Women’s Interhall: Weasels advance to semifinals
Observer Sports Writers | Tuesday, November 6, 2012
By ALEX WILCOX
No. 8 Ryan pushed No. 1 Pasquerilla West to the brink Sunday, but the Purple Weasels survived the test, defeating the Wildcats 19-12 in overtime.
Ryan came ready to play, scoring on its second drive of the game on a nine-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Maya Pillai to senior receiver Amy Jurvis. Ryan’s fast start caught Pasquerilla West (7-0) off-guard, Purple Weasels senior captain Meghan Schmitt said.
“It definitely was a fight all the way through.” Schmitt said. “We say we’re always ready for anything, but we did not expect this much of a challenge from them.”
Despite its early struggles, Pasquerilla West remained resilient. After giving up the first touchdown to Ryan (4-3), the Purple Weasels defense shut down the Ryan offense for the rest of the first half, aided by two sacks by Schmitt. An 11-yard touchdown run by Pasquerilla West sophomore quarterback Lauren Vidal late in the first half tied the game at six.
After Ryan went up 12-6 midway through the second half, Pasquerilla West got the ball back and promptly marched down the field on a seven-play, 60-yard drive that ended in Vidal’s second touchdown run and tied the game.
After both teams traded interceptions, Ryan marched to Pasquerilla West’s eight-yard line, but its drive stalled, and the game headed to overtime.
Despite the second-half adversity, Schmitt said her team never doubted themselves.
“We never got down on ourselves,” Schmitt said. “We were just looking to do what we needed to do and got it done.”
The Purple Weasels needed two plays to find the end zone in overtime, as Vidal rushed for her third touchdown of the day to put Pasquerilla West up 19-12.
The Wildcats needed a touchdown to extend overtime, but an incomplete pass on fourth and goal from the one-yard line sealed Ryan’s fate.
“We expected all along that it would be a really competitive game, since we knew we could play with the best teams, and overall, I think this was a great season,” Pillai said.
Schmitt said the ugly win showed a lot about her team.
“A lot of people thought we were given an easy bracket, that we had things handed to us,” Schmitt said. “But today we showed a lot of fight, and this game just showed when it gets tight we can fight to stay alive.”
Pasquerilla West advances to the semifinal round and will play No. 4 Walsh on Sunday at 4 pm on LaBar Field.
Contact Alex Wilcox at [email protected]
Walsh 12 Welsh Family 7
By GREG HADLEY
In a close contest, No. 4 Walsh pulled out a 12-7 victory over No. 5 Welsh Family on Sunday.
Both teams relied on a pass-heavy attack and mixed in runs by their quarterbacks. In the end, a 25-yard run by Walsh senior quarterback Kat Leach, coupled with a penalty for unnecessary roughness, set up the game-winning score for the Wild Women (5-2). Leach completed nine of her 15 passes and threw for two touchdowns, one of them to senior receiver Shannon Fleming.
The Whirlwinds (4-3) were able to move the ball effectively through the air, as senior quarterback Victoria Moreno completed 10-of-15 passes. In the end, however, Moreno connected on only one touchdown pass, finding senior receiver Kirsten Groody in the end zone.
The first half was a defensive showdown, as both defenses kept the offenses in check, and the game was scoreless at halftime.
On the first drive in the second half, Walsh broke through, scoring on Leach’s touchdown pass. The Whirlwinds countered with a long drive of their own, kept alive by several third down conversions, which resulted in their sole score of the day.
After the Wild Women scored again to retake the lead, Welsh Family tried to rally, but the Whirlwinds turned the ball over after some confusion about the correct down.
“Everyone on our sideline was sure it was third down,” Groody said of the play. “It was hard because we came out expecting third down, our play call was for third down and then all of a sudden it was fourth.”
On the opposite side of the field, Walsh senior cornerback Lindy Navarre had a different perspective.
“Penalties and close calls were a big part of this game,” Navarre said. “Not everything went our way. We just didn’t let stuff like that affect us.”
While Walsh survives to remain in the playoffs, Welsh Family’s season is over.
“It’s sad as a senior,” Groody said. “It’s still sinking in that it’s all over. Still, overall, we actually played well.”
Navarre said her team’s performance bodes well for it as it continues through the playoffs.
