INDIANAPOLIS - A meeting a few years in the making will take place this Saturday when the Iowa Central rugby team battles Queens.
The two programs will meet here in an event hosted by Marian, with the Triton B-side battling Marian. Action begins at 11 a.m.
Iowa Central and Queens met before in the D2 semifinals for third place. The Tritons won that match and a year later claimed the D1AA national title.
That very same year, Queens rolled to the D2 crown, leaving both programs feeling a showdown was needed.
"We've got some history between our programs," Iowa Central head coach Brent Nelson said. "They were a relatively new program back in the fall of 2018 and we had just won our small college national title. We both made the semifinals that year in D2 and fell, meeting in that third place game - which we won.
"The next year, USA Rugby moved us up and left Queens in D2, even though they were rolling over teams."
Since that time, Queens has joined the Tritons at the D1AA level.
"They have high aspirations, just like we do," Nelson said. "They are a program on the rise, punching up like we are when it comes to playing the best teams. When we played No. 1 Lindenwood last week, they played No. 2 Life. There was some 'chatter' that Lindenwood took it easy on us and that has left our program feeling slighted.
"We are heading into this match with a chip on our shoulder and want to do whatever we can to get some respect."
Marian will serve as the host, bringing Iowa Central and Queens to a midway point between the two programs.
"It's going to be a nice little event for everybody involved," Nelson said. "Marian is building a program and will be a good test for our B-side team."
-By Dana Becker