Women’s rugby look to defend their home in semi-final


Courtesy of CWU athletics

Wildcats took home a win against Life University 10-5 Saturday, March 27.

Gabriel Strasbaugh, Staff Reporter

Looking at the 2021 season up to this point, success has fallen in favor of the Wildcats. Their 4-1 record has propelled them into a playoff semi-final at home against Life University on April 17. 

The Wildcats split their last two matchups against Life University by winning the most recent match in Georgia 10-5 on March 27. The stage is now set for one of these ball clubs to win the theoretical best out of three series. 

The Wildcat’s dominance was on full display in their first three games of this season, outscoring their opponents 199 to 21. 

“I think they were so juiced up, ready to hit people and just play after a very long layoff,” head coach Trevor Richards said.

Richards’ faith in his team has continued to flourish as the season continues. 

“We built into our season, so the last two games of the season were by far the most difficult.” Richards said. “We have full confidence in our players and what we’re able to do.” 

Overconfidence, according to Richards, is not in his team’s character. 

“That doesn’t mean when we walk in, we aren’t that arrogant to just walk in there and think we are gonna do whatever we want,” Richards said. “I’m very confident in where we are at and I think it’s going to be a very good game against Life.”

Senior prop Haley Abeyta noted the team’s talent with their drive.    

“Yeah, we did win 130 to nothing but we kind of didn’t really focus on what we did good,” Abeyta said. “We are sticklers on the things we were doing bad. Although we won by a lot, we still made mistakes that are fixable, so we just go into film.”

The Wildcats’ undefeated season came to an end after losing 62-12 at home against the Lindenwood Lions. The team has dropped its last eight ball games against Lindenwood. 

Abeyta and Kennedy both said the team was able to bounce back and are in preparation mode for their upcoming playoff against Life. 

“We’re not worried about that anymore,” Abeyta said. “This Life [University] game coming up next weekend, the goal is to go to the finals or national championship.” 

Abeyta said the team’s adjustment to last week’s game plan against Life University will benefit from getting to play at home in their familiar environment. 

“We both have been able to see how each other’s team play, so we will have to adjust off how they play,” Abeyta said.  

Abeyta said the Georgia heat and humidity at the last match up with Life University was too much. According to both Abeyta and Kennedy, the weather could turn the tide in favor of the Wildcats. 

“I’ve never experienced that before,” Kennedy said. “I’m from Ireland. I couldn’t even breathe, the air was so thick.” 

Both players noted that playing at home is more than a psychological advantage.

“We’ve got the advantage now,” Kennedy said. “Imagine driving on a bus for two and a half hours, flying for four hours, driving again for two hours, staying in a hotel and playing in a game. Compare that to sleeping in your own bed and welcome to the field.” 

Kennedy noted the changes in audibles are another key piece if they plan to advance to the next round. 

“From playing Life already, they know our calls, so we’ve changed those up a bit. They won’t know what we’re doing,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said her confidence in the team is without doubt after film study from the last two weeks. 

“We’re looking really good,” Kennedy said. “I’m excited.”