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



Stadium or bust

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Cavanaugh continues to roll this season as they head to the championship game this Sunday against Walsh.

But Monday evening the Chaos barely hung on for an 18-13 victory against upstart Pangborn.

On their second possession, already down 6-0, the Phoxes decided to take a chance and go for a 4th-and-4 from their own 36-yard-line.

That risk paid a handsome reward in the form of a 44 yard touchdown run for Brynn Johnson.

Unfortunately for Pangborn, Cavanaugh struck back immediately. Chaos star receiver Jenny Nokes caught her second touchdown pass, a 32-yard strike that tied the game at 12.

For quarterback Lisa Ruffer, it was her second of three scoring passes on the night. She finished the game 7-for-17 with 190 yards combined on the ground and through the air.

After surrendering that score to Cavanaugh with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Phoxes battled back again.

Capitalizing on three Chaos penalties and two passes downfield by Pangborn quarterback Katie Mooney, Trish Conneely caught a 10-yard screen pass out of the backfield for a touchdown as time expired in the half. After converting on the extra-point, the underdog Phoxes took a 13-12 lead into intermission

Throughout the second period, the Chaos defense stepped up in desperate situations throughout the half.

With the Phoxes ready to strike again, the Cavanaugh secondary deflected what could have been a touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal from the 15.

The Cavanaugh offense rose to the occasion as well, retaking the lead late in the second half off of a third touchdown pass of the night by Ruffer.

Nevertheless, Pangborn proved it still had some fight remaining with less than five minutes left when it began a drive on its own four.

The Phoxes dissected the defense and marched downfield with only a few minutes remaining on the clock.

Faced with 4th-and-1 on the 21 yard-line and 65 seconds left in regulation, Pangborn called a timeout to decide what play to run.

With the game on the line, Conneely took the ball on a draw and dashed towards the 20-yard line, but Cavanaugh defender Liz Brennan tore Conneely’s flags out inches before the first down marker.

Pangborn players protested the call, insisting that the ball carrier had broken the 20, but the referees dismissed their claims.

After two quarterback keepers, the clock ran out and Cavanaugh celebrated a hard-fought win.

Contributing to the winning effort with two touchdowns, Nokes was especially happy. “Some nights the defense is big,” she said. “Other nights it’s been the offense. But tonight it was everyone.”

For Pangborn’s Johnson, the loss was tough, but her team still played well. “To be ranked No. 10 at the beginning of the season and come this far is something to be proud of,” she said.

Walsh 13, Welsh Family 6

A sign hanging outside Walsh Hall read, “Hey Welsh, there’s no ‘E’ in stadium.” Aside from the spelling, the Wild Women kept the stadium without an ‘E,’ literally speaking.

The Wild Women defeated the Welsh Family Whirlwinds 13-6 on Monday night at the Stepan fields in a semifinal match-up.

“We were pumped,” Walsh senior captain Carrie Campbell said. “We had some huge plays. We had awesome fans here. The dorm was alive before the game and the field was alive. Our fans were great.”

The teams played to a 6-6 first-half tie and remained deadlocked throughout most of the second half.

With three minutes left in regulation, the Wild Women put together the game-winning drive. The Walsh fans screamed, shook bells, jumped and did push-ups. From 30-yards out, Walsh quarterback Mary Sullivan launched a 25-yard pass that looked overthrown.

But freshman wide receiver Cigi Low made the catch – with her arms fully outstretched – to make the diving grab.

“Cigi made the most spectacular catch in girls interhall football history,” Walsh coach Matt Schulte said.

Campbell also commented on the impressive play made by Low.

“She was fantastic,” Campbell said.

The Wild Women then finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass from Sullivan to wide receiver Marie Brenner.

Welsh Family had one last chance on offense, but Walsh defensive back Julie Campbell sealed the game with an interception.

“We played pretty well,” Welsh Family captain Melissa Sands said. “It’s the third year in a row that we’ve lost in the semi’s. We were not disappointed with our season and we wish we could’ve gotten in the stadium, but we’re happy with what we accomplished.”

Campbell, the senior Walsh captain, breathed a sigh of relief when she knew her team had achieved part of their goal – a spot in the championship.

“It’s been four long years,” she said. “It’s exciting. We’ve put lots of heart and sweat into this season.”