This past weekend the Women’s Southern Nazarene Rugby team traveled for Nationals and made their appearance at the Elite Eight Tournament for a second year in a row in St. Louis, Missouri. The women’s rugby team has worked all year long to clench their spot in the National Tournament and went to face off against the number one team in the Division One National Collegiate Rugby Union, The University of Michigan.
The Southern Nazarene team took on the Michigan team last Friday and ended the game close in score, with Michigan winning 30-20. After the first half, the two teams were in a tied game of 15-15. Both teams were fighting for the win by the time the second half commenced and until the game ended. Unfortunately, the Southern Nazarene Women’s team fell short and lost in a great game played by both teams.
Although the SNU Women’s Rugby team was unable to win their game against Michigan, the next day they played against another great team, Virginia Tech, which was ranked number three in the nation. The Southern Nazarene women showed up and showed out, being ranked last out of all the teams, but proved everyone otherwise by securing the game win of 38-20.
As much as the ladies of the Southern Nazarene team wanted to win their first game to continue their journey on with playoffs, they played hard and upped their overall team ranking. When asked about the team’s performance, SNU senior and captain of the season, Ashleigh Brooks, said, “It’s definitely not how I would’ve wanted to end my senior year and rugby career, but I am proud of how my team and I worked to get where we did at the end of this season compared to last year’s season for sure. I am especially proud of us moving up in rankings, so I know it’s only up from here on out for the upcoming years of this program.”
Co-captain Chloe Tarango felt the team also did well. She said, “For our team being a brand-new program, I am proud of our work and efforts on where we are today. Like the rest of our team, we didn’t end up with the results we wanted, but we sure did improve and earn where we did at the end of this season. I am excited for the sevens season and to improve and continue to work hard to get what we want, and we’ll be back next year, that’s for sure!”
The Southern Nazarene Women’s Rugby team returned home finishing in third place in the region. They have improved from last year, going from finishing out in last place to being top three in their division. The ladies have shown their drive and passion for the game, and next year is just another story waiting to be told by the measures the team keeps going!
Photo by Ashleigh Brooks