“We were a very balanced team today,” Navarre said. “Both offense and defense stepped up when we needed it. We’re going to need that going forward.”
Walsh will play No. 1 Pasquerilla West in the semifinals Sunday.
Contact Greg Hadley at [email protected]
Pangborn 18, Cavanaugh 12
By ALEX STEMBAUGH
In a game filled with heart and intensity down to the very end, No. 6 Pangborn eked out an 18-12 victory over No. 3 Cavanaugh in double overtime Sunday.
“This game was really exciting,” Pangborn freshman receiver Mary Gallagher said. “Coming in, I knew it was a really big game for the seniors. We all wanted to play well since it could be their last game.”
Both teams got off to slow starts, as suffocating defensive pressure on both sides stifled the offenses in a scoreless first half.
The second half opened on a different note, as Pangborn (5-2) rushed for a touchdown from 12 yards out on its first possession. Cavanaugh senior quarterback Rosemary Kelly answered back with a burst through the Pangborn defensive line and a 60-yard run to tie the game. The Chaos (5-2) mounted a final drive but they were stopped on the three-yard line as regulation time expired.
In the first overtime, Pangborn sophomore quarterback Caitlin Gargan connected on a 10-yard pass to Gallagher for a touchdown. The Chaos responded with a three-yard touchdown run by Kelly to tie the game again.
The Chaos got the ball to start the second overtime, but Pangborn sophomore safety Andrea Hawkins intercepted Kelly’s first pass. The Phoxes converted their opportunity, as Gargan made another pass to Gallagher for the game-winning touchdown.
Kelly said the Chaos took the close, season-ending loss pretty hard.
“We played our hearts out tonight,” she said.
Despite the defeat, Kelly said she was pleased with the positives of Cavanaugh’s season.
“This group is a lot more dynamic than in years past,” Kelly said. “Injuries in the middle of the season took our whole receiving line out, but our underclassmen really stepped up, so there is hope for our program … This game really showed the strength of our intramural program. As intense as we get, in the end it’s not just about the dorm rivalries. What matters is playing your hardest, even if you lose. A lower seed can beat an upper seed any day.”
Pangborn’s celebration will be short-lived, as the focus shifts to its game next week. “We’re looking forward to it, and hopefully we can make it to the stadium,” Gallagher said.
Pangborn will take the next step toward the championship game when it meets No. 2 McGlinn in Sunday’s semifinal round.
Contact Alex Stembaugh at [email protected]
McGlinn 20, Badin 0
By ALEX STEMBAUGH
No. 2 McGlinn played up to its seed Sunday, eliminating No. 7 Badin 20-0 in a battle of contrasting styles.
Appearing in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, defending champions McGlinn (6-1) started strong and never looked back. Although the Shamrock offense was penalty-ridden, it proved successful in moving the ball down the field. McGlinn senior quarterback Emily Golden racked up rushing yards, as she broke numerous tackles, and connected on touchdown passes to several different receivers, including seniors Katie Ritter and Caitlin Day.
The Shamrock defense, however, stole the show, as it forced two interceptions and a turnover on downs at its own 20-yard line and did not allow the Bullfrogs to put points on the board.
“We had to make some adjustments on defense because their offense wasn’t like anything we had seen before,” Badin senior captain Margaret Bellon said. “We practiced some, but not enough on defense to get ready for their really mobile quarterback.”.
Appearing in their first playoff game in three seasons, the Bullfrogs (2-5) were without their starting quarterback, so junior Sarah Fleming and senior Tommasina Domel shared time at the position.
“We were getting into it at the end, but it was just too little too late,” Bellon said. “We just had to do the best in our situation, and we couldn’t have led a better team.”
Although Badin’s season is over, Bellon said she was proud of her team’s accomplishments.
“This is the first time Badin has been in the playoffs for a while, and we’re proud of that since we’re such a small dorm,” Bellon said.
Meanwhile, McGlinn moves on in its quest to win a second consecutive championship. McGlinn sophomore running back Emma Collis said she the team effort of the Shamrocks was crucial to their first round playoff victory.
“We did well, and everyone contributed,” Collis said. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing, keep playing hard and really keep playing as a team.”
McGlinn will face No. 6 Pangborn in Sunday’s semifinal round.
Contact Alex Stembaugh at [email protected]