The Colorado Buffaloes women’s rugby team is getting ready to throw down with the Air Force Academy Falcons.
The Buffs are playing the Falcons in their second Western Conference game at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on CU’s Business Field. They won their first league game 10-7 against Colorado State two weeks ago on the road.
According to head coach Jim Stebbins, winning this next game is important for his team. There are only three conference games and both teams are 1-0 in the conference standings heading into this match-up.
“You know, only having three league matches, it’s pretty big if we can get to 2-0,” Stebbins said. “It will pretty much secure our spot to go to the playoffs, but I’m pretty confident we can take care of business.”
Stebbins said he is feeling confident because the Buffs tied Air Force in league play last year. Prior to the tie, they beat the Falcons the three previous years.
Fifth-year senior forward Lauren Daly said she is also feeling confident, but she did voice some issues the team has to deal with when battling Air Force.
“They are always super physical and super competitive,” Daly said. “They’re a really athletic group of girls. So, we have to be on top of everything as far as defense and offense, and we have to make sure just with (our) physicality that we’re doing everything we’re supposed to be doing.”
Senior forward Kodi Kassell said she agrees with this analysis of the Falcons, but she doesn’t think it will stand in her team’s way.
“They’re always really vicious and competitive because we like to fight with each other,” Kassell said. “But the games always end well and we always like to see the outcome.”
Since Air Force is known to be very physical, the Buffs are taking certain precautions to keep up with them.
“We know that Air Force likes to kick,” Stebbins said. “They’re obviously fit, so we’re working on the speed of our defense to make sure we’re ready to counter the kicks.”
Daly also said the team just needs to worry about its own strengths rather than worrying about what the Falcons bring to the table.
“Specifically, we just (need to) work in all the new girls into some positions so that our bench is nice and deep,” Daly said. “If we do get tired, because it is a physical game, we’ll have those girls to come in as substitutes.”
The Buffs said they hope the preparation will pay off when both teams square off.
“I think we’re going to go in with a good team and be ready to play,” Kassell said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kayla Cornett at firstname.lastname@example.org.