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Wisconsin HS Girls Teams Celebrate the Game in Bruiser

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Wisconsin HS Girls Teams Celebrate the Game in Bruiser

DSHA in red works the ruck against Catholic Memorial.

Following the Girls HS Midwest tournament, Catholic Memorial and Divine Savior Holy Angels met up to cap off a short Girls  season in Wisconsin.

After beating Carroll and Penn in convincing fashion, both Memorial and DSHA faced off against each other. Having scored 127 and 103 points, respectively, in their previous two games, these two longtime rivals found themselves in a massive defensive battle.

Led by captains Evelyn Barta, Aly Cunningham, Emme Ohnmacht, and Rachel Nitka, Catholic Memorial put in a superb defensive effort to hold DSHA to one try. However ... DSHA went one better, and held Memorial scoreless, winning 7-0.

"Being able to play was amazing," said Klein. "For our seniors to be able to keep the team together, and for us to come out and play at the level we played at was also amazing. It was awesome to be a part of it."

DSHA's lone try came when tighthead prop Kate Becker powered into contact and stretched over the line. Senior Ellie Merz converted, and that was all of the scoring.

"We got close many times but we couldn't punch it over," said Klein. "We kept making little execution mistakes that would prevent us from finishing. But you could say the same about Memorial. With all the time off it was probably easier for both of us to execute defense rather than offense. Both teams made some great defensive plays."

Along with Becker and Merz, DSHA got massive contributions from the senior leadership that included Merz, Elleanor Rehmann, Maggie Dineen, Halle Quadracci, and Lauren Ferge. 

"I don't know if Catholic Memorial has ever played so much strong defense in one game," added Catholic Memorial Head Coach John Waliszewski. "The strategic kicking and variety of kicking from both sides was so impressive; it was great to see box kicking being utilized at this level."

Cunningham was excellent in that area of the game, and with the windy conditions it was a major part of the match.

Catholic Memorial did have an excellent chance to score when wing Marie Dowling was away down the sideline, but Quadracci just nudged her into touch in a try-saving tackle. it was that sort of game.

"It was another tight contest that felt like the many championships these teams have contested over the years," said Waliszewski. "This match was unique in that to do so without breaking was a testament to the commitment and toughness of our young ladies."

The game was played as part of the James Foley Tournament, a tournament played in honor of the former Marquette player who worked as a journalist all over the world and was kidnapped and murdered by Islamic State terrorists in 2012. Foley was teammates with Klein and Waliszewski at Marquette, and DSHA assistant Boris Turcinovic was his coach.

"To be able to play was great; to be able to do that and honor James was pretty special," said Klein.