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Women’s Interhall: Pangborn runs into playoffs

Tori Roeck, Conor Kelly, Laura Coletti and Ian Garrahy | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

After a high-scoring, high-energy contest between two teams vying for playoff spots, Pangborn emerged with a 28-20 win over Lewis and proved that it deserves to move on to the postseason.

The Phoxes (3-1) scored on the first possession of the game and never looked back. After getting sacked on the game’s first play by Lewis (2-2) senior defender Sarah Ceponis, who finished with three sacks on the day, Pangborn senior quarterback Gabby Tate marched the offense down the field to set up a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Kristin Ruekert.

The Phoxes didn’t let up on their second drive as Ruekert made it a two-score game with a 50-yard rushing touchdown.

The Chicks countered on their next drive with a 65-yard catch and run by freshman wide receiver Colleen Haller, setting up a short rushing touchdown by sophomore quarterback Connaught Blood.

On Lewis’ next drive, however, Blood was intercepted, leading to the first of two rushing touchdowns by Tate.

The Chicks offense came out stronger in the second half. On their first drive, Blood was hip-checked out of bounds by a Pangborn defender as she streaked to the end zone, forcing a penalty that led to first-and-goal. Blood then ran it in for the Chicks’ second touchdown.

The Lewis defense, led by senior cornerback Mary McKeever, then forced a three-and-out, giving the Chicks an opportunity to tie the game. However, the Lewis receivers dropped three straight passes on the next drive.

There was only time for one more Lewis possession, and Blood connected with Haller to squeeze out one last touchdown.

The Phoxes were thrilled with the win and are excited for the playoffs.

“We knew we had to come into this game and win,” Ruekert said. “Gabby was really patient and waited for good opportunities to score.”

Looking ahead, the Pangborn squad is prepared to face stiff competition in the postseason.

“We’re going to take the playoffs one game at a time,” Ruekert said.

“The coaches do a good job of figuring out what the other team is going to do,” Tate added. “Then we adapt to each opponent.”

Lewis’s fate was left unclear after the loss as they have to wait to see whether they will receive a wild card spot. Ceponis, however, is content either way.

“Lewis football has had the most fun out of all the dorms,” Ceponis said. “If this was the last game, we left a legacy.”

Howard 26, Pasquerilla East 0

Howard blitzed the Pasquerilla East defense for touchdowns on each of itsthree first half possessions en route to a victory at LaBar Field Sunday.

The Ducks (4-0) were led by senior captain and quarterback Kayla Bishop, who completed 11 of 21 passes on the day for three touchdowns. Bishop spread the ball around evenly among multiple receivers, who had big games themselves, showing quick strike capabilities that allowed Howard to score twice on drives lasting just three plays.

“Our game continues to improve as our receivers get better at reading defenses,” Bishop said. “They did a great job today.”

The Howard defense excelled as well, allowing only six Pasquerilla East (1-3) first downs in the game. With excellent containment and flag-pulling, For the most part, Howard contained the Pyros running game, led by senior Maggie Waller. Howard also returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half.

Though the result was disappointing, Pasquerilla East junior captain Kristin Mannion saw improvement in her team in the second half. Through a much-improved defense and an increasing reliance on the running of Waller after completing only one of seven passes in the first half, the Pyros played much better in the second half.

“In the first half we had the same issues that we’ve had all year, not connecting on plays and getting in our own way,” Mannion said. “But in the second half we let go of our fear of making mistakes a little bit and lit a little fire under our butts.”

Despite the better play, the Pyros were still stifled by a Howard defense that pitched its second shutout of the year and has its sights on a defending its championship from a year ago.

“The key, as it has been all year, was our team chemistry,” Bishop said. “Especially on defense.”

The Ducks will head to the playoffs after Fall Break.

Walsh 13, McGlinn 7

Walsh played spoiler this Sunday as they upset a McGlinn squad that needed a win to advance to the playoffs, as everything finally came together for the Wild Women (1-3) as they got their first win of the season in a victory over the Shamrocks (2-2).

Walsh struck first early in the opening half when senior quarterback Amy Langnecker completed a long pass up the left side of the field to set up a goal line situation. Senior receiver Lindsey Schanzer hauled in a short pass from Langnecker on the next play for the touchdown.

The Wild Women missed the extra point, which allowed McGlinn to take the lead just after halftime. After several strong defensive plays on Walsh’s part, the Shamrocks were able to break through when junior quarterback Lauren Miller lofted a pass to junior receiver Kate Miller in the left corner of the end zone. A sharp pass to the right corner of the end zone that was barely kept in bounds got the Shamrocks the extra point and put them ahead 7-6.

Walsh answered on the very next drive, when Langnecker found Schanzer deep in the right corner of the end zone for their second score. The Wild Women held on for the win during McGlinn’s final drive of the game and sealed the deal with an interception.

The win meant a lot to the Wild Women, as they avoided a winless season.

“We came together as a team after three losses in a row,” Langnecker said. “We wanted to end the season on a good note. We wanted the seniors to go out with a win.”

Langnecker credited her team’s tough defense for keeping them in the game.

“Our defense rocked today. [Senior] Allison Vicenzi especially did a great job knocking down passes left and right,” she said.

While the loss for the Shamrocks eliminated them from the playoffs, Miller still has a positive outlook for the future of McGlinn’s program.

“I think that we had a good season,” Miller said. “We had a handful of veterans and a handful of young kids, who can now build on experience.”

Welsh Family 20, Ryan 12

Both Welsh Family’s and Ryan’s seasons were on the line as the teams battled in the hope that a win would contribute to a potential playoff berth. In the end, the Whirlwinds (2-2) bolstered their playoff chances with a win over the Wildcats (1-3).

The Whirlwinds strong passing attack produced multiple long touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Vicky Moreno to junior wide receiver Natalie Baldasari.

The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after sophomore quarterback Maya Pillai found junior wide receiver Brianna Curtis in traffic across the middle for 70-yard touchdown pass. On the ensuing Whirlwinds possession, Moreno tossed an 80-yard touchdown to Baldasari, which was followed by a successful conversion to give the Whirlwinds a 7-6 lead. The game-changing drive for the Whirlwinds came with less than ten seconds left in the first half. Moreno threw a 25-yard completion to junior wide receiver Charlotte Seasly, which placed the ball at 35-yard line with only three seconds left. A beautifully designed play was created to free up Baldasari for the touchdown as time expired, and Welsh Family took a 14-6 lead into the half.

“That play was huge,” Moreno said. “We knew that we needed points for the point differentials to get into the playoffs. [Baldasari] made a great catch.”

The Whirlwinds scored on their first possession of the second half when Moreno capped off the opening drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to junior Grace Johnson to increase Welsh Family’s lead to 20-6.

The Wildcats scored late in the second half on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Pillai to senior wide receiver Kelly O’Brien to narrow the deficit to 20-12, but it wasn’t enough as the Whirlwind won a do-or-die game.

“This was a must win,” Baldasari said. “We’re hoping we’re a wild card for the playoffs. We came out and played our hardest and did what we needed to do.”