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Lindenwood University captured both the men and women’s DI 7s national championships held in Glendale, Colo. over the weekend.
The men’s team dominated a field of 16 teams to capture their first sevens title. The Lions powered through pool play scoring 87 points and only giving up five. The onslaught continued over Bowling Green in the quarters with a 42-0 win. Lindenwood blanked Utah in the semifinals 33-0 to set up a date with St. Mary’s in the final.
Nick Feakes opened the scoring in the first minute after finding a gap. The captain was strong all afternoon and proved to be the catalyst for a strong final.
“He is an electric talent and fun to coach. He gets the game tactically and is playing with a lot of confidence,” Lindenwood coach Josh Macy said of Feakes.
St. Mary’s answered through Aaron Matthews but the rest of the game went the way of the Lions. Christian Rodriguez scored a try and set up another while a well-worked team try capped off an impressive weekend of rugby.
“St. Mary’s was great all weekend but our team was confident heading into the final. Our organization at the breakdown really gave us a chance to defend well phase after phase,” said Macy.
The lady Lions were equally as impressive as their male counterparts. They tallied a plus 100-point differential in pool play. Lindenwood blanked Michigan and Central Washington to set up a date with rival Life in the final.
McKenzie Hawkins tallied two tries while Hannah Gauthreaux added a try and earned MVP honors. Three tries in each half proved to be too much for Life to handle.
“It was a tough final against a respected opponent. They always tend to bring out the best in us so we welcome that competition. Our team really stepped up and executed well together, staying connected and in great support and played with a high level of intensity for the entire match. It was a great team win,” said LU women’s coach Billy Nicholas.
Both teams are thrilled with the win but will prepare for another title run in two weeks at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.
“The title was a fantastic accomplishment and testament to the hard work our student athletes have been putting in throughout this year and prior. We talk about our rugby experience as a journey and an opportunity for growth for the person and player and this will be a great milestone for everyone involved,” said Nicholas.
“This was a great step toward continuing to build the program. We are looking forward to taking the next step in training these two weeks and proving ourselves in Philadelphia at CRC," Macy concluded.