Wildcat Women’s Rugby Returns With Ninth National Title, Going For 10th In The Spring


WAYNE – Just over 24 hours removed from winning another National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Women’s Rugby Tournament, the Wayne State women were welcomed back by fellow teammates, friends and others from Wayne State.

Monday afternoon, the charter bus returned to the Kanter Student Center where WSC showed off their ninth national championship trophy, third in a row for 15s.

Head coach and founder of WSC Rugby, Darrin Barner said offense scores points and wins games, but defense wins championships.

“Caused turnovers, we had a short-yardage field on offense and they hardly crossed midfield the entire game,” said Barner. “We were always inside their 35 yard line the entire game, so when we did get the ball we didn’t have to go very far to score.”

WSC defeated MSU Moorhead 51-7 on Saturday morning and picked up a 67-12 win over The Catholic University Sunday afternoon in the championship win.

Six Wildcats were named to the All-Tournament Team of Brook Hoesing, Selma Taylor, Kennedy Jones, Holly Schupbach, Julia Baxter and Anna Fleecs. Taylor also earned MVP honors, the Heart & Soul recipient was Maddie Putler and Schupbach was tabbed as the best defensive player.

Junior Captain Anna Fleecs (Position: #8) from Glidden, IA  and Freshman (Flyhalf) Holly Schupbach from Wisconsin both talked about the Sunday Championship match.

“We appreciate how good Wayne is, how good we keep up our fields and everything,” Fleecs added. “We never know what to expect when we go down there (Georgia), so beating teams like that it’s always really good to look at for our program.”

“The both (WSC/CU) really deserved to be there and it was really great to play against them. It definitely challenged our team,” said Schupbach.”

Sophomore Captain Brook Hoesing (Inside Center) from Arlington mentioned the team was missing quite a few seniors from a year ago as Freshman Scrumhalf Selma Taylor from Kansas City said it was a big change playing for the national title.

“We weren’t quite sure what this year would like, but after our first game this season, we knew we could definitely make it back,” Hoesing mentioned. “They’re a young team, so next year will be even better I’m sure.”

“College rugby is a lot different than high school, but I feel like I adjusted pretty well,” Taylor added. “Especially with my team, we have a very good bond.”

With Finals week approaching, the team will focus on their studies before preparing for 7-on-7 matches. Next up for the Wayne State women will be defending their 7s title in the Spring of 2019.