March 12 is a day that will be long remembered by college athletes. It’s the day the NCAA announced the cancellation of all winter and spring championships because of coronavirus concerns. It’s the day Brigham Young University announced the cancellation of all university sporting events. And it’s the day senior Emily Briggs’ rugby career came to a sudden end.
Coming off a national championship, the BYU Women’s Rugby Team was prepared to defend its title. Team Captain Briggs played in the 2019 championship and wanted nothing more than to earn a repeat. The Cougars’ odds looked very good with an undefeated record, holding the entire conference scoreless and winning games by as much as 91 points.
Briggs summarized her feelings on the news in one word, “heartbroken.”
“I just feel hollow that it didn’t end the way it should,” she said. “We were looking forward to so much and it still doesn’t seem real. There are so many aspects we’re going to miss. So many little things that are going to come over time that will hurt to miss.”
However, Briggs finds positivity in the fabled story of her senior season.
Emily Briggs powers through defenders on March 7 against U of A. (Rich Running).
“I guess this is part of the legacy now,” she said. “It’s an unfortunate story, but time goes on. Next year, our girls will learn from what happened this year. They’ll create their own memories and take that national title back.”
BYU’s team is full of bright prospects, with as many as 15 juniors planning to return in the fall. Head Coach Tom Waqa is excited about the future as well. Since he started coaching at BYU in 2004, he has won four conference championships, earned one second-place finish and one national championship.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Brigham Young University has canceled all athletic events for the remainder of the season.
St. George— In a doubleheader on Saturday, the BYU women’s rugby team traveled to St. George to take on Arizona University and the University of Arizona.
The Cougars began the game pushing the ball wide to spread out Arizona’s defense. Centers, Alisa Baker, and Rachel Stasdas demonstrated speed and agility which was no match for the Wildcat’s defensive line. Tiana Tolman finished multiple offensive drives for the Cougars and scored the first try of the match in the 8th minute.
The BYU forwards also gained ground to create space for the backs to run. The Cougars continued to roll offensively with scores in the first-half by Hannah Beagley, Alisa Baker, Rachel Strasdas, Baylie Duce, Emily Briggs, and Emma Bennion. The Cougars finished the half leading 48-0.
In the second half, BYU picked up where they left off with a powerful drive and try by Marion Morrow. Alisa Baker also got on the scoreboard twice in the second half as the leading scorer of the Pacific Desert Rugby Conference. Arizona kept battling, but kicks from full-back Kainoa tested the U of A’s back three.
BYU finished the game with a decisive 91-0 win. This victory meant the Cougars took the Pacific Desert Rugby Championship.
Scoring Summary -
Tries- Tolman (8’,18’,41’), Beagley (14’), Strasdas (21’), Duce (28’), Bennion (30’), Briggs (31’), Baker (39’,63’,70’), Morrow (45’), Tripple (50’), Garza (67’), Proffit (74’)
Conversions- Baker (15’, 29’), Tolman (22’), Bennion (34’,42’), Lyons (68’,71’,75’)
Halftime Score - BYU 48, U of A 0
Final Score - BYU- 91, U of A- 63
BYU team vs U of A -
ST. GEORGE, UT– On Saturday, February 15, the BYU Cougars were ready for a doubleheader. Their first opponent of the day was the University of California, Los Angeles.
At the start of the game, speedy senior wing Alisa Baker was able to capitalize on an offensive drive in the second minute, landing in the try zone. UCLA came back with fire and progressed as far as the 10-yard line before BYU won possession back.
A few minutes later, Junior Baylie Duce, was also able to take advantage of the space on the wing and scored a try of her own.
Both teams battled for possession, but eventually, Baker found a hole in the defense to put the Cougs up 15-0 in the 18th minute. BYU finished the half leading 22-0.
During the second half, UCLA proved resilient and kept the Cougars from scoring by holding up the ball. Both teams battled for possession, but also committed numerous penalties.
The Cougars only scored one try in the second half, but they were ready to improve in their next game against the University of California, San Diego.
Tries - Baker (2’,18’), Duce (7’), Patton (25’), Briggs (44’)
Conversions - Tolman (20’)
Halftime score – BYU 22, UCLA 0
Final score – BYU 27, UCLA 0
BYU team vs UCLA-
1. Emily Briggs 2. Hannah Beagley 3. Pamela Patton 4. Meagan Proffit 5.Grace Christensen 6. Riho Kurihara 7. Kylie Clark 8. Marion Morrow 9. Emma Bennion 10. Kainoawaianuhea Ah Quin 11. Baylie Duce 12. Delaney Rakuita 13. Rachel Strasdas 14. Alisa Baker 15. Tiana Tolman 16. Maya Hood 17. Nicole Lyons 18. Tayzlie Tripple 19. Kelsie Taylor 20. Mikayla Cooper 21. Kate Rugg 22. Marin Spears 23. Cierrah Garza
Just a few hours after their first game, BYU lined up to take on the University of California, San Diego.
NORTHRIDGE, CA — On Friday, January 31st, BYU took on California State University, Northridge. The Cougars stepped on the field determined to bring home the W.
Within the first five minutes of the game, BYU scored a try with a hard run from senior prop Emily Briggs. Keeping up the pace, Briggs broke away again which led to a score by junior, Sasha Llan.
BYU demonstrated strong tackles and hard runs throughout the game. The last score of the half came from Christina Miller, who came off the scrum for a try.
BYU finished the half leading 24-0.
