Hamilton in borrowed jerseys (blue) watch as scrum half Mckenzie Vang (senior) runs at the Brookfield line.

Oak Creek, WI–Looking to show growth after their first pre-season loss to Catholic Memorial, Hamilton played Brookfield at Oak Creek in a 45-14 loss that saw the Hamilton side start slowly before gaining confidence as the game wore on.

For most of the first half, Hamilton was plagued with the same issues that haunted them against CMH: missed tackles and a disorganized defense. Maybe lacking confidence from their loss a week ago or maybe it was just a lack of experience, but Hamilton started timid and unsure in almost every aspect of the game. In doing so, they quickly fell behind 26-0.

With nothing to lose, the team used a penalty to kick themselves close to the try line. But things didn’t come easy, as the team lost the ensuing line out. But a quick tackle by prop Calla Dane allowed center Lauren Leonardi a chance to win the ruck and drive the ball closer to the try line. Dane was then able to grab the ball and dive in for the first try by a Hamilton player in an officially sanctioned Wisconsin Girls’ Rugby game.

The score seemed to settle the team as they finished the last 50 minutes of the game by only being outscored 19-15 against a team that featured 12 seniors.

Hamilton’s second score came after scrum half McKenzie Vang’s original attempt was held up. But a quick take by the eight, Cara Bailey, off the ensuing scrum drove the ball close enough for Vang to pick up the ball and take it the rest of the way.

–Mykayla Pena made her debut in the second half replacing captain Hannah Pfersch who was dealing with a lower body injury.
–Sophomore Taylor Fryda replaced Pfersch as captain in the second half.
–Sarah Michalski went 2 for 2 on conversion attempts. She has gone a perfect 5 for 5 in the pre-season.
–Fryda, Pfersch, and Bailey led the team with six tackles.
–Hamilton student Hannah Emberts, playing for Brookfield, scored a hat trick en route to a 23-point performance.

Fantastic Five:

  • McKenzie Vang
    • Scored a try and had one held up. She really settled into her role as scrum half in this game.
  • Alex Werra
    • Had four hits and all of them were big to go with no missed tackles and some fearless rucking.
  • Taylor Fryda
    • Had a team-high six tackles and led a line that improved greatly on defense.
  • Lauren Leonardi
    • Fearless with and without the ball. Her big run in the first set up the first score, and she almost broke for another.
  • Calla Dane
    • Scored an important try to help settle the team in the first half.
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