Breen-Phillips looks to keep perfect record against Welsh
By RACHEL BIBER
The adrenaline will run high this Sunday as the women's interhall football playoffs get underway, but the Breen-Phillips Babes are remaining calm, keeping the same game plan intact that has helped them cruise to a perfect record of 6-0, and the top seed in the playoffs.
The Babes will take on the Wild Women of Walsh, who finished the regular season at 2-3, and were given the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.
Walsh faces the daunting task of knocking off a team that has demonstrated its dominance throughout the season under the lead of quarterback Jenny Choi and solid play of receiver Karen Swanson. The Babes have made a habit of outscoring their opponents by a wide margin.
Babes coach Kevin Shannon does not propose any changes in the Babes' game plan this weekend as they hope to continue their winning ways.
"We do not have a certain strategy, and I haven't seen [Walsh] play," Shannon said. "We haven't had a specific plan all season."
BP boasts a team that features great depth, giving it a host of players that can get the job done. The Babes have proven that their versatility and depth are huge obstacles for their opponents to overcome and these strengths have allowed them to create a forceful offense and defense.
"We have so many different players that we can go to," Shannon said.
BP's captain Katie Leicht also sees Sunday's match against Walsh as a game where the Babes will stick to their normal routine, which has given them success throughout their undefeated season. She hopes to see the momentum of the last half of the season slide into postseason play.
"We are going to try to go out and play consistently," Leicht said. "We were really happy with our last three games. Our defense really stepped up."
The Babes' confidence has been built slowly during the regular season, and their morale is high as they begin the path to the championship game. They do not plan to show the laxity that characterized their early season play.
"We started off slow at the beginning of the year," Shannon said. "Once we started winning we got our confidence up."
The Wild Women will have to play at the peak of their game in order to pull off an upset of a team that is heavily favored to win. Walsh does not expect any miracles on Sunday, but looks to play steady, solid football.
"We don't expect a `Cinderella story,'" Walsh captain Shaunti Althoff said. "But we hope to play solid defense and switch up the offense."
Walsh has come together throughout the season and has displayed visible improvement. The offensive trio of Kelly Perry and Laura McGrimley at receiver and quarterback Melissa Beiting will seek to crack down the Babes' defensive unit, while Rebecca Craig and Althoff will lead on defense.
Although the odds are stacked against the Wild Women, they do not intend to easily concede defeat to the Babes. They have made definite improvement at each step of the season and could give the Babes a tough game.
Lyons vs. Cavanaugh
When the Lions of Lyons Hall and the Chaos of Cavanaugh meet Sunday in the first round of the playoffs, neither team knows what to expect from the opponent.
Sixth-seeded Lyons, who posted a regular-season record of 2-2-1, will try to muster an upset over the third-seeded Cavanaugh who ended the regular season with a record of 4-2. A Lions win would be possible if the Chaos perform similar like they did at the start of the season. Cavanaugh sputtered at the beginning of the season with a loss, but has been on a roll since then, improving with every game.
"We started off kind of slow at the beginning of the season," Chaos captain Melissa Tacey said. "We have definitely been playing progressively better."
The Chaos hope to force the Lions to turn the ball over. Cavanaugh's defense has been a strength throughout regular season play and it does not intend to let Lyons run the show.
"We are really looking to move the ball and make them make mistakes," Tacey said. "And we hope to continue playing good defense."
Despite the fact that the Chaos consists of a core of young players, their winning ways have shown their ability to play solid football. Quarterback Mandy Reimer leads the squad into this weekend's playoff game and the strong play of receiver Melissa Marcotte and offensive lineman Tacey will also force the Lions into a tough contest.
"We have a young team," Tacey said. "There are only three seniors, but we've played really well together."
The Lions have not caught a glimpse of the Chaos this season, but know that they are capable of beating any opponent. Sunday's battle might prove to be a defensive war, as Lyons also boasts a strong defense, led by Crissy Scotti and Lisa Thomas.
"Our defense has always come up big," Lyons captain Katy Yanez said.
Yanez will be a key contributor for the Lions on the offensive side. She has proven her ability by demonstrating her athletic talent and leadership throughout her four years of play for Lyons Hall. The Chaos will also have to deal with freshman quarterback Sarah Jenkins who has exhibited her capability to put points on the board throughout the season.
The Lions might mix things up on offense this weekend in order to shake up the steady defense of the Chaos. Otherwise, they plan on following the same game plan that has contributed to their success this season.
"We are going to stick to what's been working for us," Lions coach Derek Schumacher said. "But we've thrown in a few new things on offense and hopefully those will work for us this weekend."
Cavanaugh will look to counter Lyons' attack by hanging on to the football and avoiding costly mistakes. They also hope to capitalize on any Lions' mistakes in order to come up with a big first-round playoff win.
"We have a tendency to give up the big plays," Chaos coach Matt McCoyd said. "We'll try to control the ball and play error-free offense and avoid turnovers."
All Sports Stories for Friday, October 29, 1999