Wildcat rugby teams keep ranked titles


Photo By Justin Yost

Women’s rugby keeps dominating on the field as they play the UNL Huskers on Saturday’s “Fill the Hill” games. The team continues to be undefeated in the season.

Courtney Upah, Staff Writer

Rugby’s “fill the hill” game on homecoming went well with the bleachers almost completely full and WSC pulling out ahead in both the men’s and women’s matches.

The Wildcat men edged South Dakota State University 27-24, while the WSC women beat University of Nebraska-Lincoln 27-12.

“It was a good win for the men against a tough opponent and a very exciting finish. It was great to see a good crowd enjoying the afternoon,” Jeff Carstens, rugby spectator and WSC dean of students, said.

Wayne State started out strong with John DeRoacha making a 15-yard run putting WSC on the scoreboard followed by another score by Jacob Gaudreault. However, the Jackrabbits were fast to retaliate putting in two quick scores.

The men’s game against SDSU was a tense match, with the Wildcats down 12-10 at halftime.

A 40-yard interception return by Josh Schollmeyer at the beginning of the second half brought the score to 15-12 with WSC up again.

With three minutes left, SDSU scored and was up 24-22, but Michael Lloyd scampered 40-yards down the right sideline with two defenders trying to push him out of bounds. But Lloyd made it all the way to the endzone winning the game for WSC.

Lloyd attributes this win to having good teamwork, and all of the players realizing what was on the line.

“WSC rugby men were in a key matchup on Saturday with South Dakota State, the winner would move into first place in the Great Plains rugby conference and have a strong chance of advancing to the national playoff picture,” rugby coach Darrin Barner said.

Women’s rugby team competed after the men against the Huskers where WSC once again scored the first point.

The team started out strong and kept the lead of 22-12 by halftime. The Wildcats didn’t give up a single point after halftime, winning the game 27-12.

“This was our first big test of the season. The Huskers came out hard and gave us a sense of what we are doing well and some areas we need to work on,” Hannah Meyer, rugby team captain, said. “I feel we did well, but there is always room for improvement.”

Jasmine Kovacs was one of the women’s players that stood out from her teammates, making precision passes to set up long runs, running the ball herself and drawing in two defenders to pass to an open player.

Offense was another strong point that helped the women prevail against the Huskers.

“We are running two types of offenses and are still in the learning phase. When we do run it, it has been very successful, since our backs are so fast and we use the field as much as we can for width and running room,” Barner said. “It sets up as many as three-on-two situations. With good down field site and decision making, it really can get us a big long run.”

Overall, it was a great day at Wildcat Rugby Park, hosting a nearly full crowd to see the nationally ranked woman’s (ranked first) and men’s (ranked fifth) teams defend their titles.