October 27 - Sixth-ranked Notre Dame hosts in-state rival Purdue for a late-season Big 10 matchup under the lights Friday at Stinson Rugby Field in South Bend, Indiana. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. EST, and the game will be streamed live on NCR’s YouTube page.
Notre Dame enters the contest with a 3-2 record, their lone losses coming from top-ranked Michigan and No. 8 Indiana. Against the Hoosiers, the Fighting Irish lost on a walk-off try, but they have some momentum coming into Friday, having won their last two games in a row against Michigan State and Iowa.
According to head coach Ricardo Ramirez, captains Sophia Frisbie and Grace Driewer have helped the Irish bounce back, and injured pack captain Sarah Markley has helped upskill the younger forwards during her recovery.
Gianna Eyrich and Emma Doyle are two first years with experience, having played in high school. Eyrich fit in perfectly at flanker, while Doyle has proven to be a very versatile player who the Fighting Irish can utilize at multiple positions.
Sydney Heim and Megan Trembly lead the forward pack with incredible skill on the pitch. Heim spent a year abroad and has since rejoined the team without skipping a beat, while Trembly is currently in her first XV’s season and has added stability to the pack.
“We are just really focused on playing our game,” said Ramirez. “We need to do what we want to do and not let other teams dictate.”
Purdue finds themselves at 2-2-1 and in 4th place in the Big 10, beating Ohio State and Michigan State, losing to Michigan and Indiana, and drawing with Iowa in the first match of the season.
Freshman Carmela Campbell has a wealth of front row experience, but has since transitioned to flyhalf for Purdue and is excelling there. “She has done a phenomenal job at leading the team, and I am very proud of her,” head coach Josh de Leon said.
The Boilermakers’ strong forward pack is led by lock Waverly Hutchins and Sophomore Mabree Humphreys. According to de Leon, Hutchinson brings a lot of power to the second row, while Humphreys is one of the more vocal leaders on the pitch.
De Leon says Purdue is focused on the basics and discipline. Week after week, he has ratcheted up the intensity in training and sees it paying off. “The girls don’t see how much they are improving, how much they can actually take on,” said de Leon. “Their energy levels this far into a two-hour practice is really impressive.”