Women’s rugby team beats UGA 29-15
KENNESAW-Kennesaw State University’s club rugby team has broken records this year with an undefeated season leading into playoffs.
Founded in 2008, the team has been consistently a front-runner in the Matrix rugby system, but never made it to the finals. After beating University of Georgia Saturday in the quarterfinals, the team is looking solid for continuing forward.
Last year’s playoffs ended early for the team, losing in the semifinals to Tulane University. “Playoffs went awful last year. Our team was unprepared and assumed that since we had beat this team once, that we could do it all over again,” said team captain and president of the club, Akilah Guzman, 19.
A 120-0 win against Georgia Tech on February 18 the team secured the first seed position in the playoffs, taking on UGA in the quarterfinals on their home pitch.
The atmosphere for the game against UGA Saturday was tense and serious. The team, who usually seem relaxed and good-humored before games, came out completely focused and driven. The sunny, breezy weather made it the perfect day for such an important game.
The game started fast paced and aggressive, both teams coming out to win and showing it with their concentrated attacking plays. In a show of how versatile KSU’s team can be, five different players scored the five different tries. Kennesaw scored first in the first half, going back and forth with tries before they pulled ahead in the second half and drove the game in for the win.
After the game Guzman’s passion for the game and her team are evident in everything she does. “Every single one of these girls make me smile every single day at practice with their hard work and determination,” said Guzman after the game.
“This season has been amazing,” Kinsley Maxwell, 22, said . “So many of our girls have stepped it up. I am so blessed to call my teammates my best friends and family.”
“We played a pretty good game, but we need to work on pushing ourselves on defense. Our line is tight, but we still need to work on pressing,” Maxwell said. “Defense is where fitness comes into play, and we did pretty well, but we need keep working on all aspects of the game.”
“This year we see our potential and know that we have what it takes to make it further than just playoffs,” Guzman said, confident in her team’s effort in the new season. “We’ve busted our tails on and off the pitch to make it where we are now and maybe we can go even further.”
The next game promises adjustments to the lineup, as player LeKelci Dobson received a spinal injury in the final five minutes of the second half. She is in currently at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital until further notice, and a GoFundMe is in progress to help cover the expenses of her recovery process.
The team will host the next round of playoffs at KSU Sports and Recreation Park Pitch behind the Fifth-Third Bank Stadium, March 18. Look for updates on the team at their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/KSUWRFC.