Western Carolina University’s women’s rugby team not only recorded their first win of the season this past Saturday against UNC Charlotte, but they notched their first victory in history. The team traveled to Charlotte and walked off the field big winners, 20-17.
Four different people scored for the Lady Catamounts in the historic triumph. The women have worked hard this season despite only having one game against Furman prior to battling UNC-C.
The first try was made by scrumhalf Janice Clarkson in the first half of the game. Katie Carter, strong-side flanker, blocked a kick by the 49ners side, with Clarkson picking the ball up to run it in to the try zone.
The defensive possession was the key for the women Saturday. Defense is a key in rugby because it changes so often.
A new player on the team this season is Tasha Jamison. Jamison is an asset to the team and is picking up the game very well. She had numerous hard-hit tackles and ran the ball with full force up the field.
Jamison definitely was key in the team’s defense. Other imperative defensive players were April McEdwen and Ashlie Justus. Not only did Justus make many tackles, she also scored the second try of the game near the end of the first half.
“Ashlie was playing on a hurt ankle to begin with, but she gave it everything with whole heart in the time she was in the game,” said Head Coach Chris Bucsh.
Another new player to the game is Tomika Self. She proved her potential by driving through several of Charlotte’s players to score yet another try for the Lady Cats in the second half. The last person to score at the very end of the game was inside center and kicker Kelly Ryan. Ryan ran the ball uncountable times for the Cats to gain extreme meters on Charlotte.
“The team really came together as one, pack members and backs. I think we did an awesome job and were definitely a better team then before,” said fly half April McEwen.
No one was injured for the Cats, just a few bruises here and there.
The Lady Cats will have their first home game Saturday, February 17 at the WCU track.