BUFFALO, N.Y. (WETM) – Corning Rugby Club made program history, earning their first N.Y. High School Girls State Championship.

Corning Rugby battled in a back and forth rematch with Orchard Park to claim their first state title, on Sunday. The Lions beat Orchard Park 22-20 in come back fashion, avenging their 2022 loss in the state final. This year’s state title was decided in Tim Russert Park in Buffalo, New York.

Corning began their effort in front of a packed house, with a score to take a 5-0 lead early. Orchard Park responded quickly, tying the game and jumping out to a 15-10 lead to start the second half. Orchard Park extended their lead with time ticking down in the half, scoring on an arrant pass from the Lions.

Corning’s captain Mykaela Reed took control of the game, leading a drive to score. With less than 5 minutes to go in the game and needing a score, Tori Holmes broke off a massive run, breaking tackles, and scoring to tie. Julia Gridley capped off the drive and the game with a conversion, making it 22-20.

Corning Head Coach Michael Larrabee was thrilled with the resilient effort of the team, not only in the title game, but all season.

“The standard was set day one with this group, with one goal in mind, said Larrabee. We put them through a grueling thirteen match schedule that saw us playing some of the best clubs on the East Coast. They kept raising the standard, demanding more, and refusing to accept less. These girls will forever get to say that they are champions.”

The Lions will continue their season as state champions in the Elite Girls Rugby League, Rugby Showcase East in Lebanon, N.J. Corning kicks-off the weekend showcase on Saturday, June 10th, battling teams from Illinois and South Carolina.