STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – For the second straight year, Steamboat Women & # 39; s rugby team got a place in the championship.
Charging Heifers used two straight shutouts to get there, opening the tournament with a 27-0 win over Boulder and defeating Ronin 36-0 a few hours later.
At the end, Ronin and Steamboat Springs met again, but this time the game did not fall into Steamboat's favor. A slow start condemned the home team when they dropped 19-14 from Ski Town Fields on Saturday, July 13.
"We didn't beat it in the first half. We were so flat," said longtime player and former coach Tina Nesberg. "We had no intensity and I could tell in the warm-up. We didn't call it in. We called it a little in the second half but not consistently enough. You have to play more consistently. Mental toughness wins championship."
Charging Heifer's shutout strip quickly ended when Ronin, a team of players from the Denver area, scored three straight attempts to take the lead.
After the third kickoff that hit the ground behind a Ronin player, the Steamboat got the ball on the doorstep door. After several efforts, just inches from the line, the charging pins went back, but another pass went wrong so Ronin could take the ball back.
Early in the second half, Charging Heifers broke through as Nesberg pulled the ball straight up in the middle.
Later she went up again and stole the ball before a couple of quick passes from outside allowed a teammate to run straight up in the middle to score. The loading pins patterned a final bet, but time ran out before they could score again.
"I was just fired up," Nesberg said of her efforts. "It is a second-half championship game, we are on our home ground we could repeat. I want the people who can lead to step up and play in games like this. We need more leaders and more people to take it on their own and become leaders. "
Earlier in the day, Steamboat was definitely called.
At the end of the second game, Nesberg approached her team and said, "There was not a selfish leg in this field."
Team Captain Sarah Tiedeken-O & # 39; Brien repeated that feeling and pointed to one thing for the team's success.
"Collaboration. We worked really well together," she said. "As our coach Tina said, we were really selfless and moved the ball as a unit as opposed to just playing for yourself and it shows."
The first scoring came just minutes in the match when Charging Heifers moved the ball from player to player, only inches from the finish line. Finally they broke through and put Steamboat on the table. Also in the first half, the women in green and pink used a breakaway to try to double the score.
The game's final score came in a similar way, without anyone running for a Charging Heifer who took the last 10 meters or so alone before they touched the ball on the ground between the posts.
"I think it just shows that we are rounded off," said Tiedeken-O & # 39; Brien. "Our package played really well together, making it possible for us to make the dense, moving experiments, and of course we've got some really fast people who are able to finish it."
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
. (tagsToTranslate) Cowpie (t) Classic (t) Steamboat (s) Springs (t) Rugby (s) Women