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Women’s Interhall Football: Farley, Cavanaugh plan to continue strong defense

LAURA | Thursday, September 16, 2010

When Farley and Cavanaugh square off Sunday, one touchdown may be enough to win the game, as each team relies heavily on its defense to carry the squad through games. Both the Finest (1-0) and the Chaos (1-0) only allowed one touchdown in each of their victories last weekend, and neither team was able to convert extra point attempts.

Despite playing a position on offense, having a strong defense is just how Cavanaugh senior receiver Holly Hinz wants it.

“Our defense looked really good in our first game,” Hinz said. “They really carried us through for the win. Our offense had some good looks, and with a little more practice this week we are looking for better execution in the next game.”

This year’s women’s interhall season is different from years past. Some rules have been changed, and now there are seven players on the field for each team, as opposed to eight in previous years. In spite of this change and its effect on Cavanaugh’s playbook, the Chaos remain focused on accomplishing their goals.

“This week in practice is about smoothing out the rough edges and making sure we are executing on every play,” Hinz said. “With a shorter season this year, every game really counts.”  

The Finest know that they will be facing a tough side in Cavanaugh, but they feel ready for the challenge.

“Cavanaugh will be a tough opponent to play this Sunday, but we are excited for this matchup,” Farley senior receiver Molly Casanova said. “We want all of our girls to come out with the same attitude that we did last Sunday and be ready to win.”

Farley will square off against Cavanaugh Sunday at 6:00 pm. at the LaBar Practice Complex.


Pasquerilla West-McGlinn

Pasquerilla West and McGlinn will take the field Sunday in a showdown of two powerhouse defenses looking to make their impact felt throughout the season. The Purple Weasels (1-0), who lost in last year’s championship game, are on a path of redemption as they set out to return to the Stadium after falling just short of the title last year.

“We expect to win,” sophomore receiver Alice Yerokun said. “Our goal is to go back to the championship game and win, no matter what.”

Meanwhile, the Shamrocks (1-0) have a difficult task in stopping Yerokun and senior quarterback Simone Bigi in Pasquerilla West’s dynamic triple-option offense, which accumulated 26 points and over 150 yards of offense on a sturdy Welsh Family defense in the Purple Weasels’ win last week. Similarly, the Shamrocks shut out the Wildcats of Ryan, who boast a strong running game and a downfield passing threat.

“We saw a running attack from Ryan last weekend which will help to stop [Pasquerilla West’s] running game,” McGlinn senior captain Gillian Allsup said. “The key will be sticking on our girls and being aggressive.”

In addition to a strong running game, the Purple Weasels boast a dominating defense that gave up a total of 49 yards in their last contest. Against this stout defensive unit, the McGlinn offense, able to score only 12 points against Ryan last week, could quickly find itself in a hole.

The two defensive-minded squads will battle at 4 p.m. Sunday at the LaBar Practice Complex.


Breen-Phillips vs. Lyons

Breen-Phillips and Lyons will clash Sunday, with each hoping to earn its first win of the season and avoid a damaging 0-2 start. The Babes (0-1) lost 6-0 to Cavanaugh last Sunday while the Lions (0-1) lost by the same score to Farley. Both Breen-Phillips and Lyons displayed strong defensive outings in holding their opponents to one score. Each struggled offensively, however, and will look to put points on the board this Sunday.

“After Sunday, we know we need to focus on solidifying the offense and getting all our freshmen as much experience as possible,” Babes senior captain Katie McNelis said.

McNelis emphasized the long-term consequence of the game in terms of player development, as she expects her team to come together and improve in the weeks to come.

“One of our most important goals for this year is to integrate a lot of freshmen into BP football,” she said. “We want them to have a great first-year experience and also to create a unified team that can win games. After our last few seasons, expectations for our team might not be high, but we feel this season we have the skill and dedication to surprise everyone.”

Lyons struggled to get the ball moving offensively last week, but displayed a finely tuned defense that may be the key to earning their first victory.

Breen-Phillips and Lyons both look to get in the win column Sunday at 6 p.m. at LaBar.


Badin vs. Howard

Badin Hall has a lot to prove in its Sunday afternoon matchup against a team that it knows well, South Quad neighbor Howard. The Bullfrogs (0-1) do not have a lot of time to recover from their tough 40-6 loss to Pangborn before taking on the Ducks (1-0), the defending women’s champions.

