So far this season the BYU’s women’s rugby team has humiliated every opponent it has faced, only giving away 11 total points. The closest an opponent has come to beating BYU was Weber State, which lost by only 38 points. However, the majority of the game was played by BYU’s second string.
The only barrier blocking the way of BYU receiving an automatic bid to the Sweet 16 is one more victory. But the team feels that is not a problem. They don’t think they are cocky, but rather confident.
[easyembed field=”Photogallery”]”There is a quiet confidence about this team,” assistant coach Kara Remington said. “We take every opponent we play seriously, but we trust our game, knowing we can win. Mostly they are just confident.”
Two weeks ago BYU matched up against Colorado University and the Air Force Academy, and true to form sent its opponents home scoreless, finishing 53-0 and 64-0, respectively. Though the team is confident, the Cougars are a bit on edge due to injuries several players received playing against Colorado.
“We are only nervous as far as getting injuries,” junior Monica Jackson said. “We usually do fine, but this past weekend we had a broken wrist, a broken hand and we think a broken nose.”
Typically when injuries like this occur, players stop playing, but the BYU players just couldn’t stop. Junior Star Monson broke her wrist in the first 10 minutes of the Colorado game but continued to play. She also played the whole game against Air Force the next day. The only downside for Monson was that following the Air Force game, she had surgery. Senior Kristi Jackson, who thought she broke her nose, also continued to play through both games. Freshman Dana Greenwood fears she broke her hand, but the diagnosis is not final.
Despite the minor setbacks from the injuries, the Cougars are determined to continue strong and meet the expectations they have set for themselves.
“We don’t set goals of how many points we want to score,” Remington said, “but there is an expectation of how we play. If we play our game we will rack up the points.”
The experienced players on the team have competed in the Sweet 16 several times throughout their time at BYU, and all have vivid recollections of how they felt participating in something like this.
“Oh man, it’s exciting, knowing you’ve made it that far,” senior Chelsie Hill said. “Last year I didn’t have to start so it wasn’t all that stressful, but this year having more of a role, it feels more real.”
Jackson, whose older sister Kristi Jackson also plays on the team, shares feelings similar to her teammate.
“It’s one of the coolest experiences, being able to walk onto a team and go to the sweet 16,” Jackson said. “It’s an elite thing for us to do. And being able to go with my sister is a sweet experience.”
The Cougars’ automatic qualification for the Sweet 16 will only occur if they win their last league game against Colorado State this weekend. If by some chance BYU loses to Colorado State, qualifying for the Sweet 16 will remain up in the air until the winter season begins in January.
BYU is set to play Colorado State Saturday morning at 11 at Fort Utah Park in Provo.