Pyros, Wildcats both look to gain fourth win
Daniel O'Boyle | Thursday, October 2, 2014
This week sees a clash of undefeated teams as Pasquerilla East and Ryan square off Sunday, each hoping to improve upon 3-0 records in what could prove to be a season-defining game for both squads.
Pyros sophomore receiver and captain Noelle Gooding acknowledged the importance of the game but said she looks forward to the meeting and is optimistic of her team’s chances of staying undefeated.
“I think this will definitely be a big game for both teams, to see how we can prove ourselves under this kind of competition,” Gooding said. “It will definitely be a challenge for us, and hopefully we can do well.”
The Pyros survived a tough game with Howard last week thanks to a dramatic late touchdown catch by Gooding, but she said she believes that coming through such a contest could help prepare her team for this matchup.
“I think it gave us a good opportunity to learn how we would react under a stressful situation and compose ourselves late in the game,” Gooding said. “It was a good learning experience, especially for this weekend against Ryan.”
The Wildcats, by contrast, have earned three comfortable victories but face a new kind of challenge against a Pasquerilla East team that is also undefeated.
Ryan senior safety and captain Tatum Snyder pointed to last year’s championship game appearance as a reason her team is unbeaten this year.
“I think the key to our success is every player’s commitment to the team,” Snyder said. “The girls are motivated to return to the championship, and it shows with the team’s spirit and focus. If the girls keep having fun and focusing on the games, I think we have a great shot at keeping it up.”
Snyder said she also finds that Ryan’s success this year can be partially attributed to the makeup of the team.
“The start of the season has been a great demonstration of the athleticism this team holds,” she said. “We show up to every game expecting to do our best. I don’t think that will change as the season continues.”
Despite the Wildcats’ success so far and the pressure of the game, Gooding said she believes the key to victory for the Pyros could be to simply approach the game like any other.
“We’ve been working hard this whole year in terms of practices, and we’ll just go into the game as if it’s no different,” Gooding said. “We’ve been going into all of them with a nice mentality, and this should just be the same.”
The Pyros and Wildcats each look to keep their unbeaten records intact Sunday at 4 p.m. when they meet at LaBar Practice Fields.