GVSU women's club rugby blanked 98-0 by Davenport

The loss is the Lakers' first of the season

| 10/9/16 11:27pm

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Alexa Andary runs the ball up field as the Lakers square off against the Golden Grizzlies of Oakland Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016.

by Kevin Sielaff / Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Grand Valley State women's club rugby team (3-1) squared off with the Davenport Panthers Friday, Oct. 7, and ended with the Lakers' first loss of the season, a 98-0 blowout.

This didn’t keep the Lakers from a celebration, though.

After the Lakers won a try line stand—similar to a goal line stand in football—with only seconds remaining, the team jumped with joy. The game was over, and the GVSU players celebrated as if they had won the game despite the 98-0 final score.

The GVSU women had shown this kind of attitude throughout the entire game.

“(The players) played their hearts out,” said GVSU head coach Abe Cohen. “They didn’t give up, they were relentless, they were fearless.”

After the final Davenport score with only three minutes left in the 80-minute match, the GVSU players kept the same positive mentality they showed after the first score which came just over two minutes into the game.

When asked what was different about this game versus the team’s previous three, Cohen had some words of praise for Davenport.

“Davenport is one of the best teams in the country,” Cohen said. “They are just that much better than all of the competition in the league.”

The Panthers won the national championship last season.

Davenport is no stranger to beating teams with this sort of margin of victory. Last year, they beat GVSU 100-0, Saginaw Valley State University 158-0 and the University of Minnesota 106-10.

Davenport’s success in the past shined through Friday night. The Panthers were rarely in their own defending end, and the closest GVSU came to scoring was off a scrum 30-yards out with six minutes left in the first half.

Davenport scored nine times in the first half converting five of their nine kicks against GVSU. The Panthers scored six times in the second half converting five of their seven kicks.

GVSU looked to be stronger defensively coming out of halftime. The Lakers held the Panthers scoreless for over 14 minutes in the middle of the half. This would be the longest scoring drought of the game.

“Davenport is very strong, they’re well put together,” said GVSU junior Marissa Parker. “We came into it knowing they were going to be hard. Our goal is to only lose this one game and play the rest because we have to make playoffs.”

The Laker women are not disconcerted by the large margin of loss, but rather are looking to improve from a hard learning experience.

“(We need to) build off it. This was our biggest challenge this season, and it’s not the outcome we wanted but we stayed together, we didn’t fall apart and so we just have to build off that,” said GVSU senior Chandler Babb.

Babb was voted player of the match by the Lakers.

The Lakers will have a two-week break before their next match, ample time to recuperate after a tough loss.

“We had some injuries, and time always helps,” Babb said. “It will give us time to set up for the next game.”

The Lakers' next matchup is against Ferris State at home Oct. 22.

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