Tech’s Rugby Queens Open Season Well

LAS CRUCES, N.M. September 19, 2012 – New Mexico Tech’s Queens Rugby Club started their season with a bang Saturday in Las Cruces, ringing up a five-point try with their first touch of the ball against the New Mexico State University Lady Chiles.

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The Queens Rugby Club members were all smiles after defeating New Mexico State University in Las Cruces on Saturday. In back row (from left) are Katie Trujillo, Lorena Vega, Lynnae Logan, Gwen Brown, Michaela Rempkowski, Lindsey Rasmussen and Laura Lopez. In front are (from left) Laura Norero, Tonya Ross, Jade Horton, Texi Schaeffer and Willie Desir.
Michaela Rempkowski snagged Tonya Ross’s lineout throw, returning the ball to inbounds play near midfield and halfback Lynnae Logan whisked the ball out for Willie Desir and her unit of backline players to advance. And advance they did, with three players passing laterally to a teammate as they stormed up the field. Running at the end of the line, Laura Norero made a nice catch on a low pass and put the pedal down to ease around the defense line and touch down her team’s first try of the year. The Queens played inspired defense through four quarters of 10-woman play and outscored the Lady Chiles 17-7. Along the way four players savored their first taste of the game.

The match was a study of contrasting styles with Tech controlling possession for long stretches with a straight-ahead attack led by Logan’s hard running. NMSU gambled on long passes across the field which at times exposed gaps in Tech’s defense, but handling errors and the scrambling Queens shut down the threat each time. The Chiles did manage one short-range try in the second stanza and made the two-point conversion kick.

Amy Biehl High School graduate Lorena Vega introduced herself with a scoring lunge across the tryline in the third period, and fullback Jade Horton connected with the conversion kick to bring the Queens to 12 points. As the match wound down the dangerous Horton shook off a tackle and raced 30 meters to touch down Tech’s final try. Her conversion drop kick narrowly failed when it bounced back onto the field off the cross bar.

The Queens and their male counterparts, the Pygmies, will officially christen their new rugby pitch on the New Mexico Tech campus Saturday, September 22 when they host both New Mexico State teams. The Lady Chiles will seek to even the score against the Queens, while the Tech’s men will test their improvement after being out-pointed by the Chiles in a preseason scrimmage in Albuquerque on September 8. Kickoffs are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.

– NMT –

By Dave Wheelock/Tech Rugby Director