Published on May 25th, 2012 | by mfrancese0
First year rugby team brings home national title
Alex Jahncke | Lindenlink contributor
In their first year as a program at Lindenwood, the men’s rugby team won the Division II Collegiate National Championship. On Saturday, the Lions beat Salisbury University with a score of 50-12 to complete their first season as a team. Head coach Ron Laszewski led the Lions to a 20-0 collegiate record on the season.
“It is an incredible feeling,” Laszewski said. “With all the time and energy the guys put in, it was well deserved.”
For a first year team, there is a lot of question marks and uncertainties for a coach. Laszewski has a strong background in building teams and was confident they would come together based on their work ethic.
“In the beginning of the season, the guys agreed on some goals,” Laszewski said. “They knew what they had to do. They cared and believed in each other to achieve those goals.”
They were an unknown team in the beginning, but as the season rolled along, the Lions began to create a target on their back.
“There are a lot of good things and bad things that come with being the number one team,” Laszewski said. “Every team played us as if it were their Super Bowl. We knew we had to score early and in rugby terms, ‘make them stand under their goal post early’.”
The Lions were not just the only team to win it all in their first season, but no team has even made it to the USA Rugby Division II Sweet 16 in their first year.