The Cougars started the second half strong with a try by Junior hook Hannah Beagley, who continued BYU’s scoring streak. CSUN took advantage of some of BYU’s penalties but the Cougars kept them off the scoreboard. The key for the Cougars was utilizing the whole field, which made them difficult to defend.
The final score was 62-0, BYU.
Tries - Briggs (5’), Llan (16’, 24’), Miler (40’), Beagley (56’), Tripple (59’), Bennion (63’), Magaoay (67’), Strasdas (75’), Baker (76’), Finau (80’)
Conversions - Baker (7’,17’,66’,80’)
Halftime score – BYU 24, CSUN 0
Final score – BYU 62, CSUN 0
BYU team vs CSUN-
1. Emily Briggs 2. Hannah Beagley 3. Pamela Patton 4. Marin Spears 5. Mikayla Cooper 6. Marion Morrow 7. Sasha Llan 8. Grace Christensen 9. Christina Miller 10. Matalasi Morrissette 11. Nicole Lyons 12. Delaney Rakuita 13. Tayzlie Tripple 14. Emma Bennion 15. Alisa Baker 16. Erika Magaoay 17. Mary Kirkendall 18. Rachel Strasdas 19. Salome Finau 20. Madison Wright 21. Meagan Proffit 22. Ashley SIka 23. Cierrah Garza
PHOENIX, AZ - On Saturday, the BYU Women’s rugby team traveled to Phoneix, Arizona to take on Grand Canyon University on GCU’s home turf.
Both teams have been preparing for months for a new season of conference play. GCU started the game aggressively, keeping BYU in their own half. After a big run from senior wing Alisa Baker, BYU began to get in a groove offensively. Baker’s try off a speedy pass from Matalasi Morrissette started the Cougars’ offensive momentum.
Both teams struggled with penalties, but Marin Spears drove in for a score before the half making the tally 22-0.
GCU’s physicality continued to pressure the Cougars, but after several GCU injuries and a yellow card, BYU took advantage of their opponents’ fatigue. Grand Canyon standout, Heather Thomas, kept up the defensive pressure for GCU.
The scoring ended at 56-0 and BYU looks forward to playing California State University, Northridge and the University of California, Santa Barbara on January 31st and February 1st.
Scoring Summary -
Halftime Score - BYU 22 , GCU 0
Final Score - BYU 56, GCU 0
BYU team vs GCU -
Emily Briggs 2. Hannah Beagley 3. Pamela Patton 4. Marin Spears 5. Mariann Higgins 6. Marion Morrow 7. Kylie Clark 8. Grace Christensen 9. Christina Miller 10. Matalasi Morrissette 11. Baylie Duce 12. Delaney Rakuita 13. Tayzlie Tripple Haack 14. Alisa Baker 15. Tiana Tolman 16. Maya Hood 17. Emma Bennion 18. Nicole Lyons 19. BreAnn Duce 20. Riho Kurihara 21. Kate Rugg 22. Alley Peo 23. Cierrah Garza
BYU Fulltime Female Students:
Happy New Year! We are inviting you come to rugby tryouts for our Women's Rugby team, for this Winter/Spring 2020 season.
TRYOUT DETAILS: (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY)
BYU Women's Rugby Winter 2020 Try-Outs!
Date: Monday January 6, 2020
Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm MTN
Venue: BYU Indoor Practice Facility (IPF)
Dress code: Workout clothes (shorts and T-shirts with sleeves) with cleats or sneakers. No tank tops. Bring a mouthpiece or mouthguard if you have one. Remove jewelry and be sure to cut finger nails for your safety and for the safety of others. Hydrate throughout the day before tryouts.
All the best! -- Women's Rugby Officials
GLENDALE, CO - The BYU Women’s rugby team joined Lindenwood in Glendale, Colorado for a D-1/ D-1 Elite match up.
Lindenwood, who has been undefeated thus far this season, came out strong during the first half, scoring six unanswered tries.
BYU, also undefeated this season, battled back on defense in the second half adjusting to Lindenwood’s quick style of play. Both teams showcased their aggression but Lindenwood continued to demonstrate their dominance.
BYU finished its fall campaign 5-1 and they are scheduled to play Grand Canyon University on January 18th to kick-off the spring season.
Halftime Score - BYU 0, Lindenwood 32
Final Score - BYU 0, Lindenwood 63
BYU team vs Lindenwood -
1. Emily Briggs 2. Hannah Beagley 3. Pamela Patton 4. Marin Spears 5. Marion Morrow 6. Teisa Kalaniuvalu 7. Kylie Clark 8. Taylor Johnston 9. Christina Miller 10. Matalasi Morrissette 11. Tiana Tolman 12. Delaney Rakuita 13. Lewanda Aspinall 14. Alisa Baker 15. Nicole Wilson 16. Emma Bennion 17. Nicole Lyons 18. BreAnn Duce 19. Alema Atuaia 20. Emilee Cox 21. Grace Christensen 22. Elisa Monroe 23. Cierrah Garza
PROVO, Utah – The Cougars are back on their home turf after several road games. This Saturday, October 26, 2019 the undefeated Cougars take on the UVU Wolverines in another match. BYU will also hold an alumni match immediately after at 11 am MDT.
Last match the Cougars beat the Wolverines 73 – 0. We are looking forward to another great game. All fans should wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019
UVU vs. BYU @ Provo, UT
10 am MDT
ALUMNI @ Provo, UT
11 am MDT
Helaman Field, 1600 N Canyon Rd, Provo, UT 84602
Park at Lavell Edwards Stadium South Parking Lot
FREE ADMISSION for both games.