WOMEN'S INTERHALL BLUE LEAGUE: Lewis faces Howard in `Battle of the Birds'
By MATT MOONEY, BRIAN LONG and JOE HETTLER
Come tonight, the feathers will fly.
When the Howard Ducks (2-1) square off against the Lewis Chicks (3-0-1), Howard will face its most challenging test yet.
"We're treating it like a playoff game," said Howard captain Katie Cawley. "We know it's going to be a tough game."
Clearly, Howard places a lot of value on this game. A win for Howard would pull them into a tie with Lewis for first place in the Blue League.
"We need to have confidence and know we can win," said Cawley. "I think we have that."
Lewis, however, looks to solidify its place in the standings and head into the playoffs.
"A win for us secures a playoff spot and keeps us atop the standings in our division," said Chick captain Caitlin Murray. "That's important to us."
The road to victory will not be an easy one for the Ducks. In order to win, they will have to score. Unfortunately for them, the last three opponents the Chicks have faced have failed to do so.
"We have an extremely tough defense," said Murray. "It's been a consistent strong point for us and it should be able to handle [Howard's offense] without a problem."
However, Howard feels like its defense is no push-over either. The front line is led by two freshmen, Brin Anderson and Charleen Vinalon. According to Murray, they play far beyond their years.
"They did very well [against Farley]. They had at least 5 sacks [between the two of them]. They don't play like freshmen."
With the defenses matched the way they are, this game may come down to who wins the battle between the two quarterbacks. Erin Nasrallah will lead Lewis's attack, while Howard is led by Jill Veselik.
In each of their previous games, both quarterbacks had stellar performances. Against Farley on Tuesday, Nasrallah dropped four touchdowns on the Finest, passing for three and running for another.
Veselik was no slouch herself. Against Farley on Sunday, she connected on a deep touchdown pass and also scored on a quarterback keeper.
Cawley feels quite confident that Veselik will outdo her counterpart.
"Jill can read the other team's defenses very well. We think she's better."
Murray, however, feels convinced that the Chicks control their own destiny on offense.
"We stop ourselves [on offense]. When our offense gets it together, nothing can be done [to stop it]."
The two teams will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at Riehle West Field for the right to decide which team is fowl and which is fair.
McGlinn vs. Farley
Fresh off their first win of the season, the McGlinn Shamrocks are looking to continue their improving ways as they square off against Farley Hall tonight.
After starting the season with a loss and a tie, McGlinn took advantage of a small Off-Campus team to pull their record to 1-1-1.
Also hoping to improve on their early season efforts, Farley's Finest will come out Tuesday night looking for that first victory.
Losses to Howard and Lewis, plus a tie with Walsh, puts Farley's record at 0-2-1.
Leading Farley's offensive will be quarterback Megan Sheehan, as the team looks to put some points on the board this week.
"We didn't get off to a great start, but hopefully we can put things together and score a couple points," said sophomore Julie Goolia.
McGlinn, feeling confident after tasting victory on Sunday, will still concentrate on bringing the team together. On the offensive side of the ball, the Shamrocks will look to receiver On-Kay Wong for her big-play ability.
McGlinn captain Christa Gray felt that the past few practices for her team have been very productive, and to look for the Shamrocks to come out firing on all cylinders.
"We don't know what to expect from Farley, but hopefully we will come together as a team and take home another victory," said Gray.
As Gray stated, these two teams don't really know what to expect from each other, but both squads played Walsh Hall to a tie earlier this season.
Cavanaugh vs. Walsh
A powerful offense meets a stingy defense on Tuesday night when Cavanaugh faces off against Walsh in a key interhall football match-up. The winner controls its playoff destiny, while the loser may need help to reach the post-season.
Both teams have gotten to this point in their seasons by relying on different strengths. Cavanaugh has used a big play offense that scored 28 points in a win over Off-Campus last week, while Walsh's suffocating defense has yet to be scored upon this season. On Tuesday, something has to give.
"We're pretty much sticking to what's been working for us so far," said Cavanaugh head coach Bart Bruckert. "We're pretty confident we can score enough to win each game."
Scoring on the Walsh defense, however, has been impossible thus far this season. The Wild Women have already racked up four shutouts in four games.
"Our defense has been consistently strong," said Walsh co-captain Alison Troy. "We've definitely got some good freshman [on defense] that are helping out a lot."
On the other side of the ball, the Wild Women will be looking to improve on their anemic offense that has only produced a total of six points this season.
"Our offense has been doing a good job of moving down the field but they've just had trouble getting into the end zone," said Troy. "We're just having a little more difficulty with the offense right now."
Meanwhile, the Chaos defense is coming off a strong performance from last week in which they forced four interceptions and didn't allow a point. Due to the recent success of Cavanaugh's overall team play, Bruckert believes they are ready to face tonight's test.
"[Walsh is] a pretty good team, but I think that if we just do everything we said we were going to do in practice, such as a execute, we should be pretty good to go," said Bruckert.
Troy, on the other hand, knows that Walsh's offense must step up their game if the Wild Women hope to stay undefeated.
"We know [Cavanaugh] did really well last year, so we're expecting them to be very competitive this year," said Troy. "Basically we're going to have to execute well on offense, get the ball down the field, and get into the end zone."
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, October 2, 2001