Summit High: Rugby rumbles to 42-0 win
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
FARMER’S KORNER – On a day when the team honored its seniors, it was a bunch of younger players that led the Summit High girls’ rugby team to the win.
Junior Alex Cooper scored the game’s first three tries, sophomore Hailey Anderson was a perfect six-for-six in kicking for 12 points, and sophomore Chloe Dudick starred at a brand new position.
In the end, it added up to the Tigers’ 42-0 victory over Los Alamos, N.M., in Summit’s final home match of the season.
“They were a really scrappy team from beginning to end. I was really impressed,” SHS head coach Karl Barth said of the Tigers’ opponent. ” … There were some bright spots, but it wasn’t one of our best performances. Most of that was the pressure they put on us.”
Despite the lopsided final score, the beginning of the match was a bit of a struggle for the Tigers, or as Cooper put it: “The beginning sucked really bad.”
Los Alamos swarmed Summit with a strong defensive effort, clogging up the Tigers’ passing lanes and making it difficult to move the ball.
Cooper got her first try only seven minutes into the game, and a successful conversion from Anderson made the score 7-0.
But the Tigers were stymied for the next 15 minutes or so, unable to break through the Los Alamos defense.
Eventually, the Tigers opened it up.
Dudick started a rush at midfield before dumping the ball off to senior Halley Armstrong, who then passed off to sophomore Sarah Johnson on the right sideline. Johnson was tackled by a Los Alamos defender at the end line but was able to flip the ball to Cooper for the score.
Cooper then broke a 40-yard try off a pass from junior Heidi Gruber for a 21-0 lead at halftime.
“We started really passing and drawing passers,” Cooper said of the difference in her team’s play.
For Cooper, it was her first time on the field in weeks, after recovering from an injury in one of the team’s first games. With her performance, that may have been hard for some spectators to tell.
“Obviously, Cooper looked like she’d never been out,” Barth said.
The Tigers continued to pile it on the visitors from New Mexico in the second half.
Junior Alison Maginity took the ball out of a pile near the Los Alamos end line and ran in for a 28-0 Summit lead.
Gruber broke a lengthy try off a pass from Cooper a few minutes later.
Then sophomore Emmy Griffith scored off a pass from Anderson late in the game to pu sh the final score to 42-0.
Arguably more impressive than the Tigers’ ball movement on offense was Anderson’s kicking on the day. The sophomore made every conversion for Summit despite strong winds blowing throughout the entire match.
“It was crazy. I didn’t think I was going to make a lot of them, but I did,” Anderson said after the match. “I think the wind was helping me out sometimes. … The wind helped it curve in.”
Her third kick in the first half wasn’t aided by anything but a strong leg, though. From the right sideline, Anderson made roughly a 30-yard kick dead into the wind.
“Six for six is pretty impressive, considering that one from the sideline,” Barth said. ” … The wind was blowing right in her face.”
In the match, the Tigers had six seniors play their final home match. Captain Bri Barto, Becca Lorenz, Stephany McDowell, Katy Aceto, Hannah Barton and Armstrong all had strong games for Summit. Fellow senior Erin Goodell was unable to play because she was taking the SAT.
“Their last game, get to come off to a round of applause, it’s nice for them to get that,” Barth said.
The unbeaten and top-ranked Tigers have two regular season games left on the schedule. Summit travels to Fort Collins Saturday for an 11 a.m. match, while playing rival Chaparral High School in the final week on the season.
“Chaparral will be a big game,” Barth said, noting Summit beat Chaparral in last year’s state title game. “They’re one of the best teams, and I’m sure they’ll have a little extra for us.”
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