Cougars add to bad weekend for Broncos

Chris Shaw | Evergreen reporter

Experience didn’t matter this weekend for freshman center Josh Vizcaya as he scored three times against the Boise State Broncos, leading the WSU rugby team to victory. 

The Cougars piled on the scoring in a 44-14 rout of Boise State on the road. Flyhalf Nate Freimund also scored once to add to Vizcaya’s hat trick. 

            “[Vizcaya] was definitely a key player this weekend and I only expect to see more from him as the season goes on,” Calvin Elam, president of the rugby team, said. 

            Elam said Boise State was the toughest competition the team has faced this season, other than the league powerhouse Central Washington University. 

            The Cougars tried to move the ball quickly until the Broncos’ defense became exhausted, which led to defensive openings that WSU used to score. Elam said the team tries to do this in every game and it was evident against Boise State.  

            The team has scored most of its points in the second half of games this season, but Elam expects the Cougars to get back to scoring more in both halves as the season progresses. Now at 5-1, the Cougars blew out the University of Idaho Vandals 77-5 earlier this season. 

            “We have a bad habit of starting pretty slow,” Elam said. “We’ve played several matches this year where we were down 20 or so points going into the second half. We’ll start to wake up and get into a groove and everything starts to fall into place.”

            Everything will need to fall into place before Feb. 22 when the Cougars face CWU, which is a nationally ranked team and a squad that Elam hopes to meet in the playoffs. Elam said the CWU program has a bigger budget and more resources for its athletes to use, but the Cougars try to balance that with commitment. The WSU team practices three times a week and lifts weights at 6 a.m. on the other two days, Elam said. 

            “I can only see us improving and I think we’re going to put up a pretty good fight against them, and we might get to see them at playoffs in April,” Elam said.

            The dedication to the team isn’t limited to the field, either. Elam said the team is stronger than he has ever seen it, and that is partly because of the strong chemistry the team has. The players have team dinners before home matches and they are all friends outside of class. 

            “Most of us can remember back when we had no idea what we were doing with a rugby ball and having an experienced player reach out to us and help us learn the game,” Elam said. “The team chemistry this year is incredible, and I think it really shows, both on and off the field.”

            The Cougar rugby team faces Boise State again Sunday at when it plays at Valley Road Playfields.