Cottage Grove–The Chargers became the first team, not named CMH or DSHA, in over a decade to reach the state finals in 15s rugby. After defeating Stevens Point, 67-5, on Saturday in the school’s largest playoff win in team history, they will face DSHA in the state’s title game where they will have a chance to be first team, not CMH or DSHA, to win the league title in over two decades.
Hamilton opened the scoring with a 8-man pick by Rachel Rank (12) and followed it up with a long run by full back Caitlyn Dieman (10) who offloaded to Maja Desai (11) for her team’s second score.
Scrum half Grace Farrell (12) took advantage of a Stevens Point penalty close to the tryline and the advanatge earned off a Stevens Point knock on to score the team’s next two tries. She would score off another penalty in the second half for her third try of the game. She became the first Hamilton player to record a hat trick in the WGR 15s state playoffs.
Rachel Rank returned a re-start kick after Farrell’s second try and a great line out helped Meghan Rank to a long run that she offloaded to Paige Smolik (11) for a score, giving Hamilton a 34-0 lead at half.
Smolik added another try by breaking through the Stevens Point line to start the half, Dieman offloaded to Jasia Torres (12) for a long run down the sideline, and Ronny Ruedinger (12) and Grace Strelow (12) both busted through the defense to bring the score to 67-0 with ten minutes left in the game.
Stevens Point was able to muster a try in the remaining minutes and twice almost score another, but both tries were helded up by the stout Hamilton defense to end the game.
Hamilton will play DSHA for the championship at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin on October 30th at 6pm. The entry fee is $5.
Photo credits: Jake Dieman