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Notre Dame Wins Irish 7s

  • 03 Apr 2019
  • 30 Views

Photo courtesy Notre Dame Women’s Rugby Facebook

The Irish 7s hosted eight-team men’s and women’s brackets last weekend in Bend, Ind., and after a weather-challenging day, host Notre Dame won the women’s title with a thrilling five-point victory over Davenport University.

Steady rains turned into harsh winds, so composure and smart adjustments were the focus on the day.

“We are working towards the end-of-the-season tournaments, so we come in merely trying to improve each game,” Notre Dame coach Ricardo Ramirez referenced the CRC 7s in June. “Conditions made for a difficult first game producing unforced errors. The team responded by adding an improvement each game and taking some chances to be more dynamic.”

En route to the final, Notre Dame beat Michigan State, Indiana, Davenport B and Iowa. Davenport had an equally successful day and was coming off tournament wins at Trainwreck 7s and the St. Patty’s Day event in Pennsylvania.

“They knew by the end of the game it would come down to keeping their heads because everyone on both sides were a little gassed from playing five games on a cold damp day,” Ramirez previewed the final. “We played each game different to find what worked to finish the each game. It was good to see the team make adjustments, take chances and not stick to a script.”

Davenport got a leading performance out of Megan Bird, who scored three tries in the final, but Notre Dame kept pace. Emma Shimek was particularly crucial, ending the day with eight tries and 11 conversions. The teams approached the final whistle tied 19-all, and Notre Dame had one more possession to work with. With no time remaining, the Irish built from a five-meter scrum and worked a couple of phases to the try line. Despite the fatigue, Davenport was able to repel a couple of attempts over the line, until the ball moved to All-American Tori Jones for the game-winning score, 24-19 the final.

“It was a great battle that either team could have won. Hats off to Davenport,” Ramirez lauded the final. “It was a good win because it capped our goal of improving throughout the day. We have more work to do so I hope this gives us some momentum to build off of moving forward. We only have four returning players on the 7s team so some young players got the experience of facing a strong team early this season.”

The third place game was equally as gripping, as Indiana and Iowa finished regulation tied 12-all. During sudden death overtime, after at least five minutes of extra time, Lauren Ladd scored the game-winner for Indiana, 17-12.

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