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WOMEN’S INTERHALL FOOTBALL: Pyros ready for must-win game against McGlinn

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, September 30, 2008

McGlinn vs. Pasquerilla East

With their backs almost against the wall, and the playoffs looking more and more like a pipe dream, the Pasquerilla East Pyros (0-2) are set to square off against the mighty McGlinn Shamrocks (1-1) tonight at 9 p.m. at the Riehle Fields.

Fresh off of an impressive 14-6 victory over Lyons, the Shamrocks will try to continue their winning ways versus the Pyros, using a combination of Sarah deGroot’s precision passing and a pass rush which registered a season high four sacks last week.

The big question mark, however, is whether the Pyros will be able to rebound from two crushing defeats and notch their first victory of the season.

In a 12-6 loss to Pasquerilla West last Sunday, the Pyros showed flashes on both offense and defense, but inconsistencies and breakdowns on defense, especially in the secondary, hindered any chance they might have had of busting out of the loss column.

Captain Tara Pillai remains confident her squad has what it takes to play competitively with an emerging McGlinn team and was encouraged by a solid week of practice.

“We had a lot to work on, with most of our time trying to fix our inconsistencies in pass coverage,” she said. “However, we also added some different plays and worked on some new routes.”

Tonight’s matchup will settle for sure if the Pyros can rally from this hole they’ve dug themselves into. If they cannot, their playoff hopes will most certainly be extinguished.

Pasquerilla West vs. Howard

The Howard Ducks will try to turn their season around as they face the Purple Weasels of Pasquerilla West this tonight at 7 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Coming off a painful 7-6 loss to Cavanaugh last week, the Ducks (1-2-0) know they need to rebound against PW (1-0-1) if they want to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

“This is a must-win game in our eyes,” Ducks quarterback Kayla Bishop said. “I’m confident our offense can get it going.”

The success of the Ducks’ offense will rely heavily on the shoulders of Bishop and her offensive line as they look to march down the field effectively against a stingy PW defense. Wide receivers Laura Giezeman and Kaitlin Robinson will present a threat to the Weasel secondary, as either one is capable of taking one to the house on any given pass.

“We’re creating the big plays, we just need to capitalize on them in the red zone,” Bishop said.

But don’t expect the PW defense to give the Ducks any help. Led by the speed and quickness of defensive linemen Jordan Johnson, the Weasels hope to be in Bishop’s face all night.

“The defense has done a great job of putting pressure on the opposing offense,” senior captain Cara Davies said. “The defense will have to step up again.”

Led by Davies at quarterback, the undefeated Weasels hope to ignite a dynamic offense that posted 12 points en route to their first victory of the season against PE.

“We just want to take care of the ball and limit the turnovers,” Davies said. “The offense will fall into place.”

The experience of two-way starters Cynthia Curley and Alyssa Moya may give PW the edge, as the juniors pose a threat on the receiving core and in the secondary. The addition of talented freshmen on both sides of the ball gives depth to the PW bench.

Lyons vs. Cavanaugh

The Lions of Lyons Hall have their work cut out for them as they bring their 1-1 record to Riehle Fields at 8 p.m. tonight to take on the 2-0-1 Chaos of Cavanaugh.

Led by a daunted defense that has allowed only six points through three games, the Chaos are trying to gain momentum as they keep their sites set on the playoffs. On the other sideline, Lyons needs to bounce back from a loss to McGlinn to solidify its playoff resume.

“Our play was sloppy at the start of last game,” Lyons captain and quarterback Claire Connell said. “We are determined to come out ready to play tonight.”

Cavanaugh’s offensive production has come on the heels of consistent quarterbacking play from captain Katie Dunn.

Lyons also relies heavily on its defense to keep them in games, led by senior Shannon Brady.

“Shannon Brady leads the defense,” Connell said. “She does a great job executing [at middle linebacker] as well as communicating with the rest of the defense.”

If the Lions are to win this defensive battle, count on sophomore Neva Lundy to be the one celebrating in the end zone.

“She was a key receiver last year and has continued to perform well in our games this season,” Connell said.

The game tonight promises to be full of intrigue as Cavanaugh tries to continue its unbeaten run and Lyons tries to keep its playoff dreams alive.

“We are going to play hard right from the first whistle and keep the momentum in our favor,” Connell said.