LUCKY SEVEN — Wayne State women’s rugby get NSCRO national title

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Wayne State women’s rugby team answered every comeback attempt by Bentley College and came away with a 46-26 win to claim back-to-back national titles in National Small College Rugby Organization 15’s rugby play and earn the school’s seventh national title in women’s rugby.

The Wildcats reached the finals with a 78-7 blowout win over Gustavus Adolphus in action Saturday at Life University. Wayne State raced to a 57-0 halftime advantage on the strength of 10 first-half tries, including two apiece from Phinix Svajgi and Turner MacPhee. They added three more scores in the second half to advance to Sunday afternoon’s finals.

The game was close until about midway through the second half. The Wildcats scored on tries by Leanna Rosberg, Julia Baxter and Brooke Hoesing to take a 17-7 halftime advantage. Bentley scored early in the second half to get within five points, but Baxter cranked off a 60-yard run down the far sideline and Wayne State added another score to make it 27-12.

Bentley’s Yoanna Rodriguez scored with about 24 minutes left to get the Falcons back within eight at 27-19, but Wayne State scored two tries in the next 10 minutes on scores by Brianna Reehl and Rosberg to get the lead back to 20 points at 39-19 with 13 minutes to play.

Bentley scored again with six minutes to go, but Wayne State answered one final time on a cross-field run by Hoesing to put the game out of reach.

The Wildcats won their fourth 15-on-15 national title and defended their championship from a year ago. They also won the 15’s title in 2012 and 2013 and also own 7-on-7 titles from 2014-16.

Rosberg was named the tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Championship 15's team by teammates Baxter, MacPhee, Anna Fleecs, Shelby Brown and Sam Warneke. Warneke was also given the team's Heart and Soul award.

The Wayne Herald

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