This past weekend, the KU Women’s Club Rugby team began their playoff run to prove how dominant they have been all season. After winning two straight playoff games against Drexel University and LaSalle University, KU will try to redeem their only loss of the season for the Championship.
For those of you who are new to rugby, the scoring is as follows. Rugby is very similar to football without blocking and forward passes. To score the most points, a player must cross the opposition’s goal line for five points; this is called a try. After a try is scored, a player must attempt to kick the ball through the uprights, otherwise known as the conversion kick. Conversion kicks are worth two points. Finally, a team can also score by dropping the ball wherever they would like and kicking it through the upright called a drop goal. These are worth three points and are much like a field goal.
One group that needs no explanation of the rules is the KU women’s rugby team. In their first playoff game on Saturday Nov. 10, KU trampled Drexel University by a score of 34-10. Both of Drexel’s trys were scored by Alexia Gonis in the first half. After that, it was all Golden Bear’s defense.
Sparking the offense in this game was wing player Tabatha Super. After Super scored, the flood doors opened, and the Dragons couldn’t find an answer to stop KU. Tight head prop Rachel Lopez and fullback Mary Cate Matta would also score in the first half. Scoring in the second half were Sharyn Beodeker and Wesly Null.
Null was awarded honors of Woman of the Match for scoring two trys and additionally booting in two conversions.
Unlike the first playoff game, the second was closely contested throughout the day. KU could not get anything going in the first half and were shut out. La Salle managed to score one try in the low-scoring affair. The first score for La Salle came from wing Theresa Enwereji; Enwereji hit the conversion after scoring as well.
Talk about tale of two halves; after being shut out in the first half, KU was unstoppable in the second. They outscored their opponents 14-5 in the second half to win the game 14-12. Scoring the first try for the Golden Bears was lock player Faith Hughes. Hughes was also awarded Woman of the Match along with blindside flanker Maria Schweizerhof. As the match came down to the wire, hooker Katherine Davis would be key. Her final score tied the game for the Golden Bears.
The most crucial part of the match, which La Salle could not manage, was conversions. Enwereji was able to convert one of two. Matta was able to knock both of her conversions back to win the game for the KU rugby team.
Senior captain Ashley Kellar said after the weekend, “In our two games, we’ve proven we can score and that we not only want to win, but deserve to.”
Since advancing in the playoffs, KU has their minds set on one opponent, Lock Haven University. Saturday, Oct 27, Lock Haven defeated KU 15-8. Above all other games, this was by far the most heated, punches were even thrown during the game. Hughes scored the only try for KU in the game. In the game, KU had more than one opportunity to score. It seemed that every time they were on the goal line, an invisible wall appeared, keeping them from crossing.
KU will get a second chance to beat Lock Haven Saturday, Nov. 17th. The game begins 12:30 p.m.
Kellar reflected on the upcoming game. She said, “I think our chances of winning for this weekend are really good. We’re the only team in the conference that has offered them any real competition. They were nervous the entire game about losing. The only thing we have to do differently this weekend is finish while we’re on offense.”
By Frank Lippincott