The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns claimed the bronze medal at the CIS Women's Rugby tournament with a gutsy 17-15 victory over the host and defending CIS Champion Western Ontario Mustangs.
While both teams were disappointed to be playing in the bronze medal game, a spirited game was played to determine the third place finisher.
The Mustangs opened the game strong, pinning the Horns in their own end early, but a good defensive stand by the Horns thwarted the early attempts. The Mustangs were finally able to push through only seven minutes in with a corner try. But the sharp angle convert failed, giving the Mustangs a 5-0 lead.
The Horns responded quickly, with captain Ashley Patzer (Lethbridge, AB, 2nd year) scoring an unconverted try and tie the score at five, when she was able to slip the Western tacklers and scamper across the goaline.
After Western missed a penalty goal, Horns fullback Andrea Letal (Calgary, AB, 2nd) burst into the open field and broke away from the Mustang defenders to score the Horns second try in the far right corner.
With time winding down in the half, a strong surge from the Mustangs front pushed Western in for their second try and after the failed convert the half ended tied at ten.
From the kick off in the second half, the Mustangs controlled the ball and the play, pushing the Horns deep into their own end. Strong tackling and defensive play held the Mustangs off for the first thirty minutes.
Patzer broke free for a long run and after being knocked to the ground was able to regain her footing and tossed it to Letal who broke away from the pack to score her second try of the game. Patzer converted to give the Horns the 17-10 lead.
Western continued to hold the Horns deep in their own end and were rewarded with another try five minutes short of time, but with the missed conversion the Horns still held a narrow lead (17-15).
The Mustangs continued to apply the pressure, but the Horns remained strong defensively and holding Western at bay for the final minutes.
As the referee's whistle blew, a jubilant Horns squad rushed the field to celebrate the Bronze victory. With the win the Horns claim their second CIS medal in as many appearances after winning a Silver medal in Edmonton in 2003.
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