Montana State Women’s Rugby Club was started by students in 2011. In 2014, they became DII and since then have won their conference twice and won the plate at the DII 7s National Championships.
This year, they’ve joined the Rocky Mountain Division I conference and won the shield at the DI 7s National Championships this past May.
Coach Ed McKenna explained how “making the jump to DI requires a greater sense of commitment and urgency regarding fitness and higher level drills at practice.” He went on saying how the team should be “competitive in every match and put ourselves in a position to win those matches through hard work”.
Post-victory photo. pic.twitter.com/fVet31lhVm
— MSU Women's Rugby (@msuwrc2) September 11, 2017
McKenna went on how the seniors have pushed the team so far this year. Having the most experience playing together along with good leadership “is an opportunity to cement their legacy… there’s a healthy fear of losing.”
That healthy fear is what helped the Bobcats to beat New Mexico last weekend 40-10.
“It was not our best performance…by a long shot. What I did like is that 6 different players scored tries and we were able to get some new rugby players some valuable playing time.” An essential component to a growing team is getting inexperienced players as much pitch-time as possible.
Nevertheless, McKenna is excited about the squad this year, “they are experienced, athletic and, hopefully, committed to the same goal. We’ve lost a few valuable players to our offensive attack from last fall, but added previous players who took a season or two off like Ivanna Lopez at hooker and Lexi Olson at wing.”
“We have also added 15-20 new players to the roster, which rounds out at about 40 women. So we’ll be relying on that depth as we move forward.”
Watch out for Montana State as they take on an athletic and well-coached Boise State this Saturday, September 16 @ 11 am.
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