Lindenwood has been on the precipice of a national title since moving to DIA in 2014 The last three years the Lions have made reached at least the round of eight. In 2016 and 2017, the Lions fell to conference rival Life in tough quarterfinal games and last year after upsetting St. Mary’s fell to Cal in the semifinals.
For several Lindenwood seniors, this is the last chance for a national title. Their wing, Cristian Rodriguez, has been on the team for four years and has been a part of a tremendous winning program. Yet a championship has alluded him.
“I haven’t really thought about it being my last shot. I go out there with so much confidence in our team that all I’m focused on is winning and having fun. It hasn’t really hit me that my time is coming close to ending. I’m still focused on winning a national championship,” said Rodriguez.
Adding intrigue to this playoff run is the return of capped Eagle Chance Wenglewski. Due to commitments to the national team and a series of nagging injuries, the dynamic prop has only played one game in the last year for Lindenwood. Ironically, it was a fixture against Navy earlier this season on the same pitch that the game will take place this weekend.
“It’s an honor to wear the gold and black with the boys. It’s been hard being back in town and watching the boys perform without me but makes me just that more hungry to enter the pitch with my brothers,” said Wenglewski told D1A. “I understand that this is my last go around with the LU jersey but it’s the start of something truly remarkable for the young and upcoming bucks. I look forward to the future but respect the present.”
Wenglewski are Rodriguez are two of the last remaining members of the old guard. Coach Josh Macy has seen a lot of success since taking over the program three years ago and for him sending these guys off in style is on his mind.
“Upon my arrival to Lindenwood we had a young core of potentially great players. Watching them grow up has been a pleasure, building this team in our collective image has been a special experience, and we want to do everything we can to send them off in style. Much of that comes down to having some fun and playing the rugby that comes easiest to us,” said Macy.
There next test will be a well-known conference opponent in Arkansas State. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET.