With focus on defense, Summit rugby holds opponents scoreless en route to Terror 7’s title
After a week of practice during which the Summit High girls rugby program stressed defense, the Tigers’ top team won the Terror 7’s tournament by a total combined score of 148-0 on Saturday.
Reflecting on Saturday’s meet at Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Tigers head coach Karl Barth said Summit’s 24-0 championship game win over Monarch was exemplary of the defensive work the side put in at practice the days leading up to the game. The high point for the defense came at the start of the second half versus Monarch High School.
With the Tigers leading 12-0, Monarch advanced the ball to Summit’s goal line before the Tigers forced a turnover. Summit then turned the ball right back over to Monarch, requiring another tough goal line stand. Moments later, the Tigers regained possession off of another turnover before sophomore Olyvia Snyder jetted down to the opposite end of the field, juking Monarch’s final defender for a score and 19-0 lead (PK Vincze conversion).
The score effectively iced the game and the tournament championship for the Tigers, who are now 8-0 in individual games, with two tournament championships, on the season.
“For the most part we controlled the game,” Barth said of the title tilt. “For the most part won possession and played in their end, which we wanted to do.”
“We had a few defensive breakdowns last week,” Barth said of the Tigers’ performance the week prior at their home Summit 7’s tournament. “And, for the most part, our team has been stronger offensively than defensively the last few years. Given we don’t have a lot of size, speed can make up for it, once in a while. But organization is a big part of it, how we tackle and how we create turnover opportunities.”
Considering the Tigers’ top team defeated Monarch 26-7 the week prior at Tiger Stadium, Barth said Saturday’s scoreless win was proof positive the team made the week-over-week defensive strides he was hoping for. And the Tigers did so without arguably the state’s best player in Nicole Kimball, who senior was absent Saturday to take the ACT.
On the offensive end, Tiger senior leader PK Vincze got Summit on the board first in the final, as she scored after a Monarch turnover, which followed a Summit offensive run down the sideline. After taking an early 5-0 lead, the Tigers extended it to 12-0 at the half with a score from junior Brielle Quigley. Quigley scored via a penalty opportunity for the Tigers. Vincze took it up before going left to Quigley for the score.
The Tigers rounded out their championship game scoring late in the second half via a score for junior Bryton Ferrari. Stepping up this year to quarterback the Tiger offense in a role in recent years occupied by star CeCe Pennell, Ferrari played more minutes on Saturday than any other Tiger player. Barth lauded her consistent composure despite her lack of experience at the sport’s highest level.
Sept. 7: First at Summit 7’s, Tiger Stadium
Sept. 14: First at Terror 7’s, Colorado Springs
Sept. 21: First at Valkyrie 7’s, Glenwood Springs
Sept. 25: Win at Glenwood Springs Sept. 28: Second at Lumberjackie 7’s
Oct. 8: Win vs. Glenwood Springs (Homecoming), Summit High School
Oct. 11-12: Second at Pink 7’s, Regional Athletic Complex, Salt Lake City
Oct. 19: First at Falcon Bluffs
Oct. 26: Colorado State 7’s Tournament, Boulder High School, 9 a.m. start
Nov. 2: Glendale 15’s, Glendale, TBD
Nov. 9: Palmer 15’s, Palmer, TBD
Nov. 16: Glendale 15’s, Glendale, TBD
“She was a beast this weekend,” Barth said. “Without Kimball for the weekend we talked a lot about stepping up in different roles, and Bryton was captaining a bunch when PK was not on the field. She set the pace and was real steady the whole day.”
Saturday also marked the return of Summit senior star Logan Simson, an experienced player who was unable to play the prior Saturday while in the final stages of rehabbing a shoulder injury. Barth said Kimball played about a half each game for the top team, settling in well and scoring in Summit’s penultimate victory, a 47-0 triumph over Denver East.
Summit also defeated Glenwood Springs 34-0 earlier in the day and Summit’s secondary squad 43-0 to open play on Saturday.
After Summit’s second team lost 43-0 to the top Tiger side, the secondary team lost their following two games by a combined score of 29-20. That included a matchup versus Glenwood Springs where Barth felt the Tigers outplayed the opposition despite the loss. For that second side, Barth said junior Elena Francis has been a standout thus far.
Summit’s two teams that played at the junior-varsity level on Saturday combined for a 1-4 record at the tournament, including a 22-5 win over Evergreen. Barth said Citlali Licea Rodriguez provided great defense leadership for the program’s freshman-only team on Saturday. Rodriguez’s fellow freshman Katie McKernan has also impressed thus far playing for both JV-level teams.
“They are both picking up the game fast,” Barth said.
Summit will return to action on Saturday at the Valkyrie 7’s, scheduled for Colorado Mountain College-Glenwood, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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