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Arizona State Women Surprise GCU

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Arizona State Women Surprise GCU

Arizona Stater vs Grand Canyon. Photos Jeff Dalton.

Arizona State pulled off a bit of a shock in women's D1 rugby, defeating Grand Canyon University 36-27.

It was a very well-played game given the layoff for both programs, but to see what is essentially a club team defeat a varsity program shows that such a result is possible.

The game was split into quarters, and in fact only last three periods because injuries depleted both teams. Arizona State's ability to make big breakaways hurt GCU, and that was especially true of scrumhalf Steph Davis, who was effective throughout the day.

Grand Canyon came back and took the lead in the second quarter, working the phases and basically camping out in the ASU 22.

But as the game wore on, ASU's pace and ability to score from long range that saw them through. Wing Jensen Gomez scored on a long run in her first game for the team. And then rookie Olivia Thorpe's breakaway gave Arizona State the lead once more and they held it from there.

(Addensum—we should probably characterize this game as a scrimmage more than a game, as it was split into quarters. In addition, we have learned the game had open subs and, at one point, uncontested scrums. So ... while this is an indication that ASU has made some steps, the result should be taken with a grain of salt. — AG)