By: K.J. Wylie / GCU Staff
Ending the regular season on a high note, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Rugby team fought through a flurry of emotions as they defeated University of California-San Diego, 53-7, Saturday in southern California. The win gave the Lopes a 5-1 record and hopeful they’ll receive a playoff berth in the coming days.
In an unquestioned team effort, eight different Lopes scored a try against the Tritons, with forward Sara Lawson leading the way with two.
“After such a close match with Northridge, we wanted to focus on minimizing our mistakes and coming together as forwards and backs more,” said Lopes’ senior forward Jasmine Fifer. “I felt the team was a lot stronger – not just because it was our last game, but the energy on the field was great between both teams.”
GCU jumped on their opponent early – something they struggled to do in the previous two outings – and scored three tries in the first 15 minutes. When UCSD responded with a try to cut the Lopes’ lead to 17-7, the Lopes buckled down and ran away with the lead.
“UCSD has always been a team that – no matter what the score is – they keep fighting and remain positive,” said Fifer. “That made us want to stay focused and match their positive energy.”
With postseason aspirations still up in the air, the third inaugural season of Grand Canyon University Women’s Rugby may very well be wrapping up. Fifer, who has been with the program since its inception, briefly reflected on what it meant to be a Lope, what the team’s current focus is, and how they wish to be remembered.
“It was emotional but still felt good to end the season on such a high note,” said Fifer. “Right now, we are all focused on school and training and hope to be able to compete in the 7s tournament. We have quotes on our shirts that say, ‘Humble. Hungry. Resilient’, and that’s something I feel we stayed true to.”
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