At the start of the second half of rugby action against Regis Jesuit at Summit High School Tuesday, Maddy Hunt-Snyder exploded out of the pack of players with the ball.
Edged out by Regis defenders, Hunt-Snyder carried the ball into the end zone at the moment her defender caught her in a tackle. She absorbed it in a roll, touching the ball down in the far corner and bringing the score to 34-0.
The team finished the game 48-0 - a contest which determined seeding for playoffs. On Oct. 27, the Tigers play SWARM before facing off with Castle Rock or Regis Jesuit.
Morgan Courtney's kick after Hunt-Snyder's try was no good from the wing, but the Tigers had nothing to fear as minutes later, Hailey Wyatt broke four tackles and took off from the Regis defenders to score another outside try. This time, Courtney's conversion was good, a left-footed kick through the uprights from the outside. She totaled three conversions on the game.
Regis Jesuit then spent several minutes forcing the Tigers' defense to stand its ground before Wyatt again grabbed the ball and sped off for a 90-meter run to the opposite end of the field for the final try of the game, plopping the ball down in the center of the uprights. This time, Nicole Chandler converted for two extra points.
"The team played really well," senior Lily Weldon said. "One challenge we have is keeping the intensity up throughout the game and even upping it at the end. We did it better this game than in others."
Goals were also scored by seniors Chelsea Christianson, Vollya Sergeeva and L'amour Johnson as well as sophomore Kalee Hollingsworth.
"We were a little tired coming off our game Saturday," senior captain Katy Peoples said, adding that it wasn't an easy game despite the shutout victory.
"This game prepared us. ... The girls had to really work for their tries," said Peoples, who was sidelined Tuesday with a slightly dislocated shoulder from Saturday's game against Castle Rock. She handed off captaining duties to Kellie Cochran and Weldon, who she said "stepped up today to take leadership roles." Peoples acted as coach.
As for making the playoffs and being on the fast track to win the state title again, Peoples commented, "Overall, we're always excited to go. This year in particular, we were a little bit unsure of how it would work out. Now, we know we really do have a good team that can really do well."
The team's other goal has been to keep younger players involved, and Peoples said so far, that goal has been achieved. Several players have played on the fifteens field when they're accustomed to sevens, and team dinners help bring cohesiveness.