Summit rugby improves record to 7-0 with 3 wins against Denver East

Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo
Summit's Ella Snyder, front, and Olivia Lyman run down the field during Summit's home game against Denver East on Friday, Sept. 15.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

Rain blanketed Summit County for the majority of the day on Friday, Sept. 15, but the clouds parted just in time for the Summit High School girls rugby team’s home tripleheader against the Denver East Angels.

Last weekend, Summit began its season on a tear, claiming four consecutive wins in the Summit 7’s rugby tournament and outscoring its opponent by a collective score of 161-12.

With Summit High School’s stadium lights shining brightly onto Tiger Field, Summit took to the rain-sodden pitch looking to add three more wins to its undefeated record.

During the first match of the night, Summit and Denver East battled one another up and down the field, fighting to find an advantage. While Denver East is significantly bigger than Summit in physical stature, Summit worked to prove it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, but the fight in the dog.

After Denver East received the opening kickoff, Summit powered Denver East to the ground and forced the team to give up possession of the ball. With Summit in possession, senior Ashley Misch drove down the field before pitching the ball wide to senior Regan Jackson who sprinted almost all the way to the try line before being pulled down. 

Yards from a try, senior Ella Snyder broke her way past the Denver East defense to give Summit a 7-0 lead.

With the first points on the board, Summit continued to pursue the ball in order to advance the score. Senior Luci Brady used her swift feet to break towards the try line before junior Olivia Lyman finished the job and extended Summit’s lead to 14-0.

Denver East attempted to answer the onslaught of scoring and began aggressively driving the ball down the field.

Brady, Misch and the entire Summit defense kept Denver East at bay for several minutes, but the intensity of the Denver East offense eventually wore on the Tigers, resulting in a successful Denver East try.

At halftime, Summit led 14-5. 

In the new half, Summit responded by steadily marching down the field.

Quick passing from Summit brought the Tigers close to the try line, but stellar tackles from Denver East prevented Brady from extending Summit’s lead. With some momentum coming from the Denver East sideline, the team drove down the field before a Summit stop resulted in a 50-plus yard dash to the try line from Snyder.

Lyman and senior Viola Koning concluded the game by making a series of tough tackles for the Tigers which kept Denver East from bringing the ball over midfield. 

Summit defeated Denver East in the first game,19-5.

The second match against Denver East was just as competitive as the first.

The game began with several back-and-forth possessions before Lyman twisted and turned her way up the field to score the first try of the game. 

Denver East immediately responded by pitching the ball out to the side and sprinting down the field for a try its own. 

At halftime Summit sported a 2-point lead, up 7-5. 

Lyman continued to show off her wheels and athletic ability in the second half of the game. Following a strong possession by Denver East, Lyman once again found herself with the ball and juked her way to the try line to give Summit a 14-5 lead.

As the players’ breaths began to show in the cold air, Summit put an exclamation point on the game with a mad dash to the try line by Jackson.

Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo
The Summit High School defense works to bring a Denver East player to the ground on Friday, Sept. 15 in Breckenridge.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

Summit defeated Denver East 21-5 in game two.

In its final match of the night, the Tigers left no doubt about who was the more dominant team. With powerful tackles and speed, Summit paved its way to its third win of the night.

Senior Gracelyn Garvert imprinted herself on the final match, scoring the game opening try and making several impressive plays.

Despite being tied 5-5 at halftime, Summit pushed past Denver East in the second half. With a galloping sprint down the field and a kick play, Summit scored two tries in the final half to defeat Denver East, 19-5.

“Our first game was definitely rough,” Brady said after the trio of games. “We did not play our best. There was no communication and that was one of our really big team goals going into this game. As we got to the end, we really knew that this is a simple game and that we have fun and that is when we do our best. We had so much fun out there, we trusted each other and I feel like that is what brought us to the end.

Summit advances to 7-0 overall on the season and has now outscored its opponents by a collective score of 220-27.

Summit High School will celebrate homecoming next week while the team hosts Monarch and Eagle Valley on Thursday, Sept. 21.

“Oh my gosh, I am so excited,” Brady said. “We only get three home games so we have one more and I am so excited. We had so many more people out here cheering for us than we did last time. It is really cool playing under the lights knowing that we are here representing the school and each other.”

The series of homecoming games is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.