Seniors honored; team one away from perfect season

The women’s rugby team capped off a memorable weekend of sports at Eastern with a 66-3 victory over NCAA Division I opponent Quinnipiac Sunday.

The Panthers honored three seniors prior to the game, scrum-half and team captain Narissa Ramirez, hooker Sarah Sremaniak and flyhalf Tina Crema.

Following the senior day festivities, the Panthers took the field and quickly grabbed control of the game.

The Panthers came out with intensity and had the Bobcats looking confused early on.

“We came out strong right away and it was the first time we scored within two minutes of the opening kickoff,” Sremaniak said. “We finally got offense and defense together and came out with a big win.”

Junior center Lauren Doyle continued her impressive offensive pace, as she led the Panthers with two trys in the first half. Junior wing Kayla Heal also found the endzone as she recorded a try on an assist from Ramirez. Freshman center Nia Williams capped off a 20-plus yard run with a 5-point try. The Panthers led the Bobcats by a score of 24-0 at the half time break.

Following the break, Eastern was able to execute on nearly every offensive possession.

“Its an amazing win for us. Today we showed what we can really do when we play up to our potential,” Crema said. “The fact that everyone was working together and everybody was playing with passion definitely helped us.”

Lauren Doyle added to an already impressive performance as she found the endzone three more times in the second half. For the day, Doyle recorded five trys, pushing her try total to nine dating back to last weekend’s win over Iowa State.

“Quinnipiac’s defense was easy to read and I feel like my eyes are developing,” Doyle said. “I played for the seniors today and it feels really great to beat the other Division I team for the third time in a row.”

Sophomore wing Cara Hahne and Ramirez also added to the offensive explosion in the second half.

Hahne scored on two different occasions, while Ramirez capped off Senior Day with a try of her own in the final minutes of the game.

“It was by far the best game we played all season, and I couldn’t be more proud of my team than I am today,” Ramirez said. “I’d rather pass the ball than score anytime, but it feels good to get a score in on Senior Day.”

With the win, the Panthers move to 9-0 for the third time in the last four seasons. The Panthers will finish their season this weekend against Big Ten opponent Purdue. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. Saturday at Lakeside Field.

Jordan Pottoff can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]