Women’s club rugby ends dominant regular season

Courtesy Photo / Bob Richthammer

The Lakers compete against CMU last season.

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / Bob Richthammer The Lakers compete against CMU last season.

Evan McMillin

Rarely do teams come out of the gates at the start of season as a polished work of art, firing on all cylinders, and dominating every opponent they face.

The Grand Valley women’s club rugby team has been every bit an exception to that rule. With a perfect 6-0 record for the season, and just one win coming by less than 50 points, the Lakers are putting together one of the most memorable women’s rugby seasons in recent memory.

The Lakers are a tight-knit group, as evidenced by their focused game plans and familiarity with one another as they interact on the field of play.

“Team play. We’ve played as a team from the start to the end of each game. Everybody is humble, but hungry,” said head coach Bob Richthammer. “Losing in nationals last was a humbling experience for a lot of the returning people, so we truly take it one game at a time. Our goal is to improve each game on the mistakes from the previous game and we really work hard in practice to do that.”

Though every player on the team is as important to the team’s overall success as the next, all successful teams have star players they can rely on when the going gets tough. And while the Laker’s rugby squad is oozing with talent, players like senior fullback Amanda Godfrey have stepped up their game and shown why they deserve some of the spotlight for their excellent play.

“I think the most improved part of my game is that I have become a more aggressive and fearless player,” Godfrey said. “I tried to lift weights as much as possible this summer to increase my size and strength as well as running to keep up with my fitness.”

The regular season is now over for the Lakers after their final game against Wayne State University was canceled due to forfeit, and now they’re looking at a five-month layoff until nationals begin in April. With such a long layoff, players know that dedication is what it will take to maintain their focus and sharpness going into to the playoff picture.

“We are going to do our best to keep everyone in shape and work on the areas that need it. Continuing to workout as a team is going to be important,” said sophomore Caitlyn Kiraly. “If everyone works together and motivates each other to improve before nationals, we should do great when we get there.”

During the regular season the Lakers scored a total of 355 points, 177 more points than their closest competition in their conference as Western Michigan University has scored 178 points. The Lakers have quite the point differential on the year, scoring 355 points while only giving up 31 points. Only three teams in the conference have a positive point differential: Ferris State at plus-six, Western Michigan at plus-77 and GVSU leading the way at plus-324.
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