse said. “But now we’re all experienced, so I hope that we’ll be able to play Pasquerilla West with more confidence and strength.”

Pasquerilla West will make its 11th consecutive semifinals appearance, and Toole said the Purple Weasels understand that in order to survive, they need to work together as a cohesive unit. 

“Our success in this game is simple,” she said. “Every player just needs to know what their responsibilities are on offense or defense and work with one another in order to play to our potential.”

On the other side, Kuse said sound defense against the run would be a key to slowing Pasquerilla West’s explosive attack.

“The biggest thing for us is to make sure we have a solid run defense,” Kuse said. “Our offense is traditionally pretty strong, but we consistently struggled on defense during our last few games. I hope to see us significantly improve on this aspect during this matchup.”

Pasquerilla West and Pasquerilla East will duke it out Sunday at 4 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Contact Rebecca Rogalski at rrogalsk@nd.edu

Ryan vs. Pangborn

By CORNELIUS MCGRATH

Sports Writer 

No. 2 Ryan and No. 3 Pangborn will match up for the second time this season Sunday with a trip to Notre Dame Stadium on the line.

Both Ryan (6-0-1) and Pangborn (6-0-1) are unbeaten, with the only blemish in both teams’ records being a tie in their nail-biting meeting during the regular season.

Having lost in three consecutive semifinals, Phoxes senior captain and offensive lineman Mary Kate Veselik said the team is determined to go one step further this year.

“This game is absolutely huge, especially considering our very frustrating past,” Veselik said. “It would be absolutely wonderful to get to the stadium as a senior” 

Pangborn’s defense has had success recently, as the unit recorded four interceptions against Cavanaugh in the quarterfinals of the playoffs last weekend. The offense has been strong as well, and Veselik said she believes the Phoxes provide opposing defenses with a unique challenge.

“We have two wonderful junior quarterbacks in Caitlin Gargan and Liz Quinn, who both have different strengths,” Veselik said. “I believe this gives us a dynamism that makes us unpredictable, and therefore, very strong.”

At the same time, Veselik said she realizes that this will be no easy game, especially considering the high stakes.

“Ryan really [is] a great side,” Veselik said. “The game will be even more competitive than last time, and I just hope we come out on top.”

Ryan senior captain and offensive lineman Andrea Carlson said her team also anticipates a extremely tough game, much like its previous matchup with the Phoxes, but also that the team will not be intimidated.

“The girls are very ready for this game,” Carlson said. “Not nervous, just excited for an intense matchup. Pangborn is very strong, but we are really hoping to come away with a win.”

Ryan is coming off a 41-0 win over No. 7 Lyons in the quarterfinals, and Carlson said she believes the Wildcats’ defense will be again be the team’s greatest asset this weekend. 

“We have had a great defense all season, and I think our defense will be the key to winning,” Carlson said. “I am very confident that we can keep going and have some big stops during the game.”

This battle of the undefeated teams will commence this Sunday when Ryan and Pangborn meet at 5 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Contact Cornelius McGrath at cmcgrat2@nd.edu