To Pray or Play, That Is Not a Question

The field was empty Sunday. Just a day earlier, the BYU women's rugby players had happily posed for a team photo under the stadium's scoreboard.

The lights said the Cougars had just beaten Wisconsin-Milwaukee 46-7. The score didn't begin to tell their story.

"We won today," Coach Tom Waqa said. "But the girls' biggest opponent is tomorrow. That is adversity."

With a national championship in sight, the Cougars walked away. To advance meant they would have to play Sunday.

As in the Sabbath. As in keep it holy.

As in bye-bye championship.

"It's bittersweet," team captain Kirsten Siebach said. "But it was a decision we had to make."

The players are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Perhaps you know them as Mormons. By any name, what they did is almost unheard of these days.

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