Summit girls rugby sweeps 3 games at Regis

Tigers top players will begin season at Denver East Saturday

Summit High School varsity girls rugby players Deanna Davidson, right, and Ellie Francis gather with teammates while head coach Karl Barth addresses the team during an indoor practice at Summit High School on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
Photo by Jason Connolly / Jason Connolly Photography

The Summit High School girls rugby team played three varsity and three junior varsity games at Regis High School in Aurora on Saturday. The varsity side won all three contests by scores of 26-12, 19-15 and 36-7.

Head coach Karl Barth said the Tigers brought their second-tier varsity team, the “Gold” team, to Regis with Summit’s top “Green” players staying at home. In the first varsity game, junior captain and flyhalf Elisabeth Darst worked all across the pitch in an impressive performance with two scores via tries.

“Usually she’s much more of a playmaker for others,” Barth said, “But on both of those occasions she found a gap. They were long scores that turned the game around.”

Summit won the second game on the strength of sophomore center Joselin Roque’s two tries.

“Her footwork all day long was amazing,” Barth said. “She was beating defenders. … That and Elisabeth’s kicking was the difference.”

The Tigers blew open a close third game with 22 points in the second half during Summit’s most dominant portion of the day. Barth credited the final performance to the team’s fitness and conditioning advantage, as four different players scored in succession in the game’s second half.

The Tigers’ scorers on the day included 26 points from Darst thanks to 8-of-12 kick conversions, three total tries by Roque, two tries from Liliana Wiethake, two by Paige Peterson and one each from Isabella Comai, Citlali Licea, Lily Airey, Pelham Wagenseil and Dana Rodriguez. Barth said senior Rodriguez will play with the program’s Green side for the rest of the season after playing with Gold this weekend to pick up experience. Barth also credited sophomore Katie McKernan and senior Ashley Barela for strong play Saturday.

“Katie did a mountain of work all over the place, along with Joselin and Elisabeth balancing the game doing a lot of different things,” Barth said. “And Ashley did a good job linking up with people, moving the ball and giving us an opportunity to make some breaks.”

Barth said the weekend also helped the newly formed Colorado Interscholastic Rugby Association figure out the best way to host games in its first season. After Saturday went well, the league will have teams like Summit play three games in one day against opponents — such as on the road at Denver East next weekend — to make the most of COVID-19 regulations.

“If somebody wins the first two we’ll still play the third game,” Barth said. “The league standings will be based on best two of three.”

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