Women’s rugby suffers close home loss

Mackenzie Myers

Last Sunday was a chilly day, but what the weather lacked in heat, the women’s rugby team made up for in their game against the Wayne State Warriors. The Oct. 3 game was the fourth of the season for the Northstars and  the team found themselves on the wrong side of each contest. The

“They’re a tough team,” team captain Meredith Evancho said before the game. “They’re undefeated and good offensively. It’ll definitely be a challenge, but we’ve improved a lot and are hoping to put up some good defense.”

The game did prove to be a challenge, with the Warriors scoring within the first 10 minutes and getting a couple of points off the kick. However, the Northstars didn’t let that get in their way.  Most of the match was a game of cat-and-mouse with alternate goals between NMU and Wayne. It remained that way until the last 20 minutes of the game, when Wayne took off with four consecutive goals, ending with a score of 47-20 in the Warriors’ favor.

Despite the loss, back Millie MacDonald said the team improved from the last game.

“We played well as a team, and we tackled a lot better than usual,” she said.

Unfortunately for the Northstars, improving the tackling isn’t enough to fix on the defensive side of the ball.

“We need to focus on keeping the other team from scoring, but that’s something that we’re working on together.  A lot of us are pretty new to ,” MacDonald said.

Another minor setback of the game was the injury of Brittany Mosler. Luckily, the team had a plethora of players to sub, in comparison to Wayne State, who had a small team.

Buence said the team has had a lot of problems with injuries this season.  “They’ve been pretty bad. Usually we don’t have that many. But we haven’t really had a whole lot of serious injuries. It’s mostly just bumps and bruises, getting tired. That kind of stuff.”

But even with the injuries and occasional setbacks, the Northstars still love what they do. Though rugby is a surprisingly intense sport with a high level of contact and roughness, it clearly is a source of enjoyment for the NMU girls.

“I did rugby because I really missed team sports. I was in sports all through high school, and it’s just fun to run around,” Buence said. “I love rugby because, as a rugby player, no matter where you go you have support from every rugby player around. It’s just an instant bond, and it’s really cool.”

MacDonald said she thought about playing soccer, but decided against it because she wanted something new. “I’m glad I did rugby.”

The Northstars also had another game directly afterward the Wayne State match, this time facing the Michigan Tech Huskies.  Despite having eight less players than the first game, the Northern-Tech match was successful on our side, as the team swept the competition away with a score of 48-5.

“We took advantage of our faster players and got the ball to them to score,” said  Cassie McDermott, the club president.

“We were aggressive and made many tackles to regain possession of the ball,” she said.

The Northstars plan on working on conditioning and endurance in practice this week to prepare for their next match. They head to Mount Pleasant this Sunday, Oct. 10 to play the Central Michigan  University Chippewas.