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Women’s Interhall: Ducks ready to take on Phoxes

Megan Golden, Sarah Cripping, Matt Unger, Joseph Monardo, Lucie Gordon, and David Kenney | Friday, September 24, 2010

Defending champions Howard will take on Pangborn Sunday.

Coming fresh off a bye week, the Phoxes’ (1-0) first victory was a 40-6 blowout over Badin. Players say they believe that as long as the defense lives up to its expectations, this game will serve as a good measuring stick for just how talented the team really is.

“We all want to be better than last year,” sophomore outside linebacker Annie Castner said. “We were just so close and I think if we do well against Howard then we’ll know that we have a little more potential to make it to the Stadium.”

Howard (2-0) is a team that has outscored its previous two opponents, Lewis and Badin, by a total of 38 points with game scores of 18-6 and 26-0, respectively. Despite Howard’s ability to put points on the board, their captain believes defense is the team’s greatest strength.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to shut down other teams’ offenses,” senior quarterback Kayla Bishop said. “I think our line needs to continue playing strong. I think they did a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback.”

The four-interception performance by Pangborn’s defense two weeks ago created positive momentum and confidence that the team hopes will carry over into this weekend.

“I think we did play a really great game,” senior quarterback Gabby Tate said. “We are just kind of keeping up the momentum and not letting that first big win go to our heads, staying humble and trying to do it all over again.”

Pangborn will face Howard Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Pasquerilla West vs. Walsh

After falling just a touchdown short of the 2009 interhall crown, Pasquerilla West is off to a convincing start this season. The Purple Weasels look to remain undefeated in their matchup with Walsh Sunday.

A determined and agile Pasquerilla West (2-0) squad defeated McGlinn 31-14 last weekend behind senior quarterback Simone Bigi’s 205 passing yards and five touchdowns. Libby Koerbel, senior linebacker and team co-captain, is thrilled about the Purple Weasels’ compelling performance this early in the year.

“We are very pleased with our performance against McGlinn this past Sunday,” Koerbel said. “It was a hard-fought game, especially in the first half, and a good test of our capabilities on both offense and defense.”

Despite their success thus far, the Purple Weasels aren’t taking this weekend’s opponents lightly.

“We take every game seriously and are looking forward to a tough and aggressive match up against Walsh,” Koerbel said. “That being said, PW plays to win, and I expect nothing less than more beautiful passes, catches, interceptions and flag-pulls from our girls this Sunday.”

After falling short in last week’s opener, Walsh is excited to get back on the field and rebound from their 18-7 loss to Ryan.

“It is always tough to lose the first game of the season, but our loss reminded us that we have to continue to work hard and stay focused to be a contender in the playoffs,” senior quarterback Amy Langnecker said. “We are really looking forward to our game against PW this weekend and the chance to really show everyone what we can do.”

The winless Wild Women look to upset the undefeated Purple Weasels at 4 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Fields.

McGlinn vs. Welsh Family

Two West Quad dorms will face off Sunday, as McGlinn and Welsh Family are looking to shake the sour experience of losing lopsided contests to Pasquerilla West in their previous games.

McGlinn (1-1) will look for offensive leadership from junior quarterback Lauren Miller, whose weapons include senior receiver Kathleen Stanley and junior receiver Kate Tucker. The Shamrocks’ offense has struggled so far this season, scoring only 20 points in two games. Miller often looks for deep throws that will produce big gains, a high-risk, high-reward strategy that produced a 67-yard touchdown pass in Week 1 against Ryan.

“We will try to open our offense more,” senior McGlinn captain Gillian Allsup said. “We have to learn from the mistakes and missed opportunities from our loss and increase our defensive intensity.”

Game plan in mind, McGlinn will counter a Welsh Family (0-1) defense that should be well rested following a bye week after allowing 26 points to Pasquerilla West.

The Shamrock defense will look to replicate their Week 1 shutout performance against Ryan, in which they returned an interception for a touchdown. Junior linebacker Ayla Bicoy and junior defensive lineman Jill Stinchcomb are expected to lead this effort against a Welsh Family offense that was dominated by the Purple Weasels and only gained 49 total yards.

The Whirlwind, who struggled in adjusting to coach Bobby Sullivan’s new offense, gained 45 of those yards on one play for a touchdown.

