Lopes utilize first game to work out kinks
By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
Nothing could rain on their parade.
Grand Canyon University Women’s Rugby dropped their first game, 27-7, to the Phoenix Rugby Club Saturday morning at the GCU Practice Soccer Field. Despite the outcome and the rainstorm that dampened the looks of game day, the Lopes were elated by the opportunity to just compete with a full roster.
“All 39 of our players were able to play and get some minutes,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Lindsey Mahoney. “We got to see how deep our bench really is. We have almost triple the number of players we had last year.”
The first game jitters did not appear evident to the Phoenix Rugby as the squad came out strong offensively. The Firebirds’ efforts showed, and they quickly tallied 20 first-half points.
“They were strong ball carriers,” said Mahoney. “We didn’t adjust quickly enough on defense. We were not able to take away space and apply the pressure we needed to create turnovers.”
GCU made a strong push to balance out the score when sophomore Miranda Albright secured a try late in the first half, and the scoreboard read 20-7 when the first half buzzer sounded.
While the Lopes defense stepped up and held the Phoenix Rugby Club to a singular try in the second half, they were not able to make any more additions to their own score.
“My goals for this game were to see the girls execute safe and effective scrums and lineouts and ensure safety in the individual contact and positioning as well,” said Mahoney. “I definitely saw that out there on the field.”
With Game 1 under their belts, the Lopes look to their next game against Arizona State University this Saturday at 9 am at the GCU Practice Soccer Field.
“ASU is really going to be a good test,” said Mahoney. “They are the first team we are going to play from our conference in two years. This week, we were able to piece together their different skills to create an effective attack and defensive structure that will help us be victorious going forward.”
Looking to attend a GCU Women’s Rugby Game? View their fall schedule here!