Women’s rugby wins first home game


A Fresno State women’s rugby player scores a try against the University of California, Davis, on Jan 28. at the Kinesiology Field. (Marcos Acosta/The Collegian)

By Alexis Bruno, Reporter

As the final seconds approached, outside center Diana Lopez led the Fresno State women’s rugby team to victory, defeating the University of California, Davis, 20-19, on Jan. 28 at the Kinesiology Field.

Lopez stayed grounded on the field taking on the flanker position, with players out because of injury.

“We [Bulldogs] started with 15 and only had one sub today, so we were trying to conserve energy,” said Fresno State Head Coach Michelle Maldonado.

Kicking off the game to a slow start, the Bulldogs put up a defensive battle, not allowing UC Davis to advance the field.

After a back and forth of turnovers, Fresno State was able to use efficient ball movement to put points up on the board.

“We all hustled and pushed through,” Lopez said.

A Fresno State rugby player runs with the ball toward the try zone. (Marcos Acosta/The Collegian)

For several minutes in the first half, both teams struggled to move offensively down the field, keeping a low scoring game.

Leading by five, with a missed two-point conversion, Davis quickly responded with a try by Aggie, Shareni Donis Orantes along with a successful two-point conversion to close out the half, leading 5-7.

Coming out aggressive early in the second half, Orantes scored her second try with a made two-point conversion.

Although the Aggies scored the first points coming in at half, the Bulldogs stayed aggressive scoring twice back-to-back, giving them the lead.

Fresno State continued to struggle throughout the game on two-point conversions as they missed back-to-back conversion kicks, only allowing the Dogs’ a one point lead of 15-14.

With UC Davis in striking distance, it was able to secure a successful offensive drive that resulted in a try, once again putting the Aggies up.

After a close game, it came down to the final possession, and it was up to Fresno State’s offense to give themselves a chance to win.

It was the last second of the game when Lopez was tossed the ball and stretched for a try that led the Bulldogs to a win after trailing by four.

“It absolutely felt good but I definitely couldn’t have done it myself, my teammates were definitely there,” Lopez said.

Fresno State Bulldogs will travel north and play against Stanford on Feb. 4 at Steuber Rugby Stadium