Women’s Rugby captures runner-up at CRC’s

By Frank Shala Army Athletic Communications

 The Army West Point Women’s Rugby team took another huge step forward in its program progression over the weekend, as the Black Knights made it to the final of the Collegiate Rugby Championships Sunday, before falling to Lindenwood, 34-12, in Philadelphia.                                                     Photos by Army Athletic Communications
 Freshman Naomi Colin extended Army West Point’s lead to 17-5 with a try to open the second half in the Black Knights 24-12 win over Penn State in the Collegiate Rugby Championships Sunday in Philadelphia.

The Army West Point Women’s Rugby team took another huge step forward in its program progression over the weekend, as the Black Knights made it to the final of the Collegiate Rugby Championships Sunday, before falling to Lindenwood, 34-12, in Philadelphia.
“Great experience all-around, and the great thing is, they’re all back next year,” Assistant Coach Steve Lewis said.
Army opened up the day against top-seed Penn State in the semifinal round. The Nittany Lions struck first in the second minute with a try, but after that it was all Army.
Tournament MVP junior Sam Sullivan scored back-to-back tries in the first half to send the Cadets into halftime with a 10-5 lead.
Freshman Naomi Colin would extend the lead to 17-5 with a try of her own to open the second half.
Sullivan made it a hat trick in the 12th minute, and after junior Bayleigh Gable’s second conversion made it 24-5, the Black Knights could taste victory.
Penn State would score in the final seconds to make it a 24-12 final.
The final saw the Black Knights take on defending National Champion Lindenwood. The Lions had yet to surrender a point heading into the final, and looked poised to give Army all they had.
Lindenwood opened up the scoring on the opening possession to set the tempo.
Sophomore Eleanor Burnett broke the Lions scoreless streak in the fourth minute when she crossed the try line to make it 7-5.
After some back-and-forth action, Lindenwood would add two more quick tries in the final seconds of the opening half to go into the locker room leading 17-5.
The Lions kept the charge going in the second half, scoring three straight times to extend their lead to 34-5.
In patented Army spirit, the Black Knights fought to the finish, with freshman Kaitlyn Schwarting scoring in the final minute to make it a 34-12 final.

Army highlights and game notes
• This is the first time in the varsity era, and first time since 2011, Army has competed at the Collegiate Rugby Championships.
• Sullivan was named Tournament MVP after posting 10 tries over the three days of competition. She finishes the spring with 33 tries to lead the Black Knights.
• Colin was second on the team with six tries throughout the tournament.
• Burnett led the team with five conversions over the weekend.
• The Black Knights finished the 7s season with a 15-5 overall record.

Box scores
Army 24, Penn State 12 (Semifinals)
• 2nd minute: Try—Penn State—PSU leads, 5-0;
• 4th minute: Try—Sam Sullivan—Tied, 5-5;
• 6th minute: Try—Sam Sullivan—Army leads, 10-5;
• 10th minute: Try—Naomi Colin; Conversion (Gable)—Army leads, 17-5;
• 12th minute: Try—Sam Sullivan; Conversion (Gable)—Army leads, 24-5;
• 14th minute: Try—Penn State—Army leads, 24-12.

Army 12, Lindenwood 34 (Finals)
• 1st minute: Try—Lindenwood; Conversion —LU leads, 7-0;
• 4th minute: Try—Eleanor Burnett—LU leads, 7-5;
• 7th minute: Try—Lindenwood—LU leads, 12-5;
• 7th minute: Try—Lindenwood—LU leads, 17-5;
• 8th minute: Try—Lindenwood—LU leads, 22-5;
• 9th minute: Try—Lindenwood; Conversion —LU leads, 29-5;
• 10th minute: Try—Lindenwood—LU leads, 34-5;
• 12th minute: Try—Kaitlyn Schwarting; Conversion (Burnett)—LU leads, 34-12.