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Cavanaugh and Ryan fighting to stay in postseason race

Lex Dennis, Kaitlyn Murphy, and Kelly Zenere | Thursday, October 15, 2009

Both Cavanaugh and Ryan are looking for a victory tonight to stay in the playoff hunt.

The Chaos (1-2) have been kept off the field for a while. After a rain-out last Thursday, they sat through their bye week in anticipation of the upcoming competition against the newly-dubbed Wildcats (1-2). This break in play may have an adverse effect on the well-rested Cavanaugh players.

“We haven’t played for a while,” senior captain Sarah Cline said. “The biggest challenge on Thursday is going to be getting back into the swing of things.”

However, there was a distinct benefit to the long gap in play for the Chaos. They were able to implement a new system of offense and rework their defense, giving them a fresh look and an excellent chance of improving on their record.

“We really overhauled the offensive and defensive systems after our two quick losses,” Cline said. “To be honest, we’re really excited to try out our new stuff.”

The Wildcats (1-2) are looking for a convincing win in order to establish themselves as a powerhouse throughout the league. Senior captain Kenzie Bowen said the team’s record is an unfair representation of the hard work her squad has put in this season.

“I’m really proud of our girls,” Bowen said. “We played tough against Walsh last week, and they’re one of the best teams in the league.”

There was little room for improvement this week during practice for the Wildcats. Besides putting in a few new plays, the team has worked on fine-tuning the offense and defense. The break in play for their opponents has created a little mystery in the Ryan camp, but Bowen is still confident in her team.

“This team is ready to take them,” Bowen said. “We are, most definitely, up to the challenge.”

Ryan and Cavanaugh will kick off tonight at 9 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Pasquerilla West vs. Walsh

Unbeaten Pasquerilla West hopes to hold onto its perfect season in the final game of the regular season against unbeaten Walsh.

Purple Weasels senior captain Cynthia Curley is optimistic and eager about her team’s prospects in the game and the postseason.

“This is a chance for us to really show what kind of program we’ve built,” she said.

Curley emphasized the multitude of strong players that pack Pasquerilla West’s offensive and defensive squads.

“We’re hard to predict and hard to stop,” Curley said.

Leading the defense is the combination of senior Lindsey McMahon and junior linebacker Libby Koerbel. The team has also seen the offense playing at a high level, led by junior quarterback Simone Bigi, who has her pick of capable receivers. Six different Weasels have caught a touchdown this year.

Pasquerilla West also anticipates the return of injured senior co-captain Alyssa Moya. Curley said the return could provide an emotional spark and also attributes Pasquerilla West’s success to a strong team bond.

“We’ve got wonderful chemistry,” she said. “We love being around each other and we love coming to practice. That really makes a difference on the field”.

The Wild Women plan to bring the same intensity to this game, according to senior captain Meghan Hadley.

“Every single person on our team knows what is at stake and we are ready to play football, Walsh style,” Hadley said.

Hadley stressed the importance of a consistent offense effort against a clutch Pasquerilla West defense. Junior quarterback Amy Langnecker will look to her tough offensive line for protection. On the defensive side of the ball, Walsh will rely on the leadership of senior captain Molly McCarthy as well as junior safety Amanda Louise Spiegelberg to lead the secondary.

Both teams plan to bring playoff caliber intensity and spirit to what should be an extremely competitive and physical game.

“It’s going to come down to who wants it more,” Hadley said.

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. tonight at Riehle Field.

Badin vs. Lyons

As the playoffs loom, both Badin and Lyons need a win tonight to keep their Notre Dame Stadium hopes alive.

Lyons has been stricken with health issues and injuries this season. Senior quarterback Claire Connell tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) early in the season and will not return to the field this year. Lyons has been practicing with two backups and hopes one of them can pull out a win tonight.

“We have been working on developing [senior] Maria Petnuch and [freshman] Erica Miller at the quarterback position,” Connell said.

Another key contributor on the Lyons roster is junior Julissa Quintero. She has played both ways in key situations for the Lions.

“Julissa Quintero has done a great job for us on offensive line,” Connell said. “[She] has also stepped in on defense when we’ve needed her.”

Badin is suffering from losses of a different kind and is hoping that this game will be the Bullfrogs’ turnaround. After losing a devastating game Sunday, senior captain Kelley Daniels feels that her team is out for blood.

“We’ve only had one game where we were outmatched,” Daniels said. “But since then we’ve made serious improvements. Our team is really coming together, despite our record.”

Badin has also been working on its offensive and defensive plays. The Bullfrogs want everything to click and practice really makes perfect for this team.

“On offense, we’ve improved our line giving our quarterback more time to throw and running lanes for our running backs,” Daniels said. “On defense, we’ve really worked on sticking on girls and fighting for the ball when the play presents itself.”

Badin and Lyons will meet tonight at 8 p.m. at Riehle Fields.