Both McGlinn and Welsh Family will seek to rebound from tough losses this Sunday at 3 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Cavanaugh vs. Lyons

Momentum will be up for grabs as two teams coming off big wins will meet Sunday as Cavanaugh lines up against Lyons.

Following a winless season in which they were held off the scoreboard in every game, Lyons (1-1) entered the win column with a 25-0 drumming of Breen Philips last Sunday. Understandably, the Lions are buoyed by their early success.

“Our team was very excited with our performance last week,” junior running back, middle linebacker and captain Kat Rodriguez said. “It was so exciting not only for our team to win, but also score.”

While Lyons may still be getting used to winning, the girls from Cavanaugh (2-0) have a bit more experience with success in recent years. Coming off a season in which they went 3-2 and earned a playoff berth, the Chaos hold high aspirations for the 2010 season. Led by a core of veteran players, the experienced Cavanaugh squad looks to improve in a dramatic way on their 2009 campaign.

“We want to win another championship for Cavanaugh Hall,” senior center and co-captain Melissa Truitt said.

While the win last Sunday for Cavanaugh was decidedly less flashy than was the Lions, Truitt said she is satisfied that her team was able to scrape out a 6-0 win over Farley. In order for Cavanaugh to continue to win, however, the offense must improve on their underwhelming performance. The Chaos will continue to rely on their swarming defense, but that does not mean that they will abandon their offense quite yet.

“We’re hoping to put up some more points against Lyons on Sunday,” Truitt said.

The upstart Lyons’ team will try their best to keep Cavanaugh in check at 5 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Fields.

Farley vs. Breen Phillips

Farley and Breen Phillips, both coming off tough losses last Sunday, will battle for a much-needed victory this week. The Finest lost 6-0 to Cavanaugh while the winless Babes (0-2) lost 25-0 to Lyons.

“We don’t have a victory yet this season but right now that is just serving as extra motivation for us,” Babes senior captain Kate McNelis said. “This past Sunday’s game was tough but we came out of it ready to make changes and start another week off strong.”

Farley (1-1) senior captain Molly Casanova also said that the loss will help motivate the team.

“Coming off that loss has made us buckle down, get to work, and focus on what we need to improve on for this next game,” Casanova said.

McNelis said that the key to a win over Farley will be improving on the offensive side of their game, which was lacking in their past two losses, while also focusing on defensive pressure.

“We have to make sure our defense stays sharp and that players on both sides are ready to face plays and strategies they’ve never seen before,” McNelis said.

The Finest have experience on their side with many returning players, and they will rely on that experience in the matchup against a youthful but inexperienced Babes squad that has had a hard time adjusting to the interhall game in the season’s first two contest.

“We look forward to this weekend’s match up against BP,” Casanova said. “Every game we go in with the attitude to always play our best and be supporting of every member of the team.”

The matchup of North Quad neighbors will take place Sunday at 6 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

Pasquerilla East vs. Badin

Pasquerilla East takes on Badin in a battle of winless squads seeking redemption for their losses thus far this season.

Pasquerilla East (0-1) is coming off a narrow 7-0 loss to Lewis in a game that was a battle of defenses. The Pyros were not able to get their pistol offense up and running against a stalwart Lewis defense, considered among some to be one of the best defenses in the league. Junior wide receiver and captain Kristin Mannion said she is confident the offense will improve after a great week of practice.

“We are starting to get a good feel for the offense and we practiced really fast-paced this week,” Mannion said.

She also said she saw progress from her freshmen this week.

“The freshmen are beginning to realize what a high level of play this league is and are improving quickly,” she said.

Mannion said she is especially confident in sophomore wide receiver Erica Chenard and believes that she could be the game changer this Sunday for the Pyros.

“Erica had two huge plays for us last week and has great hands and good speed,” Mannion said.

Badin (0-2) will try to meet the challenge of holding off the Pyro attack. The Bullfrogs have been outscored by opponents by margins of at least 20 points in their first two games.

Badin will face a Pyro defense that looked very impressive last weekend. It will be a challenge for the Bullfrogs, led by junior quarterback Sylvia Banda, to move the ball on the Pyros.

The Pyros are confident in their defense and eager to see what their pistol offense can do against a new opponent. The Frogs are a scrappy team planning on improving from their past two weeks’ games. Except in the rare case of a tie, one of these losing squads will get their first win this weekend.

Badin and Pasquerilla East will face off this Sunday at 2 pm at LaBar Fields.