Merlins Host Exhibition Match Against Lindenwood At Infinity Park
Carrying the momentum from a dominant road victory over Chicago North Shore, the Women’s Premier League Merlins side will take on Lindenwood at Glendale’s Infinity Park this Saturday at 5pm Mountain Time. A non-league match, the game will pit an extremely talented and competitive collegiate squad against a Merlins team that has performed well over the first four weeks of the WPL season, and now sits atop the league standings.
Photo by Linda Brothers
The Merlins secured an impressive victory last weekend, dominating Chicago North Shore in the league’s first shutout this year. Glendale’s Nichole Wanamaker, who plays fullback and wing, had a breakout performance – scoring four tries in the 45-0 win. Asked about this weekend’s matchup against Lindenwood, she’s hopeful it will be a learning experience for the team: “We have an opportunity to grow some of our cusp players, to increase our knowledge of the pattern and our game IQ,” she said. “We can sharpen those tools this weekend and then when we host San Diego we’ll be very tough to beat.”
Merlins Head Coach and Glendale Director of Amateur Rugby Luke Gross shared similar sentiments: “We’re looking forward to playing against a very good Lindenwood team. We see this non-league match as an opportunity to give our finishers some additional game time. We want to develop continuity between all of our players.” In addition to the experience Saturday’s match will afford the Merlins, seeing national talent at the collegiate level provides Gross the chance to entice rugby players to come to Glendale: “This is a recruitment opportunity for us. Lindenwood is such a high quality program – we’ll be looking at their players during the match as well.”
The Merlins next game will be a rematch against the San Diego Surfers, taking on the California side September 29 at Infinity Park. Follow all of the Glendale teams on Facebook and Twitter for full-time scores on all games and additional information. For the 2018 season, the WPL Merlins will be playing on the Infinity Park Stadium pitch, opening for the professional men’s team, the Glendale Raptors. The full season schedule can be found at https://glendalemerlins.com/rugby-schedule.
If you are interested in joining the Glendale Women’s Rugby program, whether at the WPL or Division 1 level, contact the recruitment chair at email@example.com, or come out to one of the practices to see the team in action. The WPL squad practices Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Infinity Park turf pitch.