Menomonee Falls, WI—Hamilton continued their strong start by defeating Kettle Moraine 44-0 at the Midwest Orthopedic Sports Complex on Friday. The team remains undefeated with a 3-0 record, outscoring their opponents 142-5 over the course of that span. The win clinches a berth in the Wisconsin Girls’ Rugby State Championship Semi-Finals.
The Harriers got on the board in the first three minutes when Michelle Wehrman, sophomore, quickly grabbed the ball out of a ruck and dove across the try line for the first score of her rugby career and a 5-0 lead.
The game was more back and forth for the next ten minutes until Lauren Leonardi, senior, used her speed as a wing to turn the corner on the Kettle Moraine defensive line and added to the lead, 10-0.
Despite being down two tries, Kettle Moraine didn’t show any quit. It was another fifteen minutes before Hamilton was able to find their way back for a try. Hannah Pfersch, junior, took a powerful run through the Kettle Moraine defense on a penalty before offloading to Elise Rades, senior, who took the ball and dragged some defenders in with her for the score.
Minutes later, Pfersch would find Leonardi wide open on the wing for a score.
The half ended with Hamilton in the lead, 20-0.
Pfersch and Leonardi would reconnect to start the second half by replicating the way they scored to end the first half. The score was Leonardi’s third of the day, and was the first hat trick of Leonardi’s career.
Hamilton grew confident in their ability to work the ball down the line. In a span of seven minutes, the team added three more tries, on each by Rades; Morgan Price, senior; and Alex Werra, senior. Each of the scores were a result of the team’s ability to move the ball methodically down the line with pace.
Werra missed her first six kicks, most of which came from the outside, but she was able to convert her last two.
–Hamilton players have only scored three hat tricks in team history and all of them have come against Kettle Moraine: Pfersch (pre-season scrimmage 2017), Kenzie Kolesari (regular season 2017), and Leonardi (regular season 2018).
–Price is the only Hamilton player in school history to score in all three of the team’s first three games.
–Pfersch’s offload to Rades is the third time in three games the pair has combined for a score, but it was the first time Rades was doing the scoring. In the previous two games, it was Rades offloading to Pfersch for the try.
–It didn’t matter who was lifting, jumping, or throwing; Hamilton won all six of their lineouts.
–Tierra Laurishke became the first “blood sub” in school history, as she briefly covered for Jessie Endries who was dealing with a bloody nose.
- Lauren Leonardi
- Overcame some early dropped passes to score three tries
- Savanna Thorne
- Registered 19 tackles, the most in the game and in her career.
- Hannah Pfersch
- Didn’t score but was the final pass in a three of the team’s tries and had 11 tackles.
- Elise Rades
- Managed the game well and scored two tries.
- Taylor Fryda
- Played excellent defense with 15 tackles.