Indiana continues tough schedule against rising Lindenwood

BOULDER, Colo. - Facing a Lindenwood side coming off of a 132-0 win over Northern Iowa is a challenging enough task, but Indiana must do so two days after playing Michigan State.

"Playing Michigan State and Lindenwood in the same weekend allows our players to prepare for competing in the spring," said Indiana Head Coach Vaughn Mitchell. "Challenging the team now with two games in the same weekend will allow the girls to work through adversity, as well as try out some players in new positions."

Accumulating talented rugby players and quality wins in recent years, Lindenwood has quickly evolved into a powerhouse in women's college rugby. A season ago, the Lions compiled a 13-3 record, which included wins over Davenport and Ohio State. Now, with another stellar crop of freshmen added to the mix, and the return of key players including captain Amanda Divich, Lindenwood is primed for another uptick in performance.

"The forwards and backs were both pretty dynamic against Northern Iowa last week, and we had 10 different players score - which shows the level of unselfish play and team-first mentality the girls are playing with right now," said Lindenwood Head Coach Billy Nicholas.

As impressive as the 100-plus-point shutout was, the incredibly wide margin of victory could spell complacency for a squad this early in the season. Nicholas and his staff are confident that's not the case with this team.

"We have a 24-hour rule here with the program," explained the second-year head coach. "The team is encouraged to be happy with their win, efforts and success, and then, 24 hours after, win or lose, it's in the past."

It's a good thing the team has moved on from its dominant 80 minutes against Northern Iowa, because, despite Indiana taking one on the chin against a very good Davenport side, the Hoosiers know their way around the park.

"Indiana is a pretty dynamic team," Nicholas pointed out. "We got a glimpse of them in the Big 10 Sevens tournament last spring, but this will be our first time playing them in 15s. They have always been one of the best teams in the Big 10, so we are excited to compete against them this weekend."

In order to move to 2-0, Lindenwood will have to find a way to counter Indiana's imposing front row. Angela Korori, Brittany Reedy, and Karen Strunk make up the experienced unit. While the trio is strong at the breakdown, each enjoys making meters with ball in hand, as well - especially Strunk, who scored both of the team's tries against Davenport.

After hosting Michigan State tonight, Indiana will travel to St. Charles, Mo., for its Sunday afternoon clash at Harlen C. Hunter Stadium against Lindenwood.