Women’s rugby coasts out east

Austin Bennett, Assistant Sports Editor

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Central’s women’s rugby team finished up a successful weekend on the east coast.

Saturday morning, the Wildcats blasted Norwich University (NU), 66-17. Followed by a 33-17 victory over Quinnipiac University (QU).

The Wildcats traveled nearly 6,000 miles this weekend. They flew to Vermont to play their first game on Saturday morning, then drove down to Connecticut to play their second game Sunday morning.

Central had never played NU until this past weekend.

“We were eager to start playing against more competitive teams and eager to run our attack plan against a new team, so we were excited to play them,” senior center Katerina Long said.

According to Long, these past two games were a learning experience for the team and helped the team gain familiarity with their defensive game plan and offensive attack.

Central’s offensive execution worked out in their favor, as eight different players scored and they outscored both opponents 99-34.

Junior hooker Samantha Pinson recorded two trys for the Wildcats in the second game against QU. Long also added 22 points of her own throughout the weekend and made 11 total conversions.

“The first try was off of a forward jam where a hole opened up and I ran in and scored,” Pinson said.

Central has won its first four games of the season to kick off their 2015 season. The Wildcats have scored 35 plus points in each of their games, and held opponents to 24 points or less.

Central has established themselves as one of the best teams in the country and would like to continue playing against the best. According to head coach Mel Denham, building relationships with top tier teams throughout the country is a key component to future success for the program.

“Essentially it’s not about winning or losing, it’s each game having that highly competitive mesh, so we can train under pressure, practice under pressure and perform under pressure,” Denham said. “It’s really the only way we can continue to see growth so we can go to nationals in the spring.”

Last season, Central was on the brink of a national championship when they faced Penn State in the title game last spring. According to Denham, the next step to win a championship is to continue to compete with the best teams in the country.

“It goes back to that philosophy of improving everyday and when you are not seeing the higher level of competition, or the competitive matches the growth just isn’t there,” Denham said.

The women’s 7’s and 15’s teams both made national championship runs last season, during their first year as a varsity team. With a veteran team returning, they are poised to make another title run.

Central’s next game is at home against Brigham Young University (BYU) Saturday, Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. Central defeated BYU in April, 29-15, to get into the 15’s national championship.

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Women’s rugby coasts out east