Women’s Interhall: Cavanaugh, McGlinn advance to finals in Stadium
Peter Steiner and Issac Lorton | Monday, November 14, 2011
No. 1 Cavanaugh 19, No. 5 Pasquerilla West 0
With a dominating aerial attack and a relentless pass defense, No. 1 Cavanaugh prevailed over No. 5 Pasquerilla West 19-0 in Monday night’s semifinal matchup. By defeating Pasquerilla West (5-3), Cavanaugh (8-0) achieved the goal every interhall team strives for — a chance to play in Notre Dame Stadium with the interhall championship on the line.
“We came ready and prepared to play,” senior receiver Bridget Bredemann said. “We showed how good we have been all season and can’t wait to play in the Stadium.”
With two second-half touchdown receptions, Bredemann had a break out performance for the Chaos. On the opening drive of the second half, Bredemann caught a 25-yard pass from senior quarterback Rebecca Cink to set the Chaos up at the Purple Weasels’ 26-yard line. Cink and Bredemann connected again four plays later for the 14-yard touchdown, giving Cavanaugh a 12-0 lead.
After stopping Pasquerilla West on fourth down, the Chaos struck once again with another touchdown pass from Cink to Bredemann — this time from six yards out.
While in the red zone, Cavanaugh routinely loaded all four receivers on the left side of the line, forcing an extra Pasquerilla West defender to cover the open space on the right side. The strategy helped the Chaos to connect on passes across the middle and right sides of the field, including the second touchdown to Bredemann.
Although Cavanaugh only gained 16 yards on the ground, Cink’s precision passing allowed the Chaos to put three touchdowns on the board.
In addition to an impressive offensive performance, the Chaos’ defense also prevented the Purple Weasels from moving the ball effectively. By tipping seven passes and preventing long rushes, Cavanaugh kept Pasquerilla West from sustaining an lasting offensive drive until late in the second half.
Utilizing a man-to-man defense and a roaming safety, Cavanaugh defenders swarmed to every thrown ball, resulting in a shutout.
Even though its season finished with a tough loss, Pasquerilla West was able to remember its great year and the immense progress players made.
“I’m really proud of everyone,” senior captain Alison Lindeen said. “It hurts to lose like this, but I’m proud of our season. I think we worked really hard and had huge improvements over the season.”
Cavanaugh, meanwhile, couldn’t be more excited to get the opportunity to play in Notre Dame Stadium, Bredemann said.
“We are thrilled to be playing in the stadium and can’t wait to show McGlinn what we’ve got,” Bredemann said. “We want to complete our undefeated season.”
The Chaos will play No. 6 McGlinn on Sunday in the championship game at Notre Dame Stadium.
Contact Peter Steiner at [email protected].
No. 6 McGlinn 7, No. 7 Howard 0
Both No. 6 McGlinn and No. 7 Howard proved their defensive authority Sunday, but the Shamrocks had the answer offensively and defeated the Ducks.
McGlinn (6-2) jumped to an early lead in the first half when the Shamrock defense returned an interception for a touchdown. However, it was called back for flag guarding and McGlinn was unable to capitalize on its great field position from 15 yards out as Howard (5-3) was rock-solid defensively.
“Our defense played strong and the red-zone stand seemed to energize the girls,” Howard senior captain and cornerback Caroline Walsh said.
Although it could have been a game-changing blow, McGlinn rallied, relying on a hard-nosed defensive front.
“We persevered and knew our defense would pick the offense up,” McGlinn senior captain and quarterback Lauren Miller said. “We still had confidence going into the second half.”
After a scoreless first half, the 0-0 tie was broken on an 18-yard pass from Miller to senior receiver Kate Tucker four minutes into the second half.
“I ended up being wide open somehow and Lauren threw a perfect pass,” Tucker said. “I’m just glad I didn’t screw it up.”
After the score, the Shamrocks clamped down defensively and stifled the Ducks’ offense.
“Our defense played amazingly and they have been the key strength of our team this year,” Miller said. “They gave us the chance the win and the chance to get the touchdown in the second half.”
Howard, meanwhile, was unable to get anything going offensively. Of the Ducks’ three offensive drives in the second half, two ended in punts. The last drive for the Ducks showed promise but ended with a turnover on downs. With 20 seconds remaining, Howard failed to convert on a fourth-and-two and McGlinn went into victory formation to end the game.
“Our offense was just unable to get anything going. The plays that worked against Ryan just didn’t work against McGlinn,” Walsh said. “After the loss of some key players from last year, we were happy to get to the playoffs and even happier to upset Ryan, but it just wasn’t in our cards this time.”
The Shamrocks will look to repeat their success from three years ago, when they won the interhall championship.
“Our seniors were freshman last time we played in the Stadium and we want to end the way we started,” Miller said. “We are going to go out this week and have fun.”
McGlinn will face No. 1 Cavanaugh on Sunday in the women’s interhall championship at Notre Dame Stadium.
Contact Issac Lorton at [email protected].