Women’s Interhall: Purple Weasels continue undefeated streak
Observer Sports Writers | Monday, October 8, 2012
Pasquerilla West 21, Howard 0
By GREG HADLEY
As Pasquerilla West continues its drive toward Notre Dame Stadium, the Purple Weasels (5-0) exacted revenge on Howard, which has denied their championship hopes in the past, with a 21-0 victory Sunday.
Howard (1-4) entered the game scrambling to make the playoffs because of a rash of injuries and poor attendance at games. Still, the Ducks hoped to upset the Purple Weasels, whom they have beaten for the championship before.
Early on, the Ducks defense kept them in the game, with sophomore cornerback Marie Cole getting a key interception. However, the Purple Weasels finally broke through toward the end of the first quarter, when sophomore quarterback Lauren Vidal rushed for a score. After that, the Purple Weasels used a balanced attack of rushes and long passes to score twice more before the half to lead 21-0.
After the half, the Howard defense stiffened and did not surrender any more points. However, the Ducks offense could not generate any momentum against Pasquerilla West’s stout defense. The stalemate lasted the entire second half, giving the Purple Weasels the 21-0 victory and preserving their undefeated season.
“Most of our wins are due to our defense,” Vidal said. “They’re key to us making it to [Notre Dame Stadium].”
On offense, the Purple Weasels hope to continue their balanced attack and keep on introducing new running plays, Vidal said.
Howard, on the other hand, is out of the playoff picture and, instead, is looking to the future, junior quarterback Clare Robinson said.
“We’re trying something new every game,” Robinson said. “We just want to have fun.”
Robinson said she wants the freshmen such as Stephanie Peterson, Erin Rice, Maria Ianni and Bridget Doyle to keep developing.
Howard will finish its season against Breen-Phillips on Oct. 28 at LaBar Fields, while Pasquerilla West will try and stay undefeated against Lyons the same day before beginning the playoffs.
Walsh 13, Lyons 0
In a showdown between Lyons and Walsh, both defenses dominated, but a costly penalty proved to be the defining moment of the game, as the Wild Women (4-2) emerged victorious, 13-0, on Sunday.
At first, the Lyons offense moved the ball easily, aided by Walsh penalties, and eventually reached the four-yard line. However, the Lyonites (1-4) were unable to score and they turned the ball over on downs. Walsh’s offense proved to be equally unsuccessful at moving the ball, and the game had all the appearances of a scoreless stalemate.
But on the Lyonites’ next possession, Walsh senior cornerback and captain Lindy Navarre intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for the score. Then, on the very next drive, Lyons freshman receiver Alexa Lodenquai appeared to break free for a 50-yard touchdown run. The run was negated, however, by an illegal equipment penalty. The officials ruled that Lodenquai’s flags were too hard to pull and Lyons, instead of tying the game, turned the ball over on downs.
“When we had that call go against us, it really brought our spirits down,” junior captain and safety Christina Bramanti said. “We need to be tougher mentally.”
The Wild Women, on the other hand, used the second lease on life to expand their lead on a rushing score by senior quarterback Kat Leach.
“Sometimes those calls go against us,” Leach said. “Today we were the ones that got the call.”
Leach said the call was less important than the strong play of the Walsh defense, including junior cornerback Connor Sullivan and senior safety Lauren Dunn, which will be important in the playoffs.
Lyons too looked past the penalty and instead focused on the positives.
“We fought really hard,” senior coach Joe Peluso said. “I was happy with the game we played.”
The Lyonites will next play after fall break with the chance to beat undefeated Pasquerilla West on Oct. 28, while Walsh has completed its schedule and awaits the playoffs.
Contact Greg Hadley at g[email protected]
Cavanaugh 13, Breen Phillips 6
By ALEX STEMBAUGH
In a hard-fought battle, Cavanaugh emerged with a 13-6 victory over North Quad rival Breen Phillips on Sunday.
Cavanaugh (4-1) started strong offensively, but Breen-Phillips’ defense was quick to counter, and posted two of its three interceptions on Cavanaugh’s first two possessions. Cavanaugh rebounded quickly, however, as senior quarterback Rosemary Kelly rushed for a 60-yard touchdown on the third drive, part of her 140 yards rushing on the game.
Kelly and sophomore running back Olivia Dietzel ran the option with ease throughout the night, and Dietzel scored a second touchdown to put the Chaos up 13-0. Kelly said shethat the offensive line was crucial to the success of the Chaos’ running game.
“I’m really proud of our offense today,” Kelly said. “We knew we wanted to run the ball, and we had been working on blocking all week, so our line was really strong today.”
“We are really lucky to have four girls that specifically play line, and only one is brand new,” senior center and captain Kelly Brakora said. “We take our job really seriously.”
The Babes (1-3), however, displayed resilience behind a strong ground and air assault headed by junior captain and quarterback Molly Toner. Toner led an offensive team effort for the Babes, as she connected with five different receivers and passed for over 75 yards and one touchdown.
“I’m really proud of how well we played against Cavanaugh because they only beat us by seven points,” Toner said. “They are a really great team, and we are happy to finish within scoring distance.”
Breen Phillips will look to bounce back against Howard on Oct. 28 while Cavanaugh will take on Badin the same day.
Contact Alex Stembaugh at a[email protected]
Pasquerilla East 22, Farley 7
By KYLE FOLEY
Pasquerilla East recorded its first win of the season when it defeated Farley 22-7 on Sunday in a battle of two high-powered offenses.
The inability of the Finest (0-4) to score in the red zone kept them winless.
