2016 was a year with a lot of success, ending in one fell swoop of defeat for the Colorado Mesa University women’s rugby team.   

The Mavericks went undefeated in the regular season, outscoring their opponents 601-25. Despite all the dominance during the fall, CMU would lose to Utah State University in the first round of the NCAA Division II Divisional round at regionals. 

The Mavericks are without some key components from last season, such as Sophie “Rabbit” Rohkamper and Veronica Sua, but the women of CMU are determined to be more successful than they ever have been.

Head coach Mack Lewis is returning for another season with her girls and is more determined than ever to improve on last season’s success and show they can win in the postseason.

“Our league is pretty weak, but when we get into divisional rounds, we play teams we aren’t ready for,” Lewis said. “It doesn’t matter how much we are winning if we are not winning when it counts.”

Over the past couple of seasons, CMU has dominated in the regular season. They didn’t allow their opponents to reach double digits in most games; however, the divisional and regional rounds have not been the best for the Mavericks.

CMU was supposed to play Western State Colorado University in week one of the 2017 season, but the Mountaineers were forced to cancel the game due to player complications. The extra week will provide the Mavericks some more practice time to get their team on the same page with one another.

The team does have valuable returners, but both the front and the back line now consist of new faces who are new to the sport. Plenty of the new rookies have outstanding athletic backgrounds, which can transfer over to the rugby pitch.

The Mavericks will travel to the University of Northern Colorado on Sept. 10 to play the Bears in Greeley.   

UNC was home to the divisional rounds last season, where CMU lost in the first round ending their season in heartbreaking fashion. That loss, however, was not against the Bears.

CMU routed UNC last season in week two, 97-5. The return to Greeley will be an ironic way to start the season, but will hopefully ignite a spark that will last all the way through the playoffs.  

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