Historic run for women’s rugby concludes

Kyle Samec

The historic season for the Kent State women’s rugby club team ended Saturday morning in the Elite Eight matchup with the University of Connecticut, as mental errors and a lack of intensity proved fatal for the Flashes.


“We committed far too many penalties,” said coach Jeff Horton. “We made mental errors that could have easily been avoided.”


The Flashes fell to undefeated UConn, 61-5, in Pittsburgh, ending the their possible Final Four appearance. Senior Hannah Henry said the Flashes weren’t playing their typical physical style of rugby, which is where a lot of the team’s success came from this season.


“We lacked intensity. I’m not really sure what happened to cause that,” Henry said. “We beat ourselves today and once we got down by a few tries, I think we mentally checked out of the game.”


The Flashes played a consolation match against the University of Notre Dame on Sunday morning, where they lost, 15-10.


Even though the season is over, Henry said the team has come a long way over the last three years. This past season was one to remember, she said.


“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Henry said. “I started in 2012 with a team that couldn’t pull a win all season, and I have watched this team grow and develop into an Ohio powerhouse. We quite literally started from the bottom and we made history by making it to the Elite Eight.”


This was the first time the Flashes made it to the Elite Eight of the USA Rugby national fall playoffs. Each of the last two seasons they lost in the round of 16. Horton said the Flashes have a bright future ahead of them after proving themselves against bigger competition this season.


“We played an extremely physical schedule and unfortunately lost a lot of players to injury, but we never stopped fighting,” Horton said. “We took the next step toward establishing ourselves as a legitimate program, and I am eager to see what the future holds for the team.”


Kyle Samec is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].