Phil Brahm | Staff Reporter
September 16, 2014; 11:15 p.m.
Playing in the first home game of the season, the women’s rugby team earned a hard-fought 24-13 victory over Eastern Illinois University.
Coming off a 20-5 loss to Davenport University, the Lions looked to bounce back and earn the respect of the home crowd as they took to the pitch against the Panthers.
LU’s defense was put to the test immediately as the Panthers’ offense was relentless, forcing the ball down to the try-line in the opening minutes of the half.
While the Lions held their own in several scrums, they were unable to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.
Missing the first conversion the Panthers took a 5-0 lead. They then added three points to their score after converting on a penalty kick.
With just over 12 minutes remaining the first half, captain Devon Thomas, would score the first points of the night for LU as she barreled through the defense. The score sat at 8-5 at the end of the half.
In the second half the Lions offense would continue to chip away at the Panthers, scoring twice in only twenty minutes. Any effort to move the ball by Eastern Illinois was stopped in its tracks by the defense through bone crushing hits and textbook tackles.
The Lion’s offense would continue dominate, despite the 17-8 lead, as they delivered the final blow finding the try-zone one last time. While the Panthers were able to add a five-point try to their efforts, the game ended with a final score of 24-13.
This is the first time LU has defeated the Panthers in the all-time series history, which now sits at 2-1. The team now holds a record of 2-1 this season with three games remaining before the conference playoffs.
The Lions will head to Carbondale, Illinois to face Southern Illinois University on Sept. 27 for the second time this season.