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Army Athlete of the Week Scores Hat Trick

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Army Athlete of the Week Scores Hat Trick

Crittington scored a hat trick against Norwich. (Photo courtesy Army West Point Athletics)

For the third time this fall season, the Army Athletic Association has named a member of the women’s rugby team the Athlete of the Week. Zye Crittington joins Nicole Heavirland and Lindsay Clark as award recipients, and put in a noteworthy performance during West Point’s 68-15 victory over Norwich last weekend.

Vice captain Chioma Odocha had exited the game with an injury, so the freshman took the pitch to fill out the lineup. Typically an inside center, Crittington slotted in at wing, and the extra running room proved fruitful. Crittington scored three tries in, essentially, 20 minutes, putting the game well out of reach for Norwich.

"This means a lot to the girls, the emotion was really high going in and they overcame a really horrific start," coach Bill LeClerc told Army West Point Athletics. "We lost Jess Soto in the warm-up and then we lost two in rapid succession on the field. We were able to pull together and really turn out a really solid performance. Zye was obviously phenomenal, but we managed to pull it out and get a really good win."

The team needed that win. The weekend prior, Army unraveled in Marietta, Ga., and dropped a 63-7 decision to Life University.

“We were more mentally prepared,” Army captain Mariah Caid-Loos compared the two matches. “Life caught us on our heels and we never recovered. We were more focused coming into Norwich.”

On Saturday, Clark illuminated the scoreboard 18 minutes in, and Heavirland kicked the first of her nine conversions to give Army a 7-0 lead that it would never relinquish. Norwich responded minutes later, but it ended up being the only points of the half for the Vermont side. Army followed with scores from Caid-Loos, Crittington, and Heavirland for a 28-5 lead at the break.

After Crittington’s back-to-back scores, Army led 42-5 after 48 minutes. Ari Efaw, Mackenzie Garner, Caid-Loos, and Hearvirland scored tries, while Norwich added two more scores for the 68-15 finish.

Army improved to 5-3 (5-0 in conference play) and looks toward Quinnipiac (6-2) this weekend. So much has happened since the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 12, a game that the Cadets won 29-24. The Bobcats were competitive in their loss to Central Washington and more than rebounded with a 54-21 win over AIC last weekend. The game will occur on Saturday in Hamden, Conn., and be live-streaming here.