Hot off a 67-0 win against the University of Maine last Saturday, Bowdoin’s undefeated women’s rugby team will advance to the Sweet Sixteen round of the USA Rugby Division II Tournament this weekend in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

This sets the team up for a rematch against Kutztown University, who have knocked the Polar Bears out in the playoffs for each of the past two years. 

With an undefeated record in the New England Small College Rugby Conference (NESCRC), Bowdoin has had a remarkable run this year. The program itself has won the conference title for four years in a row—as long as the NESCRC has existed. 

"In the past couple years we've definitely dominated in terms of scoring. Last year I think we only let one try in the whole season—this year we've let two,” said co-captain Cristina Lima ’17.

Head Coach MaryBeth Mathews who, along with her husband Bob, have been with the team 22 years, explained its historic success matter-of-factly. 

“We’ve just had class-act young women who choose to play rugby, take it seriously, get fit, [and who are] proud of learning this brand new sport they’ve never played before,” said Mathews. 
Such dominance has reoriented the team’s goals, Lima added. 

“Our goals are in the postseason—rooted in the postseason. Our coach called it three months of pre-season and now this is our real season going into nationals.”

And even given the history with Kutztown, the team is optimistic as they head into this Saturday’s competition. 

“This team is fully capable—as capable as any team we’ve had. Kutztown is beatable,” said Mathews. “Any team is beatable on any given day. It comes down to the mental edge, the composure, the physicality and the patience.” 

Captain Emily King ’16 echoed that statement.

“We’re feeling pretty confident. We’re excited to give it another shot and take it to them. We’ve been working really hard for it,” she said.