“The game was fantastic,” Pasquerilla East senior captain Anna Perino said. “We were both so evenly matched but in the end I guess we pulled away with the win.”
Following a scoreless first quarter, a failed fourth-and-goal attempt for Farley gave the ball back to the Pyros (1-3-1) with four minutes remaining in the first half. After gaining 25 yards, Pasquerilla East took the lead as sophomore quarterback Macy Mulhall connected with sophomore receiver Nicole Ameli on fourth-and-12 for the touchdown. The Pyros failed the one-point conversion and led by six with 90 seconds left in the half.
With time running out, Farley junior quarterback Lauren Ladowski spearheaded a long drive, capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Sarah Burbank. Burbank reached over her defender’s head to secure the catch, putting the Finest up 7-6 going into halftime.
The Pyros shut the Finest down on a fourth down in the red zone to start the half, killing any momentum the Finest had garnered from their late first half score.
Pasquerilla East then took the lead when junior running back Kiah Schaefbauer caught a touchdown pass after setting up the Pyros with a 35-yard rush.
The Finest had one final chance to even the score in the fourth quarter. However Perino returned an interception for a touchdown, ending Farley’s chance at a comeback.
Ladowski was 20-for-30 through the air to lead the Farley offense. The junior said she was pleased with the offensive performance despite the loss.
“This was our offense’s best game,” Ladowski said. “We finally figured it out and hope to carry this momentum into our final game.”
The Finest will look to end the season with a win when they face McGlinn on Oct. 28. Looking to win two in a row, the Pyros square off against Ryan on Oct. 28.
Ryan 20, Lewis 6
Sunday’s matchup between Ryan and Lewis was a game that had major playoff implications on the line, with the losing team most likely missing out on the opportunity to advance to the postseason this year. In the end, it was Ryan (3-2) that won 20-6 over the Chicks (1-3-1).
“This win puts us in good position to make the playoffs if we can beat [Pasquerilla East],” senior quarterback Maya Pillai said.
The Wildcats offense used an unstoppable sweep run by junior receiver and running back Leah Fisher. On Ryan’s first possession, a 30-yard sweep by Fisher set up a seven-yard strike to junior receiver Maddie Swan from Pillai.
Pillai commanded the offense for the Wildcats, going 8-for-15 throwing the ball and racking up many yards on the ground.
The Wildcats scored once more before the half when Pillai sold a fake handoff to Fisher so well that it left sophomore receiver Ashley Veselik wide open in the end zone for the touchdown.
Down 13-0, the Chicks stormed back in the second half. Senior quarterback Connaught Blood led a run-oriented offense, as she was able to scramble to evade most of the Wildcats’ pass rush. A 30-yard scramble by Blood set up a short touchdown pass to freshman Abbey Dankoff that pulled the Chicks to within seven.
However, a 20-yard touchdown rush by Fisher on another sweep, complete with a flawless juke, extended Ryan’s lead to 20-6.
Pillai said she thinks the time off because of fall break will be beneficial to Ryan’s overall health.
“Hopefully with the week off for fall break, we can get some of our injured players back on the field,” Pillai said.
Despite suffering a loss that might have knocked the Chicks out of the playoff race, Blood said she thought the game plan was solid. However, she said Lewis still needs to focus on the details.
“Our offense played much better today than we have in past games but we were really hampered by some penalties on key plays and drives,” Blood said. “For the next game we’ll be working on getting the little things right and having fun as the season starts to wind down.”
Ryan hopes to continue its success Oct. 28 against Pasquerilla East in a game that could put them into the playoffs while Lewis battles Pangborn to close out the regular season Oct. 28.
Contact Kyle Foley at [email protected]
McGlinn 14, Welsh Family 6
By D.H. KIM
Despite windy, rainy conditions, both McGlinn and Welsh Family battled until the end, when the Shamrocks (4-1)eventually triumphed 14-6 over the Whirlwinds (4-2)on Sunday.
McGlinn (4-1) started out strong with senior captain and quarterback Emily Golden proving to be effective as a dual threat quarterback. Golden scrambled and rushed to convert fourth downs on multiple occasions.
Welsh Family (4-2) had a staunch red zone defense that contained the Shamrocks in the first quarter. On the other side of the ball, Whirlwinds senior captain and quarterback Victoria Moreno was stymied in the first half as the Shamrock defense, led by senior cornerback Ally Scalo, pressured Moreno into incompletions. Scalo had two sacks in the game that forced the Whirlwinds to punt in the first half.
“They rattled us on the blitz and played an excellent game today,” Moreno said. “We missed pulling some flags and we were outplayed.”
Golden put the Shamrocks on the board first when she connected with senior receiver Caitlin Day for a touchdown.
But Moreno responded quickly with an incredible 45-yard rushing touchdown that tied the game.
Welsh Family’s defense, led by senior linebacker Lynn Tasker and senior defensive lineman Elizabeth Pallante, kept the score even until late in the fourth quarter.
Golden converted another fourth down with two minutes left on the clock. The senior quarterback then threw a touchdown pass to senior receiver Katie Ritter that proved to be the game-winner.
With the win, McGlinn clinched a spot in the playoffs.
“Most importantly we made the playoffs and played an excellent game today,” Golden said. “The defense was awesome and we just have to keep this streak and play McGlinn football.”
The Whirlwinds are also most likely playoff-bound despite the loss.
Welsh Family is finished for the regular season, while McGlinn plays its final game Oct. 28 against Farley.
Contact D.H. Kim at [email protected]