Women’s Interhall: Chaos and Purple Weasels to face off Sunday
By Observer Sports Writers | Friday, September 20, 2013
By ERIC RICHELSEN
Although Cavanaugh and Pasquerilla West are coming off strong seasons, both teams will sport young lineups when they meet Sunday night.
Cavanaugh must adapt to a new quarterback this season if it hopes to replicate last year’s success. Cavanaugh senior captain Meaghan Ayers said, however, the season’s first few practices have given her the confidence that another playoff season is not far out of reach.
“Everyone is adjusting to working with a new group of girls, but based on our practices so far, I don’t foresee that being an issue once the season starts,” Ayers said.
Pasquerilla West also suffered significant losses from last year’s team, but senior captain [Brianne] “Breezi” Toole, expressed optimism for another strong season.
“We lost a few good players who graduated and went abroad, but we still have a lot of solid players, including some girls who played for our B-team last year,” Toole said.
Though both teams are young, they have high expectations to make it to Notre Dame Stadium for the interhall championship game. Toole invoked the television show “Friday Night Lights” to describe her team’s attitude.
“Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose,” Toole said.
With preseason practices behind them, Cavanaugh and Pasquerilla West will look to hit the ground running when they meet Sunday at LaBar Fields at 6 p.m.
Contact Eric Richelsen at [email protected]
By ALEXANDRA LANE
As Pangborn and Walsh complete their final preseason practices before the two teams meet in their season opener Sunday night, both teams’ captains expressed positive outlooks on the new season.
Pangborn senior co-captains Mary Kate Veselik and Molly Shawhan said they are both excited to see their team this year.
“We are looking forward to this year, as the year Pangborn makes it to the Stadium,” Veselik said. “This game on Sunday is the beginning of that run.”
Junior Walsh co-captains Maggie Fisher and Molly Johnson said they also have high hopes for the season.
“We lost a lot of seniors, but the freshmen look pretty athletic,” Fisher said.
Both squads will look for leadership from their returning junior players. Juniors Caitlin Gargan and Liz Quinn will split time at quarterback for Pangborn, while juniors Andrea Hawkins and Anna McNamara will be key players in the secondary for the Phoxes.
Junior Julianne Carson will start at quarterback for Walsh, while junior running back Kathleen Brown will also look to boost the Wild Women’s offense.
Both teams’ captains are confident in what their newcomers can bring to the field.
“We have a lot of athletic freshmen on the Walsh team that we are looking forward to putting in the game,” Johnson said.
Veselik named freshman running back Anne Arnason a player to watch in Sunday’s matchup, nothingshe is eager to see what Arnason and the other freshmen can add to the team.
The Phoxes and the Wild Women will begin their seasons Sunday at 4 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Alexandra Lane at [email protected].
By CORNELIUS MCGRATH
Freshman stars will look to take center stage when Ryan and McGlinn open their seasons with a Sunday showdown.
Ryan freshman quarterback Kathleen Conaty will take over as the starter for the Wildcats and try to lead the team to another playoff season. While senior captain and offensive linesman Andrea Carlson said she expects jitters from Conaty, she also believes the young quarterback is ready for game action.
“Kathleen is feeling a little nervous, but, above all, she is just really excited to get her first game under her belt,” Carlson said.
The Wildcats lost a lot of experience on offense and are trying new starters at quarterback, receiver and center. Despite the team’s inexperience, Carlson said she is confident the replacements will improve Ryan’s offense.
“I believe the team is stronger this year because we have a good mix of girls from seniors right through to freshman giving us fantastic strength and depth,” Carlson said.
Similarly, defending champions McGlinn will also look to their freshman class to give the team a new on-field dynamic. Senior captain and receiver Tara Crown said she knows the Shamrocks can’t be complacent if they hope to continue their success. “Coming off such a strong preseason, our freshman look very promising, and I hope they can surprise our opposition,” Crown said. “The team knows that we have to play just as hard as we did last year to win a championship, and it is not a right.”
