West Chester women’s rugby team took on University of Virginia this March 24, in Charlottesville, Virginia and lost 10-0. Although West Chester did not come out with the win, they played with heart and dominated the field despite the wet conditions.
Unfortunately, the University of Virginia was ultimately able to squeak out a 10-0 win by capitalizing on some poor decision-making by the West Chester women.
The weather in Virginia could not have been better. It was a balmy 70 degrees and raining; however, it could not have worked out more auspiciously. With the ground a muddy mess, it made for a much more interesting game for the Rams and Cavaliers. Both teams ended up sliding and diving on the turf more often than not in an effort to gain yardage and retain ball possession. Ariel Johnson’s spectacular effort helped WCU maintain possession on multiple occasions, as she had no qualms in sacrificing her body to scoop up a lost ball.
For the first 35 minutes, West Chester women dominated the game and kept UVA out of their end completely. The team had excellent support on rucks and mauls and kept UVA in retreat by utilizing both the power of their pack and the speed of their back line. It looked very much like the game was going to be an open and shut case for West Chester. However, with two minutes to go in the first half, the UVA fullback placed a kick deep in the WCU half. They then pushed within point range and elected to kick for points off of a WCU penalty. This put them up 3-0 going into the second half.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we were the better team,” said assistant coach, Rachel Appleby. “Had we made a few smarter decisions down in the UVA red zone, the game might have had a very different outcome.”
Even though this puts West Chester out of the running for nationals, they are still looking forward to the rest of their season.
Devon Petaccio is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a film minor. She can be reached at DP749140@wcupa.edu.