The women's rugby team ended its season with a record of 4-5 after losing to Stonehill College in the first round of the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) playoffs.

Bowdoin came out full of energy and the beginning of the game was fairly evenly matched offensively.

"Bowdoin was spirited, enthusiastic, positive and ready to have an upset," said head coach MaryBeth Mathews.

Despite more injuries for Bowdoin and a few too many missed tackles on defense, the Polar Bears were still only down 13-5 at halftime in the match on Saturday.

While Bowdoin's defense struggled overall, Becky Stevens '11, Uche Esonu '13, Katie Mathews '12 and Sian Riebe '14 stepped up to make the majority of the tackles. Lynn Freedman '13, who was a B-side player filling in for injuries, also contributed to the defensive effort.

However, the Skyhawks managed to score 17 points in the second half to win 30-10. Loryn Fridie '11 and Stevens both scored for the Polar Bears.

"In the end, while we played hard, we were outmatched by a better-skilled team," said Mathews. "You have players step up into positions [due to others' injuries] and they did very credible jobs, but the collective lack of experience made the difference in the game."

There is always some disappointment when goals are not reached, but the women's rugby team does have a few positives to take away from the season.

"There were definitely some successes in the rookie class joining the team...not only learning the game, but finding a comfortable niche on the campus," said Mathews. "Students come from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities and find a place on this team and have support for first year transitions."

"There was also success for juniors and seniors who improved their playing and also took on leadership roles on the team," Mathews added.

The team will have a few weeks off to rest before they start their offseason training program.

"After the season, you need to do reflections and recuperations and have the beginnings of what you want to do next time," said Mathews. "In the offseason, the focus when it comes to lifting has to be on the proper type of lifting for the sport."

The Polar Bears are looking forward to the spring season of friendly matches. The team will continue to introduce new players while upperclassmen will try to pass on their wisdom to their teammates.

"Seniors have a fabulous role in the spring where they play and they train the younger players," said Mathews. "I know Becky Stevens will be working together with the scrumhalfs on passing."

The spring is also a time when athletes from other sports join the team.

"I think it is important that some of the girls that join us come from an athletic background," said Mathews. "That way they know what to expect from a varsity sport and understand the demands of playing."