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Ball Control haunts GCU Women’s Rugby in 43-19 loss to Arizona

February 8, 2020

Wildcats dominate possession in win over Lopes

By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff

As it is in many sports, possession is king in rugby.

The Grand Canyon University Women’s Rugby team struggled mightily in this area in a 43-19 non-conference loss at the hand of the University of Arizona Saturday night at GCU Stadium.

The Lopes (3-2) and Wildcats went into halftime knotted up at 12-12 before Arizona enforced its will in a dominant second-half showing. The Wildcats controlled the ball for the majority of the half, breaking the tie with five consecutive tries to pull away.

Arizona jumped out in front with two tries in the opening 20 minutes of the game, courtesy of Amaya Singleton and Lindsey Navis.

Quickly down 12-0, GCU began to bruise Arizona with punishing runs and hits. The physical style of play paid dividends as Heather Thomas bulldozed her way in for a try in the 27th minute to cut the deficit to 12-7 before Ashley Jones tied the game 10 minutes later on a diving score near the field goal posts.

That would be just about all of the scoring for the Lopes, who didn’t reach the try zone again until the 77th minute, when Amberae Falemalu punched it home for a score.

Between those two GCU scores was five tries from Arizona, which received the second half kickoff and hardly gave it back to the Lopes in the remaining 40 minutes.

The scoring outburst began with Kaitlyn Leszczynski’s try three minutes after halftime. Tries from Victoria Navarro and Kristi Webster put the Wildcats up 31-12 before Navis scored again to extend the advantage to 38-12. A try by Ava Kiechler capped the Arizona scoring and put the Wildcats ahead 43-12.

The Lopes will try to rebound in a Sunday, February 23rd conference matchup with California State University, Northridge at GCU Stadium. The game will begin at noon.

Interested in joining GCU Women’s Rugby? Visit the team pageto learn more!