Crown also pointed out McGlinn’s defense, led by senior co-captain and cornerback Kaitlyn Keelin, is one of its strongest assets.
“Having Kaitlyn leading the defense is huge for us, her leadership will be vital to our team’s success,” Crown said.
McGlinn will face-off against Ryan on Sunday at 5 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Cornelius McGrath at [email protected].
By MEGAN WINKEL
Lyons and Badin have taken different approaches to this season, but both teams will look to earn a victory when they square off Sunday.
Taking into account the makeup of its freshmen-laden squad, Lyons looks to approach the year with a new strategy, senior captain and receiver Christina Bramanti said.
“Last year, we had a lot of plays, and we weren’t really perfect at any of them, but this year we want to have a handful of plays but be very good at all of them,” Bramanti said. “Everything is a lot more simplified, which is a good level to start at with the freshmen.”
While the new players lack experience, Bramanti believes there are many benefits to having a young team.
“The freshmen provide us with a lot of new talent and new potential for the season,” Bramanti said. “Also, having a young group of girls helps with bonding in the dorm and on the team because we’re all getting to know each other.”
Badin heads into the season with an equally young team. The goal for the season, however, remains the same as the team looks to replicate its past successes, senior captain and quarterback Kristina Techar said.
“Last year we made the playoffs which was a big deal because we hadn’t made playoffs in a long time,” Techar said. “That is our goal again this year, as well as going even further.”
Techar said the Bullfrogs are ready for anything in their pursuit of a championship.
“We don’t know what’s coming, so we’re just going to play it by ear and roll with the punches,” Techar said.
The Lions and the Bullfrogs face off Sunday at 6 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Megan Winkel at [email protected].
By RENEE GRIFFIN
Interhall football kicks off Sunday for both Howard and Welsh Family, which will face each other in the first game of their respective seasons.
Howard senior captain Clare Robinson said she believes the Ducks can overcome preseason difficulties to win their opening game.
“We actually have just assembled our team with our first practice this week, but we have a bunch of returners who will be able to step up right away,” Robinson said.
Welsh Family senior captain Steph Lobaccaro said she is confident in her team’s experience level and its enthusiasm for the start of the season.
“I think that we’re a mix of veterans and new players,” Lobaccaro said of her squad. “Our strength is the energy we have. We’ve been practicing two to three times a week, kind of going over plays and making sure everyone’s as excited as we are.”
Lobaccaro said the Whirlwinds hope to build off their successes from previous seasons.
“We’ve made it to the playoffs the past two years I’ve been on the team, so we have a really good foundation,” Lobaccaro said. “Hopefully, this is the year where we go further in the playoffs than we have before.”
Robinson said she thinks Howard can make some improvements from last season.
“We had some issues last year getting people to go to games and bonding as a team, so hopefully we can get the Ducks flying again,” Robinson said. “I’m one of the few returning players who was on the team for our last championship in my freshman year, so we’re trying to have a return to glory this year.”
The Ducks and the Whirlwinds face off Sunday at 4 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact Renee Griffin at [email protected].
By ERIC RICHELSEN
Breen-Phillips and Pangborn will look to start off the season right when they meet Monday in a battle of teams looking to take the next step.
After a 1-5 season last year, Breen-Phillips will look to improve via a talent influx in its freshman class, senior captain Molly Toner said. Toner said she believes the Babes could become a flag football powerhouse in the next few years if the young players live up to their potential.
“[We have] a really athletic freshman class who is excited to contribute to the continually-improving [Breen-Phillips] flag football [program],” Toner said.
The first obstacle in the Babes’ road to glory is Pangborn, a team with its eyes on a run to Notre Dame Stadium. After a 5-3 season last year and some sophomore and freshmen additions, senior captain Mary Kate Veselik said she is optimistic and confident this season could be the Phoxes’ year.
