The West Chester women’s rugby team had high hopes going into the weekend tournament in Virginia, but were crushed in their opening match up with Navy, 62-5.??The MARFU (Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union) tournament is used to rank teams in the NCAA Tournament. In an almost round robin form, the teams each play two games in the weekend. The champion of the weekend will be ranked in the top four. ??
West Chester’s first game was against Navy on Saturday morning. Navy is ranked No. 2 in the country. The Golden Rams were able to hang in there throughout the first half, but were held scoreless in the second half as Navy ran away with the match.
??Navy was first to score in the contest, going up 7-0 with the converted try. West Chester was quick to answer though, as Megan Lamm scored 12 minutes in to bring WCU to within two. ??
The Lady Rams were able to hold on okay for the rest of the half, allowing only two more trys and going into the half down 19-5. That would be it for the Golden Rams though, as the Navy Midshipmen broke a 90 yard run at the drop of the second half and never looked back. They collected seven total trys in the second half of the game on their way to the final score of 62-5.
“We played a good game in the first half, but kind of lost it in the second half,” head coach Tony DeRemer stated.
West Chester came out Sunday morning ready for revenge though, and beat the University of Virginia for the first time ever, 32-5.
“We came out really hard, and they weren’t ready for it,” captain Erin Furlong said. ? ?
Rookie Sarah Glick had the best performance ever by a West Chester Golden Ram rugby athlete, as she scored five trys and 25 points in the match. Both of those totals broke the old school record. She is definitely one to watch to lead this team in the future.
“I wasn’t able to do what I did without the other seven people on the field behind me pushing it,” said Glick, giving much of the credit to her team behind her.
The Lady Rams dominated the scrums all throughout the day, putting them in position time and time again to make it easily into the trizone.
“We really established dominance in the game. We did a great job coming back,” DeRemer said.
Junior Devon Tucker scored the sixth try for the Golden Rams, and Megan ‘Grande’ Lamm added a conversion in the match.
This was West Chester’s best performance ever in the MARFU tournament. They have always finished in fourth position, if they made it to the semi-finals. This third place showing will give them their highest seed ever in the Sweet Sixteen Tournament, as they go in ranked No. 7 out of 16.
This will give them their best shot at a Final Four trip yet. “It won’t be easy, but it will be an easier trip to the Final Four if we can pull two games out,” Furlong, in her last year leading the team, said.
West Chester does have their work cut out for them though, as their first game in the tournament will be against Army. Although they are a lower seed then West Chester in the tournament, Army is actually ranked No. 1 right now in the polls. The tournament seeding is based on the regions finish in the Sweet Sixteen tournament last season.
Coach DeRemer is proud of his team for their performance and all of the milestones they accomplished over the weekend, but admits that they do have their work cut out for them.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do right now,” DeRemer said.
West Chester will have one game this Saturday, home against LaSalle. Next week they will host Temple on Wednesday and visit Rutgers Thursday. These games should give West Chester the chance to hash out their final kinks and work out a game plan to go into Nationals confident and prepared.
“We could go all the way if we really put our minds to it,” Glick said.
Ryan Frisco is a second-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.