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Optimism runs high as Farley squares off with BP

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, September 16, 2003

All teams must face the inevitability of rebuilding at some point. This is routine but it’s surprising to see two teams so energized by their newcomers.

Tonight at 7 p.m., the women of Farley and Breen-Phillips will put their young teams to the test.

Breen-Phillips looks strong coming off a 24-12 victory last Sunday against Pangborn. Hoping to repeat last year’s success that brought them to the semi-finals, Breen-Phillips will look to improve their defense and rally behind the play of their quarterback and wide receivers. Team captain Kelly Deckelman noted that while the team had lost key players from last year, they have been bolstered by the spirit of the incoming freshmen.

After a disappointing season last year, Farley is also optimistic about their chances this season.

“Farley’s Finest are looking to take teams by surprise on the road to the stadium,” said captain Angelina Zehrbach.

This will be Farley’s first game of the year, but they hope to be led by a core group of returning players. Their strengths look to be a returning second-year quarterback and their wide receivers. A main factor motivating Farley’s comeback this year should also be their incoming freshmen.

While each team had different outcomes last year, both Farley and Breen-Phillips feel strengthened by the enthusiasm and effort of their freshmen. Whether it’s the chance to play a game at Notre Dame Stadium or the thrill of representing your dorm, the new recruits for both teams have been very positive in their response this year.

This Tuesday night is a pivotal game for both teams. For Breen-Phillips, a win will mean a quick 2-0 start on their way to the playoffs. For Farley, this game is an opportunity to show off the rejuvenated strength of the team. Due to the optimistic outlook of both teams, this game should be closely contested. The game will be played at 7 p.m. at Riehle West.

Walsh vs. Welsh Family

Their names differ by only a letter, their mascots both evoke the untamed and when Walsh and Welsh take the field tonight other likenesses of their particular 2003 teams will likely become apparent as well.

This game between two young teams with defensive strongholds, dedication to time on the practice field and an eye on the prize promises to be an interesting meeting.

Despite being a member of Notre Dame’s newest class of dorms, Welsh Family already has a reputation for athletic dominance. Nonetheless, they come to their second game of the season with a 0-1 record after an opening upset by Cavanaugh Sunday. This is perhaps in part due to a predominantly freshman team, so much so that they are calling themselves “Welsh Family Reloaded”.

“We’re still working on coming together and finding a team that flows,” said captain Katie Sprinz.

Multiple freshman are starting, a noticeable difference for a team used to an exceptionally deep lineup, but they’ve begun to step up to the challenge.

“They don’t quite realize the intensity yet, so it’s up to the older players to let them know what it is to … want to taste the victory,” said Sprinz.

The Wild Women have yet to test the mettle of their ’03 team, also comprised considerably of rookies, as this game will be their first of the season.

Still, team captain Colleen Gannon is confident in the potential of their younger players.

“We have a really strong freshman class this year, but we’re still waiting to figure out who the standout players will be.”

The Whirlwinds look to a tough defensive line as the backbone of their strength. Contributing to a developing offense is the decision-making of sophomore quarterback Melissa Sands, who takes over because last year’s quarterback is studying abroad.

Gannon also highlighted her team’s defense as its base strength, crediting it with keeping the team in the running for a chance at playoff competition.

Walsh hopes that the arrival of a new offensive coach this fall will improve the effectiveness of an offensive line that has suffered a seeming inability to score consistently.

Coming off last year’s loss against the Whirlwinds, Gannon said, “It will be a competitive game. It’d be a really good win for us to start the season to boost the team confidence.”

Equally positive, Sprinz said of “WF-Reloaded,” “We definitely are looking to the stadium, and while knowing there is no guarantee, it is definitely doable.”

Pangborn vs. PW

Do not be misled by Pangborn and Pasquerilla West’s less than stellar records last football season.

Both have not only looked better in team practices than last season, but have each gained many valuable freshman.

Katie Murray, Pangborn’s sophomore captain, said that in her team’s first game, they scored twice as many touchdowns as all of last season. The team’s six-man coaching staff is certainly one of the sources of Pangborn’s improvement, according to Murray. “Three [coaches] are dedicated to offense and two are dedicated to defense,” said Murray. The sixth coach works with the defense.

Pangborn’s freshmen also are great contributors to the team’s success so far. In fact, Pangborn’s young team consists of only six sophomore upperclassmen: the rest are freshmen.

“We have some really athletic freshman and our coaches are really impressed with them,” Murray said.

Last week, Pangborn scored all of its touchdowns in the second half, and Murray described her squad as being “definitely a come back type of team.”

Today will be Pasquerilla West’s season-opener and these women are starving to suit up. They’ve been scrimmaging for three weeks and “everyone is just looking forward to playing,” said sophomore player Heather Van Hoegarden. Pasquerilla West is also under great leadership, thanks to their captain Leslie Schmidt and the return of both of their old coaches.

Van Hoegarden said that it’s an “added bonus” to have the same coaches as last year, because “they know the players”. Other signs of future success for the women of Pasquerilla West include the addition of freshman to the squad.

“We have a lot of experience, most of our starters are back, but we also have a lot of new freshmen, that should help out a lot,” Van Hoegarden said.

Neither teams faced each other last year but are eager to take the field tonight at Riehle West at 9 p.m.