Panthers finish undefeated

Eastern’s women’s rugby finished a perfect season with a 106-0 shutout against the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday at home.

The game was played under unusual circumstances, as Purdue was only able to field nine players. With the Boilermakers being six players short of a full team, the Panthers agreed to play a nine-on-nine rugby game.

Appropriately, the Panthers had been practicing playing in nine-on-nine situations over the past two weeks.

“We were very prepared to play nine versus nine. We went out there and performed quite well,” Eastern head coach Frank Graziano said. “I was very pleased with how we played.” The game also had a different time set up. Instead of playing the customary two 40-minute halves, the game was divided into three 15-minute periods to determine the winner.

The game itself may have been shortened, but the Panthers took full advantage of the time they had as they tallied a season-high in points scored.

The Panthers dominated the Boilermakers in every aspect of the game, and had the game virtually won by the end of the first 15-minute period.

The offensive explosion the Panthers displayed was felt across the entire roster as nearly every player contributed to the score.

“We had 11 out of our 16 players score today,” Graziano said. “Everyone was running well and passing well.”

The decreased number of players on the field allowed for the Panthers to showcase their athleticism as they ran all over the Boilermakers in route to the win. Freshman center Madison Kissner led the way for the Panthers as she recorded three trys in the blowout victory.

Senior flyhalf Tina Crema also impressed as she rounded out her rugby career with a record-setting performance. Crema dished out a team leading and career-high seven assists in the win.

“With the wide open spaces it certainly allowed us to display our athletic ability,” Graziano said. “We are a very fast and very fit team and we used that. We performed quite well and put up a lot of points.”

With the win, the Panthers have now recorded a perfect season in three of the past four years.

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