Cougars Run Away From Lobos

Saturday October 17, 2015 - Chad Wise - USA Rugby College News

Jordan Gray in action for the Cougars Sweet 16 2015.
Jordan Gray in action for the Cougars Sweet 16 2015.

Brigham Young 90-5 New Mexico  - DI College

In what would have been billed the match of the season in the Mountain West, the Cougars of BYU celebrated exciting news in fine fashion Saturday, scoring 14 tries in a defeat of perennial Conference contender New Mexico.

Ahead of the team's trip to Colorado for the Oct. 10 match against the Buffaloes, the University announced its recognition of the women's rugby program as an extramural sport. For the first time, administrators, alumni, and supporters of all types in Provo were able to cheer on the BYU Cougars on the rugby pitch.

They were not disappointed, as captain Jordan Gray led the proceedings with a line break and offload to Justina Grubb for the match's opening try. The Cougars did not solely rely on the senior to make things happen, though, with young athletes in playmaking positions putting their own stamp on the game. Junior wing Ali Smith and freshman fly half Eternity Tenney followed Grubb with first-half tries for a 21-0 lead midway through the opening half.

Four additional tries saw BYU take a 45-0 lead into halftime, but the Lobos were not willing to accept defeat. Wing Tanya Aragon, one of New Mexico's representatives at the USA Rugby National All-Star Competitions earlier this year, broke a tackle and beat four defenders on her way to a spectacular individual try as the second half began.

BYU adds two teams to its extramural sports program

BYU Women's Rugby Fall 2015
BYU Women's Rugby Team pose at Colorado Springs.

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - By BYU News -

Brigham Young University is adding two new women’s teams to its extramural sports programs, which currently includes five teams. The two new sports are women’s rugby and women’s lacrosse.

The current program includes men’s lacrosse, men’s rugby, men’s soccer and men’s and women’s racquetball. The extramural program falls under the direction of Student Life at BYU. Teams in this program compete outside of the university.

“We are excited to add these women’s teams to our program, said Morris Havea, director of Extramural Sports at BYU. “These teams are well prepared to compete. We are pleased to have them represent BYU.”

The coaches for the two women’s teams have not yet been named, although a search is currently underway for both positions. Once named the coaches will determine their teams and 2016 schedules.

BYU Women Down Air Force

Eternity Tenney defends for BYU on Saturday Sep 26, 2015.

Saturday, September  26, 2015 – By Jackie Finlan -

Colorado Springs, CO - The Mountain West got underway last weekend and saw the league favorites register big wins. New Mexico traveled to Colorado State and posted a 57-7 victory, while DI spring finalist BYU shut out Air Force 76-0.

“It’s a big win, but I don’t want to read too much into it,” BYU coach Tom Waqa explained. “Air Force is in its rebuilding process, and [new] coach Amy Rusert has done a decent job with what she has. We’ll take on this season one game at a time.”

All eyes were on Eagle Jordan Gray, who didn’t disappoint. The veteran scored three first-half tries before being subbed out in the second period. Justina Grubb was equally impressive in the first 40, dotting down two tries, while freshman Leti Hingano touched down her first score as a Cougar. The Women’s Junior All American rounded out her debut performance with a hat trick.

Emily Briggs’ try put BYU ahead 48-0 at the break, and freshman Eternity Tenney and Ali Smith were among the new try-scorers in the second half.

“It was a team effort for us, with the back line enjoying quality ball delivered by a dominant forward pack,” Waqa said. “I love what I saw from the new freshmen and recruits. Our new and returning players intermixed well to put on a fine performance. Air Force players were playing above their weight, and I commend the Cadets for staying on even though it appeared to be an upward battle for them, from the beginning.”

BYU Over UNM - Final 4 Bound

Saturday April 11, 2015 - By Jackie Finlan

lineoutContestRd8-UNMvsBYU 2015
Meighan on Lineout - Southwest Regional Final BYU vs UNM 2015

Albuquerque, NM - The quarterfinalists played each other in the fall and spring, splitting games. But in the teams’ March meeting, the Cougars and their 110 points suggested they were a different team from the one that lost in the fall.

“When UNM beat us by one point last year, it was really good for us,” BYU coach Tom Waqa stated. “That was a good learning experience.”

A good learning experience that the team wasn’t eager to repeat in the post-season. BYU didn’t let up in its Round of 16 match Friday, sending 11 different players over for tries against Cal. Kayla Richardson, Ali Smith, Justina Grubb, and Kelly Briggs had multi-try games, while Chanel Johnstun, Paige Torgeson, Jordan Gray, Sia Skipp, Rebekah Boaz, Meighan Stevens, and Emma Stewart also scored.

“Cal had some good players,” Waqa commended. “They have been successful at some collegiate 7s tournaments, so we knew going in that we had to defend them really well. We've been working so hard on set piece defense, and general play defense, especially with line speed.”

Meanwhile, New Mexico had more of a fight against UC San Diego Friday, pulling out a 46-34 victory. The Lobos had a little more recovery to do, but entered today’s game ready for battle.

