With the bitter cold wind at their back, Duke walked off WCU’s rugby field with their hopes for another win shattered after the WCU women’s rugby team beat them soundly 66-0, leaving Duke to limp home nursing their pride and heir battle wounds.
The energy and technique demonstrated by the Lady Catamounts in the first few minutes of the game determined that they would not be held back last Saturday. Moments after the opening kickoff, Western celebrated the first try of the game (worth five points each, run in by sophomore Crystal Laughlin, one of two for her.
Sophomore Katie Carver, junior Janice Clarkson, junior Tasha Jamison, and freshman April McEwen all added to the onslaught with two scores a piece. Junior Leslie Rae Newton and freshman Nichole Zarate rounded out the scoring with a single try each. Zarate kicked for the extra points, both worth two, and battled the unyielding wind for three conversions.
Not only was Western a powerhouse during offensive plays by breaking tackles, stiff-arming the Blue Devil girls to their knees and running circles around them, but the Cats came through on the defense as well. Western pitched a perfect shutout without allowing the Lady Devils to even threaten for the try.
This intensity kept the majority of the game on Duke’s half of the field. Duke was successful in visiting Western’s single digit yard line; however, Western failed play the hospitable host and quickly denied every attempt Duke made to put points on the board.
The unity and drive shown by Western’s women was such that the team functioned as one player. Head coaches Chris Bush and Jake Williamson have built rookies to the sport into players.
As the last game of the season, Western has declared its intent and capability as a team and as a winner for years to come.
The WCU rugby teams invite everyone to come out and become a part of a fun and successful organization. Never picked up a rugby ball before? Don’t worry, neither had they before they came out to practice.
Any questions? Call Chris Bush at 293-9444 for information concerning the woman’s team or Dave Petterson at 586-0950 for the men’s team.