On April 8, 2017 the Mary Washington women's rugby team faced Kansas State University in the first round of the USA Rugby Spring Playoffs. Mary Washington was playing in Spartanburg, SC in the South East Regional playoffs.
The women's rugby team knew the match would be difficult, as Kansas State qualified as the Mid-America #1 seed. Additionally, Mary Washington was heading into the match with a side depleted due to injuries and other commitments. Of the 32 people on the roster, only 23 were able to play.
Mary Washington fell behind within the first minute, as Chloe Westin, 8-man from Kansas State ran through several defenders and scored. As their kicker, Chloe was not able to convert her own try. On the next kickoff, Mary Washington moved downfield, but a mishap put the ball back into the hands of Kansas State. Quick play gave Kansas another try. The try was not converted and Mary Washington faced a 10-0 deficit five minutes into the match.
After the kickoff, Mary Washington again moved the ball down field. This time, Mary Washington was able to hang on and put in a try at the eighth minute. Scoring for Mary Washington was Madie Welsh ('17). Ashleigh Holzworth ('19) converted to bring the score to 10-7.
Proving that they could score against Kansas State, Mary Washington thought they had finally settled into the match. However, they were proven wrong when the Kansas State 8-man scored again for Kansas State. An unconverted try put the score at 15-7.
Kansas State's quick offense overwhelmed Mary Washington. The situation was made worse for Mary Washington as their defense was out of position several times, missing numerous tackles. By the end of the first half, Mary Washington was down 32-7.
The second half was not much better for Mary Washington as Kansas State scored within 2 minutes of the kickoff. Mary Washington was forced to make several subs, further disrupting their rhythm. While Kansas State kept their attack strong the entire match, Mary Washington was able to score at minute 57. Scoring for Mary Washington was Laura Lang ('19), making the score 44-12.
At minute 71, Lani Budi ('17) scored for Mary Washington. However, in the interim between Mary Washington scores, Kansas State scored twice, bringing the score to 54-17. Obviously defeated, Mary Washington gave up two more tries before the whistle blew. The final score stood at 66-17, Kansas State over Mary Washington.
The most valuable player of the match was Chloe Weston from Kansas State. She scored seven tries against Mary Washington and setup numerous scores.
On Sunday, April 9, 2017 Mary Washington will face the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, who lost their playoff match to Kennesaw State.