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WOMEN’S INTERHALL FOOTBALL: Chaos, Walsh hope to return to the Stadium

Dan Murphy | Friday, November 11, 2005

There’s only one obstacle left remaining between Cavanaugh and a trip to Notre Dame Stadium. The undefeated Chaos squad has flown through its first seven games unscathed, blowing most of its opponents out of the water.

Their opponent Sunday at 1 p.m., fifth-ranked Pasquerilla West, needed overtime to get past McGlinn into the semifinals. The 6-0 victory was almost expected from the Purple Weasels, who have played in tight games all year long.

Pasquerilla West finished the season with two wins and two ties. The team will need another big game from its defense, which has given the Weasels a chance in each of their games. Quarterback Cara Davies has also been able to come up with clutch scoring throughout the year using both her arm and her legs.

The offense has been working hard all week long in practice to put in place a new offensive attack. The team seems confident it will put up the points it needs to compete with the heavily favored Cavanaugh team.

The Chaos have had no problems so far this year on either side of the ball. Lisa Ruffer and the Cavanaugh offense have been able to spread the ball in impressive fshion.

“We definitely like to utilize all of our receivers. They are all awesome,” Ruffer said.

But even the offensive efficiency is overshadowed by the consistently airtight defense of the Chaos. The team has allowed a total of six points the entire season. The only score came in a 13-6 win over Lyons, which was the closest margin of victory the Chaos posted all year long.

With scores like 6-6, 6-0 and 7-6, the Weasels are no slouches on defense either. The team allows fewer than 10 points a game on average and has pitched two shutouts this season.

“Our defense has got us out of a lot of tough spots and helped us win a lot of big games,” captain Julie Putnam said.

“I think our chances are good despite being the underdogs,” Putnam said. “Our team has a lot of spirit and pride, and we are just going to give it all we’ve got.”

The Cavanaugh team is confident, but definitely isn’t taking the Weasels lightly.

“We can’t go in expecting anything, because on any given day, any team can win,” Ruffer said.

The team’s leaders are trying hard to treat the game as any normal contest, but with a chance to take an undefeated record into the Stadium, the task is easier said than done.

Walsh vs. Pangborn

The Wild Women of Walsh will try to make it to the finals for the second straight year this weekend, but have a tough opponent hoping to stop them in their tracks. Walsh must take down the speedy Pangborn Phoxes this Sunday at 2 p.m. for a chance to defend its title in Notre Dame Stadium.

Both teams come into the contest with a 5-1 regular season record and one playoff win under their belts. The stage is set for a classic showdown, as the high-powered rushing attack of Pangborn will try to crack the notoriously stingy Walsh defense.

The Phoxes’ backfield combination of quarterback Katie Mooney and running backs Brynn Johnson and Trish Connely have proved to be almost unstoppable this year, putting up as many as 34 points in a single game.

In last weekend’s quarterfinal matchup, Mooney threw two passing touchdowns to her favorite target, Katie Riemersma, in a 12-6 victory over the Welsh Family Whirlwinds. Johnson has been able to use her speed all year long to rack up double digits in touchdowns, including a 78-yard sprint again Breen-Phillips.

Pangborn’s versatility makes the Phoxes a dangerous team.

“Our offense is adaptable – we can pass or run, which has allowed us to be really flexible this year,” captain Katie Murray said.

Walsh will try to stop the multi-faceted Phoxes with a defense that puts it in good position to win games. The Wild Women boast four shutouts, the last of which came in a 7-0 win last weekend against the Lewis Chicks in the first round of the playoffs.

The Wild Women are excited at the prospect of seeing a new opponent. They hope it will give their offense a little extra help with the element of surprise.

Julie Campbell leads the team in interceptions and has been a strong link on the sold defensive team.

Captain Mary Ellen Botta said interceptions like Campbell’s are crucial in the course of a game.

“I’ve been really proud of our defense all year for coming up with big stops and forcing turnovers when we need them,” Botta said.

Walsh may be the defending champions, but Pangborn is just as experienced in the big games. Last year the Phoxes’ season ended on a controversial call late in the semifinal game.

“That left us a little bitter and unsatisfied, we know this is our opportunity to make up for it,” Murray said. “There are 25 women who can think of nothing else right now.”

The Walsh team also feels confident going into Sunday’s game.

“We know we can do it because we were there last year,” Botta said.