The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Lyons, Off-Campus teams strive for consistency

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 24, 2004

While long passes, runs and stellar defensive plays often make the highlight reels, consistency and balance usually win games over the long haul.

A sense of stability is exactly what the Lyons and Off-Campus squads will be looking for when the two teams meet Sunday afternoon. As it is still early in the season, both teams are still trying to find what will be effective for them as the year progresses.

The Lions are building upon the confidence they received after their 26-0 defeat of Howard last Sunday. This week, the team spent most of their practice time trying to correct mistakes resulting from what captain Traci Kazmerski called “first game jitters”.

“We are trying to eliminate some of the mental errors we made last week,” she said. “That’s our biggest concern at this point of the season.”

Solid play on both sides of the ball keyed the Lions’ win last week. Kazmerski was optimistic that this balance would continue this weekend.

“Our offense and defense contributed equally to our success last week,” she said. “We feel our balance is a strength of our team. Our older girls bring a great deal of experience, while our freshmen bring sheer athletic ability.”

The Off-Campus team did not play on Sunday, but captain Lauren Blum does not foresee that to be an obstacle on Sunday.

“We were happy we didn’t have a game last Sunday because most of us were at Michigan State,” Blum said.

The team looked to build upon its strengths this week, especially its solid offensive line. However most of the practice time was spent trying different players at different positions in an attempt to develop an effective game plan for Sunday.

“We’re still figuring out what works,” Blum said.

A unique aspect of the Off-Campus squad is that it holds connections to some of the other teams. Many team members were part of other dorms’ squads last year and will look to use their knowledge of their former teams to their advantage. Above all, however the team hopes to enjoy themselves this season.

“We’re a random group,” Blum said. “But we all like each other, and we’re out to have a good time this year.”

Both teams were in action Thursday night, and will look to make the necessary adjustments from those games to be successful on Sunday.

Lewis vs. Howard

First-week losses have discouraged neither the Chicks of Lewis, nor their upcoming opponent, the Ducks of Howard.

Despite each team dropping opening matches, the captains remain positive, looking forward to rebounding in this weekend’s contest.

Coming off a season that saw them fall an extra-point shy of the championship, the Chicks began their 2004 campaign facing the team that crushed their dreams in last year’s title game. While not quite as close as 2003’s one-point affair, Sunday’s Badin-Lewis contest was a highly competitive match. The two stout defenses allowed a combined total of one score, which came in the form of a Bullfrog 10-yard touchdown pass early in the second half.

Despite the loss, Chick captain Sheila Dawes is not discouraged, citing a few bad breaks – most notably a fourth down pass interference penalty that led to the Badin score – as the cause of defeat. Dawes and her team are confident that the team can improve to .500 this weekend against Howard.

To do so, however, the Chicks must first overcome a team also hungry for its first victory. The Ducks fell last weekend to a well-prepared Lyons squad 26-0, and will be looking to avenge this opening week debacle. Despite the lopsided loss, a Ducks team twice the size of last year’s feels its added size and experience will begin to show as the season progresses.

The stage is set, for an important meeting for two 0-1 squads looking to get their seasons back on track after tough opening losses. As neither team has yet to find the end zone, a low scoring affair may be expected. However, Howard’s seemingly porous defense might be just the remedy for the stagnant Chick offense. Whatever the outcome, it should be an aggressive match between two teams eager to prove they are better than their winless records indicate.