Women’s Rugby Finds Success in the Scrum

By Amanda McShane

The Catholic University Women’s Rugby team was down by nine points when they entered half time against Georgetown University on Saturday, October 13. The team then made adjustments and ended up winning 39-19.

The first half of the game the team was down by two tries, making the second half an uphill battle. Georgetown’s scrum was aggressive which made them an additional challenge, but the girls pulled through.

The team had three scores by the forwards and the scrum half had two conversion kicks.

“The primary strategy for us is to just play the game, as simplistic as that may seem at face value.  Rugby is a game of fundamentals and if we can execute those basics, the more complex aspects of the game will fall into place,” Kyle Prudence, co-coach of the team said.

There was no side on the team stronger in the second half than the other. In fact, teamwork was required from defense and offense. Both backs and forwards were successful and in coordination with one another. The rookies accounted for more than half of the points in the second half. Many of the players had to change positions to make adjustments, but this was not a problem for the girls because they are experienced on the field and had support from each other.

Ali Young, President of CUA Women’s Rugby as a junior, attributed the comeback to teamwork. “I’m really proud of how we can get ourselves back together and pull through. It’s really great to see how each person on our team really brings something to the table but we also meld so well as a team. That’s why I think we were able to make such a good comeback,” Ali said.

Jaylin Matysik, Sophomore and hooker said, “What I liked mostly about the game was our comeback. We were scored on twice in the first half and we did not let that affect our game. We pushed through and played good, clean, Catholic Rugby.”

“My main strategy as hooker was as soon as the ball was rolled into the side of the scrum-half I would hook it back through the props feet as soon as possible because Georgetown had a strong scrum and drove hard.”

“It’s an extraordinary feeling when your team is losing in the first half and we come back in the second half to win! I was super proud of our team for not giving up and working even harder in the second half!” said Junior Ally Massa.

Courtney Gosse, senior and captain said, “The main goal for the team was to start and finish the game with each player giving 110%, and by doing that hopefully dominate and win. I believe everyone not only had fun, but also learned what our team is capable of, which is an even bigger success.”

The team has qualified for the national playoffs and will be competing against Longwood University later this month. The players have led the team from a 0-4 (four losses) record in 2015, to two seperate national playoff bids during the last two years. The winner of that playoff game will compete in “National Small College Rugby Organization” (NSCRO)’s national Sweet 16s next month at York College of Pennsylvania.  Four of the upperclassmen were recognized by USA Rugby’s Academic Honor Roll. The team is active on Instagram and Twitter (@cua_wrfc)

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