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Redemption for Women's Rugby at ASU Against UCLA

What a weekend it was for Women’s Rugby at Arizona State University! After a long winter break hiatus, there was one question that trailed the ruggers at ASU leading up to the first game of the season. How will they perform against the fierce ladies of UCLA Women’s Rugby?

After two bitter losses in San Diego against UCLA Women’s Rugby back in November, Women’s Rugby at ASU came to the field with only one goal in mind: redemption. The women of ASU allowed the fire under their feet to carry them to a 44-10 win against the Bruins. With a highly aggressive group of forwards and a superbly synced back line, the combination was enough to run away with the victory against the intimidating UCLA team.

With stand-out players like Jensen Gomez of the back line and Paige Langford of the forwards, the game was certainly a fun one to witness. After spending most of the Fall preseason recovering from a broken wrist, Gomez played incredibly on Saturday and emerged with two impeccable tries after mentioning she was hungry for one prior to the start of the game. “Scoring twice was awesome,” says Gomez. “This was the first time I’ve ever played inside center in a game so I was a little nervous, but luckily everyone on the team was on fire and everyone is so supportive.” Gomez’s second try came from some exquisite teamwork on the back’s part, where she was able to punch through UCLA’s defensive line and take the ball all the way in from nearly half field for a well-earned five points.

Langford, who plays lock, on the other hand, scored her very first try last weekend! Langford began playing back in August and has since shown so much growth in these last few months of learning the sport. She scored with the help of her powerful fellow forwards by utilizing their unstoppable forward pods to inch closer and closer to a try. With a reach of faith, Langford was able to place the ball just over the try line and score for her team. “I guess locks don’t typically score so [scoring] makes me really excited to go out and work harder to do better” said Langford.

The first performance of the season for these ASU women was that of excitement, enthusiasm, and perseverance. “I was really proud of how hard everyone worked and how well the team came together to play like we did on Saturday” says Mari Bray, who is entering her fifth season with the Sun Devils of Women’s Rugby at ASU. Bray, who plays lock, continually shows faith in her rookies and her fellow vets. With a bright attitude, encouragement that never ceases, and an undying will to win, Bray is certainly a player to keep an eye on this season to come here at ASU. “We saw last weekend how hard we can push, even in the 79th minute," Bray said. And with an attitude like that, there are certainly good things to come from this talented group of women.

Overall, Women’s Rugby at ASU came out looking very promising. Their defensive line lagged a little and will continue to work on becoming more in sync but still proved to hold back their opponents fairly efficiently. These lady Sun Devils have two more practices until their next game and will use the momentum from this delicious win to earn their spot among the other teams in their conference. The next match for Women’s Rugby at ASU will be at home this Saturday, January 28th, at 11 a.m. against the formidable GCU Women’s Rugby team. Come out to support our ladies and be a part of another wonderful day of rugby, because after all…


Photographed by Susan Bray


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