Panthers put on life support, lose 61-0


Jason Howell

Senior lock Ellen Wilson is grabbed from behind during a game on Sept. 27 against Tennessee at Lakeside Field. The Panthers beat the Volunteers 31-17. After losing 61-0 to Life on Saturday, the Panthers are now 1-3 overall.

Bob Reynolds , Staff Reporter

Dating back to 2007, the Eastern rugby team has never been shutout in a game. Then its road game against Life University arrived Saturday and the seven-year steak was broken.

Life University defeated the Panthers 61-0 in Marietta, Ga.

Early in the first half, Life got out to a 12-0 lead on a big run by Christina Swift and kept pouring on the points from that point.

Deshel Ferguson added a try of her own with seven minutes left in the first half.

Life scored again to make it 22-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the Panthers still could not generate offense, as Life kept pushing the Panthers back into their own end.

Within the first 20 minutes of the second half, Life scored another 17 points to give it a 39-0 lead. In that time span, Life only converted on 2-of-7 kick attempts.

Life went on to add another 22 points in the final 20 minutes to give the Running Eagles the victory and the shutout of the Panthers.

Kimberly Semiglia finished 3-of-10 on kick conversions on the day for the Running Eagles.

Saturday’s win was the third straight game that Life shutout its opponent. In their two previous games the Running Eagles shut out Emory University 72-0 and the University of Georgia 71-0.

Life improved to 5-1 this season, while Panthers dropped to 1-3.

The Panthers have three games remaining on their schedule, including a rematch Saturday against Life and then heading on the road against Quinnipiac and Northern Illinois.

Life lost to Quinnipiac earlier in the season by a score of 34-19 and Northern Illinois lost to Lindenwood by more than 100 points.  The Panthers lost to Lindenwood earlier in the season 24-13.

The Panthers will have all week to prepare for their rematch against Life that starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Lakeside Field.

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]