The Badin players know that this game could be a defining point in their season and are hoping to get their first win this weekend. Badin senior captain and defensive lineman Elise Gerspach is especially enthusiastic even after last week’s loss, as her team has been practicing and improving all week.

“We definitely have a lot of things to work on in practice this week,” Gerspach said. “We’re planning on working hard to fix all of the mistakes that really hurt us last Sunday.”

This is a rebuilding year for the Bullfrogs, as their roster includes a lot of young players. Despite her team’s youth, Gerspach’s sqaud is not intimidated and is excited to return to play.

“We’ve got a lot of young talent, and we just didn’t adjust quickly enough to the speed of the game,” Gerspach said. “The coaches and the team are going to work hard, and we’re going into this Sunday with confidence and a new attitude.”

Despite the score of Badin’s last game, Howard’s players are not taking the team lightly. The Ducks, coming off an 18-6 victory over Lewis, are working hard to stay undefeated in league play. Howard senior captain Kayla Bishop realizes that the Bullfrogs are looking to pull off the upset.

“We’re excited to have Badin coming up this Sunday,” Bishop said. “We know that they’ll have something to prove after last week, but we’re going to be honing our skills on both sides of the ball this week in order to be ready for them.”

Bishop credits her own team’s success last week to the team’s defensive squad.

“Our defense did a really great job this past Sunday in containing the offense, and we’re hoping to continue that success against Badin,” Bishop said.

Though Howard has the experience, the Bullfrogs plan to embrace the role of the underdogs as they go back to the drawing board to create a successful upset strategy.

The two South Quad neighbors meet Sunday at LaBar at 2 p.m.


Pasquerilla East vs. Lewis

Coming off a bye week, Pasquerilla East will see its first game action this Sunday against a Lewis team also hungry for its first win. Though they lost their first game to Howard 18-6, the Chicks (0-1) are looking to rebound this weekend with a stronger game. The Pyros (0-0) are taking each game one by one, keeping their eyes on playing in the championship game in the Stadium, according to Pasquerilla East junior captain Kristin Mannion.

“We have been working on the basics, trying to get back to the fundamentals,” she said. “We are going to be aggressive each and every game by playing with hustle and high energy. With our talent and playmakers, I am fully expecting our team to win the championship.”

The Pyros will be looking to senior quarterback Maggie Waller for offensive leadership. Her experience and talent under center will be key if Pasquerilla East is to accomplish its goals.

“Maggie is a great quarterback and her experience will take us far,” Mannion said.

Waller will have a tough match-up this weekend against a Lewis defense that held Howard, the defending champions, to a mere eighteen points this past Sunday. Her counterpart, Lewis quarterback Connaught Blood, brings intensity and a high level of toughness to her offense that may prove crucial in a tight game.

Lewis senior captain Sarah Ceponis has been working to instill a sense of intensity in her squad, and she issued a warning to the Pyros on the heels of that effort.

“Lewis football has always been about having fun, but starting Sunday it’s going to be about destroying our opponents while still having fun, of course,” she said. “We weren’t quite ready for our first game, but I don’t think [Pasquerilla East] is ready for our next.”

Pasquerilla East opens its season against a hungry Lewis squad Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar.


Walsh vs. Ryan

Looking to move one step further after falling one game short of the championship last season, Walsh will open up its 2010 campaign against Ryan after enjoying a bye week on the first Sunday of the season.

“We think we’re especially prepared for this week,” sophomore defensive lineman Jen Rawding said. “We got some extra practices to solidify our playbook. It gave us a chance to move the freshmen around at some different positions to find their strongest spots.”

The Wild Women (0-0) hope that an infusion of youth will help them reach their goals, as a number of talented freshmen join a squad that stormed through the regular season last year before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Howard.

“Our goal is to get to the stadium this year. We were close last year,” Rawding said. “We lost to Howard in the semifinals in a close game. That was obviously a tough loss. We return a lot of players and have a group of enthusiastic freshmen, so we think we have a good chance.”

Opposing them will be Ryan (0-1), who showed plenty of talent but failed to put points on the scoreboard in a 12-0 loss to McGlinn on Sunday. Ryan is led by sophomore quarterback Maya Pillai and her scramble-heavy offensive arsenal. Pillai and her team will come out against Walsh even hungrier for their first win after the opening loss.

“Have you ever been to the circus and seen the wildcats devour the ringmaster?” freshman wide receiver Sara McGuirk said. “That’s what they [Wild Women] are in for on Sunday.”

The battle between the two intense squads will be held at LaBar at 3 p.m.