Women’s Interhall Football – Quarterfinals: Walsh begins title defense this weekend
By DREW FONTANAROSA, JAMES FEGAN and GREG ARBOGAST | Friday, November 4, 2005
Many teams don’t get a second chance. But on Sunday, the Chicks of Lewis get just that as they take on the defending champion Wild Women of Walsh in a 3 p.m. women’s interhall playoff game at the West Quad fields. The game will be a rematch of the squads’ season opener.
The Wild Women used two interceptions by cornerback Julie Campbell and three team interceptions overall to beat the Chicks by a score of 12-7 on Sept. 20.
“The score wasn’t indicative of the game,” Lewis offensive captain Kara Bailey said, pointing out that the three turnovers led to one Walsh score and halted two promising Lewis drives.
She insisted she wasn’t pointing fingers, however, as she attributed the problems to the team’s offensive unfamiliarity.
Senior quarterback Elisa Valdez, a Cavanaugh transfer, was not only making her first start for Lewis but the first of her career. Her teammate says she’s improved.
“I don’t even know if she’s thrown an interception since,” Bailey said.
Walsh captain Mary Ellen Botta would probably disagree, however, as she continuously praised the ability of her defense for the Wild Women’s success.
“Not only are they tough, but they have scored points all season,” Botta said.
Botta singled out starting cornerbacks Campbell and Patty Rose, a senior co-captain, for their excellent play all season.
Not to be outdone, Bailey also lauded the toughness, speed and agility of Lewis’ defense. She didn’t forget the offensive side of the ball, either.
“We’re a very balanced team,” she said.
While both teams are confident in their football abilities, they also both expect experience to play a role.
The Wild Women believe last year’s title run, in which they beat the Chaos of Cavanaugh 20-7 in the Stadium on Nov. 14, 2004, will be a distinct advantage.
“We’re definitely confident,” Botta said. “But not overconfident.”
Lewis, as Bailey put it, went through a “transition year” last season but believes it can fall back on Stadium experience from 2003, when the Chicks lost 7-6 to Badin in the finals, a defeat that Bailey says is still very fresh in the minds of Lewis’ upperclassmen. “We will expect to win,” Bailey said.
When asked for any special preparations, Botta believed none were in order.
“We will treat this game as any other we have played,” she said.
Cavanaugh vs. Badin
Cavanaugh has every reason to be confident.
It enters Sunday’s 1 p.m. women’s interhall playoff game against Badin at West Quad fields on a roll.
After falling one game short of the title last season, losing 20-7 to Walsh in the championship game, the Chaos have responded with their second consecutive undefeated regular season.
Quarterback Lisa Ruffer has teamed with a stout defense that blanked Badin 13-0 on Sept. 27.
If the Chaos win Sunday they could have a rematch against Walsh in the semifinals. The Wild Women face Lewis at 3 p.m. Sunday at West Quad fields.
Badin, which has struggled to a 1-4-1 record this season, believes the task it faces is great.
“They’re a very good team,” Badin captain Meg Charlebois said. “We’ll need our older players to step up on defense, particularly Laura Feeny and Katie Fraetz.”
The Bullfrogs believe they stand a chance if they can contain Lisa Ruffer in the pocket. While she is a more than capable passer, Badin wants to force Cavanaugh to throw to keep Ruffer from scrambling for yards.
Cavanaugh’s defense is yet another problem for the Bullfrogs.
Led by Lauren Manning, middle linebacker Karri Bergen and defensive end Kat Moravek, the Cavanaugh defense has lived up to its nickname all season. It frustrated Badin freshman quarterback Katie Rose Hackney in the teams’ previous matchup.
McGlinn vs. Pasquerilla West
Sunday’s 2 p.m. game at West Quad fields between No. 4 seeded McGlinn and No. 5-seeded Pasquerilla West will be a rematch of a closely-contested late season game.
In that matchup, which ended in a 0-0 tie on Oct. 11, both teams had trouble moving the ball as each defensive line put excessive pressure on the quarterback.
The Purple Weasels forced McGlinn quarterback Becky Brown to throw two interceptions and induced four consecutive incompletions from their own 4-yard line in what proved to be the decisive defensive stand of the game.
“PW has a couple of great secondary players, and they were able to catch a couple of 50/50 passes last game,” McGlinn captain Bridget Meacham said. “Other than that, I thought we played their defense very evenly.”
As for Sunday’s game, McGlinn and Pasquerilla West enter as teams going in opposite directions. McGlinn currently has a two-game winless streak including the tie with Pasquerilla West and its last result, a 14-0 loss to No. 7 seeded Welsh Family. That makes two games in a row that the Shamrock offense has failed to score, but Meacham thinks this contest will turn out differently.
“We have some new plays for this game,” she said. “We’re also more relaxed and focused as we were taking ourselves too seriously at the end of the season.”
Pasquerilla West, on the other hand, comes into the game off a convincing 26-6 win over Mod Quad rival Pasquerilla East.
The offense shut out by McGlinn was firing on all cylinders as quarterback Cara Davies had three touchdown passes – all to wide receiver Maureen Spring.
Welsh Fam vs. Pangborn
Welsh Fam will take on Pangborn in a semifinal matchup 4 p.m. Sunday at West Quad.
The winner of the game will play either Lewis or Walsh, depending on who wins that game.
Pangborn is seeded No. 2 and Welsh Fam is seeded No. 7.