June 15th, 2024

Horns win one for Sluggo

By Dale Woodard on September 21, 2021.

The Suggitt Cup will reside in southern Alberta this season.

Kicking off their Canada West season, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s rugby team did so on a winning note, downing the Alberta Pandas 53-7 Saturday night at the University of Lethbridge Stadium.

Capping off a triple-header of Canada West play at the stadium that also featured the Pronghorns men’s and women’s soccer teams, Saturday night’s win also earns the Horns this year’s Suggitt Cup, the annual game played between Lethbridge and Alberta in honour of Ric Suggitt, who passed away in June of 2017 and coached in both programs.

“It means a lot to me,” said Pronghorns fifth-year halfback Caitlin Sears of winning the hardware named after the man dubbed Sluggo. “Ric was a huge part of a lot of our lives and to win that and bring it home is big. It’s a big thing for morale as a team, especially coming back after two years off. It’s just massive for us as a team. We have a big group of young players coming in and an older group. So it’s good to bring us all together.”

It was also a fine coaching debut for Horns head coach Graeme Moffat, who was named bench boss of the program in June.

“First of all, it’s such a cool experience, to come out and hear the fans and the noise, obviously it’s my first experience of a home game here and I really enjoyed it,” said Moffat.

“I think under the lights was great and the energy was good. The students certainly know how to enjoy themselves, so that was good.”

Pronghorns fifth-year veteran Abby Duguid ran for a pair of tries, while Genna Wright, Sofia Hoff, Keegan Brantner, Sam Ganske, Karlee Durfey, Gwen Fillinger and Cassie Jorgenson added one each.

Sears got things going with a penalty goal two minutes in for a 3-0 lead and added five converts.

Alberta’s Cassie Jorgenson prevented the Pandas from being shut out with a try in the 79th minute.

“I think the conditions played a huge factor here and I thought Caitlin Sears’ game management was outstanding, her and Payton Viney. The way they controlled territory and controlled possession was spot-on. So I was really pleased with that part of the game,” said Moffat. “We’ve worked hard on our defence. I’m probably attack-minded, but I like to be conscious of the fact we have to defend 50 per cent of the time, too. So I thought some of our defence was good tonight. Some of our leaders up front, I thought Karlee Durfey was outstanding tonight (as well as) Abby Duguid and Keegan Brantner. These girls all had big games along with Sara Cline. I could keep naming names. Our pack was excellent.”

The Pronghorns look to improve to 2-0 Saturday when they head to Calgary to take on the Dinos.

The Horns next home game is Oct. 8 in a rematch with the Dinos at 5 p.m. at the University of Lethbridge Stadium.

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