Women’s rugby racks up 102 points in win

Pat Koster, Reporter

The Buffalo State women’s club rugby team is shaping together what could be one of its best fall seasons in years.

The team traveled to R.I.T. on Saturday where they beat the Tigers 102-10. Buffalo State scored 18 tries and six conversions, with a lot of plays coming from the back line.

Coach Jenn Jenkinson thought her team played cohesively, spreading the ball around so that not just a few players were scoring.

“It was a big, big win for us,” Jenkinson said. “We played really well together as a team, and we did put points on the board, but a lot of the tries were scored by various athletes.”

Senior captain Mary Sica is a fourth-year player for the Bengals. She thought the team made a lot of improvements from previous games, and played more confidently.

“We were mostly on offense,” Sica said. “We predominantly play an offensive game and the few times we were on defense we had a lot of really good tackles.”

Captain Kala Crawford felt confident going into Saturday’s game because of the way the team has been practicing.

“We were able to get a lot of new people in, so the rookies that stepped in and even people who’ve been playing rugby, they played new positions and they played them great. I think all around the entire team is just really outstanding.”

Crawford said that there were not many penalties called on Buffalo State.

“When we do play clean rugby, we play ten times better.”

Prior to the win over R.I.T., the Bengals defeated Geneseo 31-23 in what was a very substantial win.

“I think it really prepared us for this week’s game [R.I.T.],” Jenkinson said. “We played really aggressively. It was a game where our forward players really had to step up and play aggressive defense.”

The women’s team has 24 rookies, some of which were in the starting lineup against R.I.T.

“We are very lucky that we have a lot of new players now that are coming to us with rugby experience out of high school, which is different than a couple years ago,” Jenkinson said. “Some of those rookie players are able to just step right into these games and play a high level of rugby pretty quickly.”

Buffalo State senior Kaitlyn Schena is one of those rookie players. Schena has only been playing rugby for the Bengals a little over a month and she is already playing a significant role on the team.

“Everyone’s definitely improving,” Schena stated. “We just had to figure out what girls clicked on the field together the right way and now it’s working.”

The team’s next opponent is Oswego. Players expect the game to be tough, but they are optimistic looking towards Oswego as well as future games.

“We’re hoping to beat them by a pretty good amount,” Sica said about the upcoming Oswego game.

Among other upcoming opponents are Division I schools Syracuse and University at Buffalo.

Schena mentioned that the team had a rookie scrimmage against UB at the beginning of the season. Although they lost that scrimmage, Schena is hopeful that her team will come out with a win this time.

“They’re going to be a little tougher to beat, but I think we have a pretty good chance of getting our score up there,” Sica said about Syracuse and UB’s clubs. “I think we have a good chance of winning every game for the rest of the season, actually. We’re planning on going undefeated for the rest of the season.”

Jenkinson said that in the last two weeks, the team has had nice teamwork and cohesion. She thinks that if they keep playing how they have been, they should continue to succeed.

The 3-1 women’s team plays at Oswego this Saturday at 11 a.m.

Patrick Koster can be reached by e-mail at kost[email protected]