The West Chester women’s rugby team had dominating performance Saturday afternoon, as they trampled the Virginia Tech Hokies on their way to a Sweet Sixteen birth.West Chester went into the spring season with only one thing on their mind- the Virginia Tech game. This game, the first round of the MARFU tournament, determined whether or not they went into the post season this year, or just played out the season with no purpose.
Senior captain Erin Furlong, in her final season as a WCU rugby player, admitted that she was nervous going into the game, especially after last week’s showing against Delaware. The Lady Rams lost to the Blue Hens for the first time in the last eight years.
The team showed early on in the game though that there was nothing to worry about. With a final score of 42-0, West Chester shut out the Hokies in a powerhouse display, running down the field again and again into the trizone
“We were all 100 percent ready for this game,” Furlong said.
Every single player was playing their hardest game out on the gridiron, as West Chester qualified for their fifth consecutive NCAA Sweet Sixteen Tournament.
West Chester could not have started the game any better then they did, up 15-0 only 12 minutes in. Ali Vandermay scored the first try of the game five minutes in. Laura Meier added a second three minutes later, and Vandermay pushed her way across three minutes after to score her second try of the game.
Sarah Glick and Sasha Stauffer each added a try in the first half to bring the Golden Rams tally to 22-0 going into the half. This was a really good half for the team, Furlong said. Their play out on the field was really smooth.
“We played as a team together today,” junior captain Sasha Stauffer added.
The Lady Rams never let up in the game, and kept the trys coming in the second half, a Glick and Stauffer each recorded their second try. Megan Lamm converted two conversion kicks and a three-point penalty kick to bring the Rams total to 42.
“Overall, we pulled it together and it really worked,” Furlong said on the team’s performance.
The captains admitted that there was a lot of sloppy play and too many penalties during the second half. This was attributed to frantic play, when everybody was focused on scoring, and threw aside the fundamentals and simple things that were most important.
All in all though, “it was a nice game, good day, it was awesome,” Furlong said.
West Chester will be competing in the National USA Rugby Union tournament. That will not be until April. Next up for the Lady Rams is the Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union semi-finals, to be held in Virginia. West Chester will be facing Navy first.
The MARFU semi-finals are not of major importance at this point. All four of the teams have already earned a bid to the NCAA tournament. This weekend is solely for the purpose of seeding in the tournament, and a bit of bragging rights. If West Chester loses both of their games, they are still in good shape for the tournament.
The team is extremely confident about their first competitor, Navy. This game West Chester should have no problem with. If they do go on, they will most likely face Penn State in the finals. The other team in the semis is the University of Virginia.
West Chester had an early exit last season in the National tournament, losing to Brown in their first game. They did win their second game in the consolations against UNC. The team definitely thinks that the can improve on last year’s performance.
Ryan Frisco is a second-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.