“New Mexico had a better start; we came in cold,” Waqa said. “I believe we took a little time to forget about the Cal game.”

No. 3 BYU Dominates No. 7 UNM

Dana Mortenson charges down the deep into UNM half. Nicole McCollough in support.
Dana Mortenson charges down the deep into UNM half. Nicole McCollough in support.

Saturday March 7, 2015 - Cougar Rugby News (CRN)

Provo, UT - The BYU Women's Rugby team, dominated the game Saturday against University of New Mexico at Fort Utah Park, Provo, and won by a record 110 - 5 on the second game of their home and away series. This is the highest deficit ever produced by a BYU womens side against UNM women's rugby team. The game was played coming off a tough loss of 30-29 when the Cougars fell to UNM in Albuquerque, NM last November 2014. The Cougars redeemed themselves this time and ran away with 17 tries, 10 conversions, while UNM managed to sneak in 1 try before the half. Player of the Match & Flanker Justina Grubb wearing no. 7, had a monster game scoring a team record of 5 tries on the day with one called back.

BYU Defeats Colorado State

Paige takes one for the team - Lineout!
Paige takes one for the team - Lineout!

Saturday Oct 25, 2014 : 11am - Cougar Rugby News

Fort Collins, CO - BYU Women's Cougars defeated Colorado State 53-10 on Saturday. The team moved the ball around, as Hillary Hironaka, Justina Grubb, Cajin Christenson, Lindsay Sheridan, Meighan Stevens, Nicole McCullough, Laura Gubler and Chanel Arts all scored tries. Jessie Beck and Paige Torgeson accounted for 5 conversions. Paige also delivered a perfect strike for penalty kick from the right hand corner of the 10m line.

Overall, the Cougars played well. The pack withstood early pressure from CSU pack and ran away with it towards the end. The Coaches were able to work in some depth with an important component of player development for the Cougars.

BYU still has one more league game against New Mexico on Nov 8, 2014 at Albuquerque, NM.

BYU win over Air Force Women

BYU Team 2014 pose after Air Force game in Provo.
BYU Team 2014 pose after Air Force game in Provo.

Saturday Oct 18, 2014 - 01:00pm - Cougar Rugby News

Provo, UT - BYU women's rugby defeated Air Force Academy on Saturday, 34-5, through a team effort led by Dana Mortensen, Justina Grubb and Nicole McCollough. BYU started the game fast, on attack and on the first few waves, the Cougars managed to take cross the line after a line break - 2 minutes into the game. Conversion went wide, so it was 5-0 BYU for about 10 minutes. Air Force came back strongly with their own offensive patterns. "The BYU backs manage to contain AF for the most part, but we felt like we missed a lot of tackles." said Coach Waqa.

Ten minutes into the game momentum took BYU deep into AF half. Cougar forwards rumpled on, managed to jam one over the line in for 10-0 score. BYU regathered again, and scored two more quick ones, through Cajin Chritianson (2) and Dana Mortensen (10). That took BYU up 20-0 going into the halftime break.

Midway into the half, BYU scored from a long range attack that began from the half way line. Cougars inished that off - conversion good. 27-0.

Then AF made their move, with some good ball movement. The forwards drove it in to make that 27 - 5. BYU finished the day with another try and converted to make that 34 - 5.

No. 3 BYU overcomes No. 5 Quinnipiac Women

Nicole McCollough feeds the scrum.
Captain Nicole McCollough (9) gets ready to feed the scrum.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 : 09:00am  -  Cougar Rugby News

PROVO, Utah - The Quinnipiac University women's rugby team was defeated by the Brigham Young University Cougars on Saturday morning, 36-19. In a tough match up between two nationally ranked top five teams, the Bobcats could not stop the Cougar attack in the second half despite tries from Natalie Kosko (Sebastian, Fla.), Christie Albers (Castle Rock, Co.), and Elisa Cuellar (Palm Bay, Fla.).

The contest between the Bobcats and Cougars marked the first time in women's collegiate rugby history that a top 10 team from the east coast matched up against a top 10 west coast team outside the national tournament or playoffs. Quinnipiac (2-2) came to Utah with a No. 5 national ranking against a BYU team (2-0) ranked 3rd in the country.

Play began with little ball movement and excellent defense by both sides' back lines. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Cougars were first to put points on the board through Jordan Gray (12), but were unable to convert on the kick. The half continued to be a defensive stalemate after the first try and Quinnipiac entered the break facing a 5-0 deficit.

BYU downs Colorado

Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 11:00am - Cougar Rugby News

Meighan Stevens (5) prepares for lineout.

Provo, UT - BYU Women's Cougars dominated Colorado on Saturday putting up 106 points to Colorado's 5. It was one sided affair and the Cougars looked to be the more experienced team. Colorado is in it's rebuilding year, and this is certainly one of the games to learn from.

Led by All American No.8 Jordan Gray playing at center, the Cougars put up 50+ unanswered points in the first half alone. Dana Mortensen (10) was also at her usual best operating and guiding the Cougar offense at No. 10.

Final Score: BYU 106 Colorado 5

Next up - BYU vs Quinnpiac - Sat October 11, 2014 - 9am