Even lightening couldn’t stop the Tiger girls rugby team, as they opened their season at home Saturday with a 46-0 win over Fort Collins.
After a slow 5-0 start, the girls kicked it into high gear going into halftime.
“We had some good adjustments on the field,” head coach Karl Barth said of the turnaround. “Right before halftime we started to put a few in.”
After an hour’s lightning delay at the beginning of the second half, the team poured it on to close out the game.
It’s a young team going forward for the lady Tigers. After placing sixth at nationals in May, the team graduated a number of seniors.
“We’ve got a lot of young new players playing a lot of different combinations,” Barth said.
So while 46 points is a convincing win, Barth saw areas in need of improvement.
“A lot of it is getting used to playing with each other,” he said.
And while they lost 14-15 seniors, Barth believes they have a number of strong players returning, including High School All-American Lily Weldon, senior Bailey Thompson and junior Rachel Fitch.
Barth said there will be a lot of competition for spots as the season progresses.
The team will be tested this weekend with six home games in three days, starting with a league game against Chaparral Friday at 6 p.m.
“They only lost one player (to graduation). They should be pretty cohesive,” Barth said of Chaparral.
League play continues with a match against Regis Jesuit Saturday at 1 p.m.
“Regis played us tough (last year). They play the same style as we do, but we’re better at it,” he said.
The rest of the weekend’s games will include two games each on Saturday and Sunday, against the visiting Kansas City Dragons and Liberty United, both of Missouri.
“Kansas City is the biggest unknown,” Barth said.
He said he will be fielding a varsity team against each opponent for one game and a mix of varsity and JV for the other two.
“A lot of teams that play don’t have JV,” he said.
He expects each of his players to play in two or three games on the weekend
“They’ll get used to playing with different players all weekend,” he said, viewing it as a great opportunity for the team to jell and adjust to new player roles.
The lady Tigers will likely face their biggest challenge of the year when Armstrong comes to town for two games, Sept. 20-21. The Minnesota team ranked 10th at nationals last year.
“They like to play the same game as we do and they play it well,” Barth said.
In other Tiger news
Coming off of strong performances against Glenwood and Palisade last week, the 2-1 SHS boys soccer team will host Steamboat Springs Thursday.
“They were a tough match for us last year,” said Tiger head coach Tommy Gogolen. He returned to the sideline for a 6-0 win over Palisade Saturday, after missing the first two games recovering from ACL surgery.
Gogolen said both Steamboat and Summit graduated a number of seniors last year and are coming into the season fairly young.
“We’re very evenly matched,” he said, looking ahead to the Thursday game.
Tiger girls volleyball travels to Battle Mountain Thursday. The girls are 2-3 on the season.
The boys golf team will wrap up its regular season Thursday by hosting the Keystone Ranch Invitational. Regionals will take place Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Gypsum Creek.
The 1-1 Tiger football team plays Silver Creek Friday at Lyons High School.