WPL Merlins and D1 Women Victorious
WPL Merlins 48 – All Blues 21 | D1 Merlins 43 – Black Ice 10
The Glendale Merlins Women’s sides played two matches over the weekend: The Division I team taking on Black Ice at Cook Park, and the Women’s Premier League squad hosting the Berkeley All Blues at Infinity Park. WPL Head Coach Luke Gross noted that his team made meaningful halftime adjustments to come away with a win: “We came out in the first half and made a few mistakes. We had some dropped passes and we were just trying too hard – forcing things. We reevaluated at the break and dominated the second half. The players made the adjustments needed to win.”
Photo by Linda Brothers
Nowhere was the determination of the Glendale side more apparent than in captain Sarah Chobot. After suffering a broken nose in the Thursday training session preceding the match, she still took the pitch on Saturday – only to have the bone broken a second time during the game. Bloodied but still smiling, she reflected positively on the day’s outcome: “We are happy to have a win,” she said. “I think we’re starting to put things together. This is what we wanted to look like at the beginning of the season, and it’s nice to see that.” The Merlins left the pitch with a convincing 48-21 victory over the visiting California side. Coach Gross paid particular tribute to his deep, talented bench: “We don’t call them subs or bench players, we call them finishers. Even if they don’t start every game, they make a huge impact and have a huge responsibility.”
The Division I Merlins Women also won on Saturday, taking down Denver Black Ice 43-10. Assistant Coach Tim “Sarge” Gilligan was appreciative of the team’s winning effort: “It was great having a few practices under our belts. It’s a good platform to start the next two matches, and we’re looking to finish the season strong.”
The Merlins will travel to Illinois on September 16 to take on Chicago North Shore. The squad’s next home match is September 22, when Glendale hosts Lindenwood 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.