(source) In their first matches of the fall 2016 season, the Life U Women notched two strong wins over Charlotte Women’s Rugby Club, the 2016 Division 2 South women’s club champions. The matches were the first ever to be played at Life University’s brand new sports complex on Lupo Family Field. With a fresh crop of new recruits, the JV and Varsity squads put up strong score lines over Charlotte 68-0 and 59-0, respectively.
Next up, the women embark on a week long tour playing matches against Ohio State, Notre Dame College, and finish the tour with a re-match of last spring’s D1 Elite semifinal in State College, PA against reigning national 15s champions Penn State.
Coach Rosalind Chou was pleased with the results of her team’s opening performance. “There are always some unknowns coming off of summer break,” says Chou. “You’re not sure if skills and fitness have dropped off or leveled off. However, my veterans have returned and picked up where they left off after 7s Nationals and CRCs.”
Coming into the 2016-17 season off of a tremendous campaign last season in which they made the D1 semifinals and won both the 7s Nationals and CRC titles, the Life U Women got right back into the grind in preparation for a championship run.
“We’ve thrown a lot of new information at our 1st years, and our veterans are being pushed even further to raise their level of play,” notes Chou. “It was great to see them put this all into play against the Charlotte team. We also have new additions to our coaching team and they’ve been putting in a ton of work and been running extra skill sessions in their specialty areas. I think that’s really helped us ease our new players into our systems.”
Starting off with a double header was a great first test for the Running Eagles, as they got to see all the new players in a game setting and move some veterans around to different positions to both build depth and try out some new combinations. The entire new class of players were really impressive. One of note was Taylor Makowski, a freshman from Colorado, who jumped in right away and made an impact starting in both matches today. Makowski is joined by a number of skilled first years that are fitting in nicely and contributing to the squad.
“It was also great to have Karen Faget return to the back row,” says Chou. “An injury kept her from playing this spring, and we’re so happy to have her back. Her work rate and fire at flanker is just what we need to keep pressure on our opponents. We just want to keep building and growing each year, and this group has wasted no time getting back to work.”
Varsity Box Score
Tries: Broughton (2), Wilson (2), Semiglia, Swift, Lovelace, Rom, Haynes
Conversions: Ohmann (5)
Penalty Kick: Ohmann