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Another Comeback Win for CWU

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Another Comeback Win for CWU

Central Washington heads to the DI national championship.

Central Washington has perfected the art of the comeback, rallying from a 15-point deficit against Women's Cougar Rugby (BYU) to win the DI spring championship 29-15. The game looked eerily similar to yesterday's semifinal against Life, which took a 17-5 halftime lead before being held scoreless in the second half. CWU went on to win 40-17. BYU controlled its semifinal against West Chester, defeating the Mid-Atlantic champ 56-18 before today's spring final.

BYU's Jordan Gray stressed CWU's defense, scoring the opening two tries. Chanel Johnstun converted the second score and then added a penalty for the 15-point lead.

"The first 10 minutes, we knew they were going to be physical, and BYU was able to get some quick tries," Central Washington coach Mel Denham told CWU Athletics. "But we knew it would take time, and we were confident we would get back into the game" 

Central Washington didn't leave the first half empty-handed, as outside center Asinate Serevi dotted down. Flyhalf Kat Long slotted the extras to trail 15-7 into the break.

There was no sense of desperation, as Central Washington patiently waited for its opportunities to open up the game. 

"We were able to maintain possession in the first half but were unable to get points," Denham said. "We knew it would just be a matter of time before we broke them, which is what happened in the second half."

A minute into the second 40, Long slotted a penalty (15-10), and there the score remained for the rest of the quarter. Scrumhalf Rosalind Pena broke the deadlock with a try, and the trusty boot of Long put CWU in the lead, 17-15. Central Washington never relinquished its lead, as wing Ashley Rolsma finished off a great team series in the try zone, and another converted try made it 29-15.

"It’s exciting to have a chance to win a national championship,"Denham told CWU Athletics. "We have to get home, recover and get to work."

Penn State is the final opponent. In two weeks (May 9), the Wildcats will meet the fall champion at Kennesaw State (Ga.) for the national championship.