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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Rugby looks to close out season on the road

Eastern’s women’s rugby team looks to wrap up its 2010 season with its final match Saturday against the University of Missouri.

The Panthers are coming off of a 55-0 Senior Day route over Iowa State, while Missouri has not played a game since Oct. 25, when they faced the University of Alabama.

The Panthers enter Saturday’s contest having not given up a single point since the Oct. 10 game against the University of Michigan. They shut out Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Illinois and Iowa State in the following three games.

The Panthers have also won each game by a margin of at least 45 points.

The last time the Panthers faced Missouri was one year ago during Eastern’s homecoming weekend. During that match, the Panthers rolled past the Tigers 87-6. The Panthers are 2-0 all time against Missouri.

This will be the first time that the Panthers will travel to Columbia, Mo. for a match. The weather forecast for Columbia Saturday is said to be good for playing conditions.

The wind should not be a factor, as it was for last week’s game. High winds on Lakeside Rugby Field caused senior Coartney McKinney to miss four conversions during the last game.

McKinney said that kicking with windy conditions is extremely difficult and almost impossible to judge.

“I think our chances are pretty good,” freshman Katelyn Berkner said. “We’ve been playing really well this season. We beat Mizzou last season, so we sort of know what to expect from them.”

This past week in practice, the Panthers worked on defense, especially on midfield and open field, to prepare for the game against Missouri.

Berkner said the Panthers have been practicing really well all week, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and that they should be ready for whatever the Tigers have to throw at them.

A big part of the game for Coach Frank Graziano is to have the team end the season on a high note.

Coach Graziano stressed the importance of finishing the season strong with a win, especially for the team’s three seniors, Kristy Young, Coartney McKinney and Emily Harrison, who have all been key parts of the team’s success this season.

Sophomore center Lauren Doyle enters the game with 28 trys, already surpassing her 2009 season total of 25. Doyle leads all Eastern Illinois players in trys this season. Doyle also leads the Panthers with 19 assists. Doyle looks to extend her lead in both categories this weekend.

The Panthers will look to end their 2010 season with a win before heading into the off-season and begin preparing for next year.

Dominic Renzetti can be reached at 581-7944 or [email protected].

Rugby looks to close out season on the road

Rugby looks to close out season on the road

Alissa Patient, a sophomore prop, tackles a member of Iowa State’s rugby team Sunday at Lakeside Field. Eastern Beat Iowa State 55-0. (Danny Damiani

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