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GCU Women to Spring Final Four in 1st Year

College Women

GCU Women to Spring Final Four in 1st Year

Grand Canyon University made it to the national spring DII women’s college semifinals in the program’s first year in existence.

GCU defeated Western Washington 29-5 on Saturday in the spring quarterfinals, and then survived a tough game against Fresno State, scoring two late tries to come back and win 36-28.

The Antelopes, coached by Alison Price and Daniela Mogro, who both played for the USA in 7s, is made up largely of players new to the sport. They sport a big, powerful front row and showcased some athleticism, good team play, and slick ball handling to outlast Fresno State.

“We were extremely excited to have earned a playoff berth in the inaugural season of our program at GCU,” said Price. “We recruited players that were already on campus in the Fall 2016, most of them had never seen a rugby ball, so this is an amazing achievement. We have had a strong and consistent core of players that have really grown and embraced the sport over the past seven months, which has led to our success.”

Price said success was based on fundamentals, and it was clear through the weekend that they understood that. Their defensive unit was solid, although Fresno State gave them trouble with their snappy ball movement, and they worked the rucks effectively.

Both coaches said fundamental skills were what they wanted to drill, and it has paid off.

“They’ve really worked hard on and off the field, and that’s led to their success,” Mogro told the local news.

Several of the players never even knew what rugby was, let along played it. They did have some experienced players, but not many. Now they are all experienced, and winners.