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Rugby Team Advances to State Finals

By Jeannie Gregory, 11/03/18, 9:30PM EDT

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Sparta-Rock Rugby in action earlier in the season. ~ Photo by Jeannie Gregory

LANSING - The Sparta-Rock rugby team has some major celebrating to do! The team was able to down Berkley by a score of 41-5 in a cold and wet battle, Sunday, Oct. 28, at Hope Sports Complex. The win allows the team to play in Rugby Michigan’s 2018 Girls State Finals, Sunday, Nov. 11, where they will face off against nemesis Grandville.

In the Berkley match up, KerrIgan Adams started the scoring after a nice pass from Alexis Lamancusa. Ashleigh DeWitt made the conversion. Lamancusa decided to keep the ball on the next possession and darted down the field for the second try of the game. Grace Gohl had a long 70-meter try to put the girls up 20-0 at the half.

The rain never let up and neither did the girls. Grace Gohl started out the second half with another quick sprint down the field after the forwards drew in the defense, thanks to pounding runs by Yasmeen Aqel, Ashleigh DeWitt and Darby Eck. Later on in the second half, Grace led a 2-on-1 that put Valencia Goldsmith in for her first try of the match. Stir Gale finished the scoring with an elusive dart up the middle to finish the game.

Although notable performances were given by Autumn Bernbrock and Chaleigh Kutzi, Madam of the Match was awarded to Olivia Male, from Cedar Springs, who put in a dominant display on defense and led the attack from the scrum half position.

The team has now earned the right to play for the State crown, Sunday, Nov. 11. Sparta-Rock will get the chance to avenge their only loss of the season. The team fell to the Bulldogs by a score of 14-0 in Week 2. The game will take place on Davenport University’s Turf Field. The third-place match between Grand Haven and Berkley will take place at 12:30 p.m. and the State Finals between Sparta-Rock and Grandville is scheduled for 3 p.m.