Summit Tigers rugby team takes 2 of 3 games against East High School during homecoming

Senior Paola Arredondo looks up the field during Summit's home rugby game against East High School on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Arredondo scored three tries for the Tigers in its three game series against East High School, winning two games to one.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

It’s homecoming week at Summit High School. Beyond the promise of spirit-themed school days and the homecoming dance, there will be a plethora of sports action throughout the week.

The girls rugby team was the first Summit High School sport to host its homecoming game, which was held on Wednesday, Sept. 28, as a series of three matches against the East High School Angels at Tiger Field in Breckenridge.

Prior to Summit’s games against the Angels, the Tigers traveled to Greeley for the University of Northern Colorado 7’s Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 24. It rolled to three straight victories to remain undefeated on the season. 

In the three straight victories, the Tigers outscored their opponents 139-0. The mind-boggling stat may seem like an error or typo, but the Summit rugby team shut out every opponent it faced while piling on points with its high-powered offense. 

The Tigers defeated Vista Ranch 55-0, Evergreen 55-0 and Fort Collins 29-0. Senior Paola Arredondo recorded six tries, junior Ella Snyder recorded five tries while Joselin Roque converted on eight conversions and Viola Koning converted on four. 

On the defensive side of the ball, junior Ashley Misch led the way for the Tigers, providing a level of needed physicality, which led to the 10 forced turnovers by the Tigers. 

Due to its recent success, Summit carried an air of confidence and momentum as it ran onto the field to take on East High School on Wednesday. 

In the first game of the evening, Summit got out to a quick start using both passing and communication to move the ball down the field. The strong first possession for the Tigers resulted in a dash down the field by Arredondo and ended with a successful try. 

After an unsuccessful conversion by Roque, the Tigers led 5-0 in the early part of the first match. 

Following the try by the Tigers, the Angels upped their intensity and started to drive down the field themselves. The Angels attempted several times to break free of the Tigers completely — in order to score a try of its own — but were quickly met by the Summit defense.

Summit stifled any momentum East High School tried to gain with strong, textbook tackles. With little momentum to continue to drive down the field, it was not long before Summit had another offensive opportunity.

This time Roque used her versatile speed to run more than 60-yards down the field for a try. After burying home a conversion, the Tigers led by a score of 12-0 at the end of the first half.

In the second half, Snyder got her chance to show off her speed. Like Roque, Snyder sprinted past the Angels’ defenders to score a try and put the Tigers up 19-0.

The highlight of the second half was perhaps Arredondo’s try when she juked, twisted and turned her way up field to put Summit up 26-0. 

The Tigers closed out the rest of the game to win, 33-0.

Despite shutting the team out, Roque and the rest of the Summit rugby team did not feel great with their own personal level of play.

Senior Joselin Roque prepares to kickoff Summit’s home game against the East High School Angels on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

“The first game was kind of harsh,” Roque said. “We were not working together. We talked as a group about what we wanted to focus on and how we were going to work hard together to build that chemistry.”

Wanting to let all the seniors take the field during the homecoming game, Summit brought out a different group of seven for the Tigers second game against the Angels.

In the second game the Angels were more dominant. They charged down the field and scored two quick tries in the first part of the second game, going up 10-0.

At the end of the first half, East High School led 17-0.

The Angels continued to find success in the second half, breaking through Summit defenders while seamlessly passing the ball down the field.

Scoring a series of tries in the second half, East defeated Summit, 34-7, in the second game. 

In the rubber match of the evening, Summit’s original seven players took the field to take on the Angels for the finale. 

The third game went much like the first, but this time the Tigers looked even more sharp on the field. In many ways, the third game was an encore for Summit as the team once again put its speed, experience and competitiveness on display for the cheering crowd.

Arredondo and Snyder scored tries of their own, while junior Regan Jackson scored a jaw dropping 70-plus-yard try, pumping her arms all the way to the try line. Summit concluded the game with a series of stiff arms and broken tackles to score a final try, to defeat East High School, 42-5.

“We picked it up, and we worked hard,” Roque said of the team’s performance in the third game, “like we usually do. That is actually our team. I am pretty proud of the entire team and how we all worked together in the third game.” 

In the end, the games were a full team effort with Arredondo and Sndyer combining with three tries each, Jackson and senior Natalie Alderete scoring two tries, junior Rose Rode and senior Lily Wiethake scoring a try a piece while Roque contributed a try and 10 of 11 conversions to lead the Tigers with a total of 25 points. 

Rode and Misch also set the tone of the games with their defense, preventing East from scoring more than 39 over the three games. 

The Tigers will be on the road at the Jesuit 7’s rugby tournament in Aurora on Saturday, Oct. 1. After the tournament in Aurora, the Tigers will return home on Friday, Oct. 7 for the team’s final home match against Monarch.  

“We are definitely going to start preparing for Utah because that is our biggest tournament of the year,” Roque said. “We are definitely going to work hard and practice based on this weekend’s games.”

Summit will travel to Salt Lake City for the Pink 7’s rugby tournament from Oct. 14-15. 

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