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Cavanaugh, Badin face off for right to go to Stadium

Joe Meixell | Friday, November 7, 2003

For Cavanaugh and Badin, there truly is no “I” in team. Both play a game incorporating their whole squad, and the lack of individual superstars on these teams should make for an extremely close semifinals match.

“Both defenses have been stingy over the season, so there probably won’t be a ton of points put on the board, which makes execution on offense critical,” Badin captain Jenn Carter said. “This game could easily be decided by a dropped pass or a failed extra point”.

Cavanaugh’s impressive 5-1 regular season record placed them as the Blue League’s top team. This gave them a bye into the semi-finals.

Badin’s having a lower seed than Cavanaugh forced them to play a semifinals qualifying game. Last Sunday, they shut out McGlinn 28-0. Carter thinks that playing this game has given Badin an advantage over the Chaos.

“I think having the three seed actually worked in our favor,” Carter said, “as we got a chance to play a game last week, while they haven’t played since before break, and it was a loss.”

Cavanaugh captain Jessica Leibowitz is not bothered by the break, since her squad has certainly still been playing a lot of football.

“We’ve been practicing a lot,” Leibowitz said, “We’ve definitely gotten better [since the regular season]”.

Contrary to what Badin might expect, Cavanaugh’s regular season-ending loss to Pasquerilla West has actually been very helpful for them. This only loss for Cavanaugh has taught the team to become more aware of its weaknesses.

“We learned a lot from that game,” Leibowitz said.

Even with the lack of a standout player, both teams are still optimistic with their chances on the field.

Cavanaugh sophomore Lisa Ruffer is a first year starting quarterback.

“She’s stepped up a lot this year, everyone has noticed that. She’s just been outstanding” Leibowitz said. “Overall we’ve been playing really well. We just have to be ready for anything”.

Cavanaugh and Badin will fight to play in Notre Dame Stadium at the West Quad field at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Welsh vs. Lewis

Welsh Family plans on taking the Chicks by storm in the playoff match up this Sunday, but the Lewis Hall team has no intention of being blown down from its perch at the top of the standings.

Lewis has the best record in the women’s division, winning all six of its games this season. This is a notable amount of progress since last season when they went 3-3, missing the playoffs by one game.

“It is the excellent coaching that has truly separated this year from last,” senior defensive lineman Chantal DeAlcuaz said

Welsh Family, with the fifth-place and lowest ranking of teams still in final round contention, finished the regular season at 4-2. The Whirlwinds are a force to contend with, however, as they proved in last Sunday’s 19-0 shutout against Breen-Phillips.

“Everything was working against Breen-Phillips,” senior Jamie McEldowney said. “We just came together like we’ve been trying to all season. People made the pull and connected on passes. It came down to the fundamentals.”

The win was especially significant because in their opening game against the same team the Whirlwinds had been shutout 13-0.

“It was important to prove to ourselves we were better than that,” McEldowney said. “It really boosted our self confidence as individuals and as a team.”

While the Chicks haven’t had a game in several weeks, they have still been hard at work.

“I can’t say enough about the enthusiasm, even just in making every practice,” senior captain Erin Nasrallah said.

Welsh’s Whirlwinds find their strength this season coming not necessarily from specific team members, as has been the case in years past, but from the efforts of the entire team all working together.

“Our coaches have done such an excellent job – newcomers are fit well into the team while at the same time older players are also improving,” McEldowney said.

Heading into the final games, the team looks to continue its work on executing passes on offense and making the pulls on defense.

The Lewis team knows it will be tough to beat, as promised by a defense against whom a touchdown hasn’t been scored since the first game. At the same time, they appreciate what a privilege it is to play this far into the season.

“We are strong as a team and we have really great competitors as well,” DeAlcuaz said.

Welsh is equally anticipating the weekend’s game.

“It has definitely been a fun time. We are all very excited to play and to make it, game by game, as far as we can go,” McEldowney said, “I can’t wait to get out on the field.”

The teams compete for a spot in the stadium at 3 p.m. Sunday on the West Quad.