A tale of two halves is the best way to describe the contest between the CSU women's rugby team and the visiting Air Force Falcons this past weekend.
The sixth ranked, unbeaten Falcons came to Fort Collins Sunday looking to extend their streak against an equally hot Ram squad. Unfortunately for the Rams, they were the cooler of the two.
"The intensity was a little slow the first half," said the Rams' Erin Mick.
A little slow may have been an understatement as the Falcons jumped out to an early 27-0 lead and looked to be dominating the Rams in every facet of the game. The speed, strength and endurance of Air Force were superior to that of the Rams in the first half and it showed on the scoreboard.
"We felt like we had a good shot coming into the game," said forward Koreen Padjen. "I'm happy with how we came out in the second half though."
So were the faithful who came to support the team through a cold second half drizzle. The Rams, who have been a better second half team all season, rewarded them with a late spark.
"We wanted to really bring it to them," said team captain Alyssa Amason. "We worked out some of our glitches on defense in the second half."
Holding the Falcons scoreless in the second half, CSU also managed a little bit of offense. Amason got the Rams on the board as she touched down a loose ball in a bit of a tangle. The kick was good and a comeback stage was set. Padjen scored a second try for the Rams on a long run, followed by a converted kick and the score stood at 27-14.
Two more times the Rams got within two yards of scoring, tries that would have completed the comeback, but the stringent defense of the Falcons stood strong and frustrated CSU's attack.
Time ran out on CSU in a losing effort, but following the game came nothing but praises from the Air Force side that admitted to have just beaten their toughest foe of the season.
CSU players were also in decent spirits after the game.
"It was a real mauling game," Padjen said. "It was fun."
Air Force, who knocked off CU to win the High Dirt Tournament, remained unbeaten, and the Rams put forth a solid performance to build on as they host the same Buffs team next week.
Final Score: Falcons 27 Rams 14
Next Game: Sunday, CSU vs. CU 11:30, Intramural Fields