“We are returning a lot of key girls from last year,” Veselik said. “[It’s] stadium or bust. [It’s time] that Pangborn wins in Notre Dame Stadium.”
Breen-Phillips and Pangborn will begin their seasons Monday night at 10 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Eric Richelsen at [email protected]
By CHRISTINA KOCHANSKI
Walsh and Howard will face off Monday night for their second game of both teams’ seasons. Despite graduating many players, Walsh will look to repeat the success that brought it to last year’s championship game. According to junior captain Margaret Fisher, the Wild Women will have to place a heavy load of responsibility on the freshman class.
“We had a lot of seniors graduate, so the majority of our team is freshmen,” Fisher said. “I’m optimistic because they’re very athletic.”
Coming off a difficult season, Howard also has high expectations for the year, senior captain and quarterback Clare Robinson said.
“We did not do that well last year,” Robinson said. “There was a little bit of disorganization. We have thirty girls this year, though, and we’re pretty optimistic.”
Howard struggled with preseason preparations and did not begin practicing until yesterday, making it difficult for Robinson to get a feel for her team.
“I’m [living] off-campus, and the new intramural registration system meant that we didn’t have an e-mail list for all the girls, so scheduling was a challenge,” Robinson said.
Robinson will lead Howard as its starting quarterback, while junior Julianne Carson will make her first start under center for Walsh.
Walsh and Howard will put their optimism to the test when the two teams meet Monday at 10 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Christina Kochanski at [email protected].
By MITCHELL MEERSMAN
Pasquerilla West will face Lyons on Tuesday in a matchup of teams looking to reload after losing key players to graduation.
Lyons captain and receiver Christina Bramanti said Lyons is currently in a rebuilding year, but believes the Lions have several possible game-changers in their freshman class, including a new talent under center.
“[We have] a lot of great freshman for the future,” Bramanti said. “Kristen Lombardo, our freshman quarterback, has a lot of potential.”
Bramanti said she also expects the Lions’ receiving corps, especially sophomore receiver Alexa Lodenquai, to be a major strength for the team.
On the other sideline, Pasquerilla West will attempt to recapture the team chemistry that drove it to a 7-1 season last year. The Purple Weasels have a tough fighting spirit and will be ready to play when the lights come on Tuesday night, senior captain [Brianne] “Breezi” Toole said. Toole said Pasquerilla West would also rely on young talent to replace some of last season’s contributors.
“We lost some key players from last year, but we have a young squad that’s ready to fill their shoes,” Toole said.
The rebuilding Lions will take on the Pyros’ young talent Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Mitchell Meersman at [email protected]
By EVAN ANDERSON
Farley and Pasquerilla East face off Tuesday night in a game featuring two dynamic offenses.
Pasquerilla East’s offense features junior quarterback Macy Mulhall, but the Pyros have plenty of speed to go around at the other skill positions as well, senior captain Caroline Kuse said.
“Senior Kiah Schaefbauer and junior [Nicole] “Nik-Nik” Ameli are two of the fastest girls in the world,” Kuse said. “They’ll be huge assets in both our running and passing games.”
Kuse also had a few words for the competitors who might doubt her young team.
“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of teams that don’t expect much from our dorm,” said Kuse. “[The Pasquerilla East] Pyros are going to set the world on fire, wait and see.”
Tuesday night will also mark the debut of junior Caitlin Smith under center for Farley. Smith will face a new challenge after quarterbacking Farley’s B-team to a championship last fall. Aided by senior running back Giselle Sabal and an influx of talent returning from study abroad programs, Smith and the Finest will look to ride a wave of momentum generated by a several wins toward the end of last season.
“We want to start off on a high note,” Farley senior captain Lauren Ladowski said. “Last season, we struggled to win games early, but we picked it up toward the end of the season. We definitely think we’re a playoff team … we’re just going to take it week-by-week and see how far that takes us.”
Farley will make its season debut against the Pyros on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Riehle Fields.
Contact Evan Anderson at [email protected]