Rugby wins sixth national title


Emmalee Scheibe, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College women’s rugby team won its sixth national title this weekend in Atlanta, Ga., at the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Finals. The Wildcats claimed the championship against Colgate University with an 11-0 win on Sunday afternoon.

This is the women’s third national championship in 15-on-15 play, with the other three championships in 7-on-7 play. The Wildcats now hold both NSCRO national championships in both events.

The weather conditions during the tournament were not ideal. Rain caused trouble for the women’s offense, forcing the team to spend most of the first half of the championship game on defense.

Numerous passes were dropped between the wings, which slowed the Wildcats down.

“Our defense was the strongest it has ever been,” rugby player Hannah Meyer said. “Most of the first half we were on defense. That is something that doesn’t happen to us a lot, so I was very proud of the way we stepped up to that challenge.”

The Lady ‘Cats were finally able to put some points on the board when Sam Warneke was able to make a penalty kick to give WSC a 3-0 lead in the last few minutes of the first half. Warneke used another penalty kick during the second half to make the lead 6-0.

“Our strongest aspect was our ability to keep each other up,” rugby player Becca Hagemann said. “Once someone made a mistake, we as teammates picked them up and made them better.”

In the second half, the Raiders were issued their second yellow card and the Wildcats took the advantage. Kelsa Mills scored a try with under 10 minutes left in the second half, adding another five points for the Wildcats, pulling them ahead 11-0. The Wildcats held the Raiders, ending with another win for Wayne State.

“Winning our sixth championship honestly puts me at a loss for words,” Hagemann said. “It still hasn’t hit me that we have the reputation that we do.”

The MVP of the tournament was awarded to Wildcat Faith Sorensen.

Sorensen was also one of the six Wildcats who made it on the all-tournament team.

“There are no words for winning MVP,” Sorensen said. “I didn’t think I would get it because I always tell myself there is someone better than me on the field, so it really was an amazing feeling.”

The other five girls on the all-tournament team included Maryssa Schleis, Hannah Meyer, Jasmine Kovacs, Leanna Rosberg and Alyssa Fisher. Fisher also accepted the Most Important Tackle award, while Alex Feeley was given the Heart and Soul Award.

“Most of my greatest memories involve rugby,” Meyer said. “I am just so thankful for this sport, this program and the friends I have because of it.”
For more information involving rugby, please contact Darrin Barner at [email protected]