Merlins Rally Late Against Surfers, Tie In Hard Fought Rematch
Glendale’s Women’s Premier League (WPL) Merlins hosted the San Diego Surfers this weekend, mounting an impressive comeback to tie the California side. Though trailing San Diego in league standings, the Merlins are showing impressive resolve, and remain contenders for championship honors later this fall. The first half of Saturday’s match saw the San Diego squad make an impressive offensive stand, dotting down and converting two tries as well as a penalty kick. The Merlins were only able to answer with a penalty kick of their own, and after forty minutes trailed the visiting team 17-3.
Photo by Seth McConnell
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After the break Glendale came out swinging, scoring and converting tries at 47, 53, and 59 minutes to take their first lead of the match, 24-17 over the Surfers. San Diego had plenty of fight left, however, touching down and converting at 67 minutes to pull back into a 31-24 lead. The Merlins rallied late to dot down once more, the converted kick bringing the score all even at 31. Closely matched, neither squad was able to put more points on the scoreboard: the week one rematch between the conference’s highest-ranked teams ended in a draw. WPL Head Coach Luke Gross was disappointed not to take a win against the Surfers, but has been adamant throughout the season that his sights are set on the championship: “Of course we want to win every game. At the end of the day though, we want the championship. That is our goal. League standings don’t mean much to me – I want to bring the title back to Glendale.”
The Division I Women fared worse, ultimately taken down by Utah: a 53-27 loss in a match that was an offensive shootout. The WPL Merlins will be at home again this weekend, hosting Oregon Sports Union at Infinity Park. Kick off is at 5pm Mountain Time. 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.