By Jordan Banks
On Oct. 26, Sacred Heart University’s women’s rugby team defeated Molloy College with a score of 122-0. The point total was the most points scored in school history. In the first half alone, Sacred Heart scored 63 points propelled by 11 tries. This was followed up by a second half equivalent to the first with the Pioneers scoring 59 unanswered points.
In the week leading up to Molloy, there were plenty of aspects the team worked on to get ready for the match up.
“The week before we worked on mentality,” said freshman Isabel Keller.
Head coach Michelle Reed also had positive things to say about the week leading up to Molloy.
“Our mentality and our chemistry definitely grew. It took a while with some of our teams starters getting injured in the beginning of the season,” said Reed. “Overall, I don’t think we changed too much, we have been consistent as far as what we need to be successful.”
The Pioneers scored 42 seconds into the game, but little did anyone on the field know about the offensive outburst that was about to ensue.
“Our team seemed ready to go, we had better energy. Molloy has been our rival. I expected to win but not by that much, everyone that was able to play, got in and played,” said Reed.
In the blink of an eye, the Pioneers were up 63-0 after the first half and the second half was much more of the same in a Pioneer offensive outburst.
“We talked about it at half,” said senior Kaylee Hale. “The reason we didn’t stop is because you still go one hundred percent because that risks injury.”
Reed added onto that, saying that there was a conversation at halftime as to whether or not they should slow things down offensively. She said that she told her players to be respectful and act like they had been there before. She also used a constant rotation of subs in order to keep the energy high and get more players in the game.
While the team clicked throughout the game, they did not know that they had set a program record for points in a game.
“I had no idea of the points record,” said Reed. “I respect Molloy a lot, as a coach, I have been on that side, I have empathy, but on my side, I was happy to see my players play at that high of a level.”
For those seniors, the program has grown immensely since they first stepped onto the field.
“When we came in, the team was a lot smaller, we had a lot of walk-ons,” said Hale. “Now we have a full team and a lot of talented players, who are rugby smart and are able to execute.”
In 2016, the program began with just 15 players on the roster. Three years later, the team has grown to now 26, which increased interest for years to come. The interest in joining the team is encouraging for Reed.
“The underclassmen are willing to put in the work and ask for more intensity, they have a drive to develop to trust each other and be the best student athletes they can be,” said Reed. “Seeing that trust relationship being built on the field was rewarding and makes it all worth it.”