Women's ruggers: Looking tough
While many teams are busy rebuilding their core this year, the women's
rugby team has simply reloaded its roster with countless experienced veterans
and an energetic group of rookies. Having only lost four seniors last
year and over sixty players strong, the team is well equipped for the
Under the strong leadership of senior captains Katherine Buckspan and
Sarah Jenness and coaches MaryBeth and Bob Matthews, the team is already
shaping up with strengthened fundamentals and improved conditioning. Thanks
to some extensive recruitment efforts, a considerable number of first
years, as well as several new upperclassmen, joined the team this year.
The ruggers have high expectations for this fall. They finished last
season with a 5-1 record, good enough for third place in Division II,
just behind Wellesley and Wesleyan. This will the rugby team's second
year in Division II, after having played for four years in Division I.
Already, the rivalry between Bowdoin and Wellesley, who dealt the Polar
Bears their only loss of the season, is clear. This year, Wellesley will
visit Bowdoin on October 27, and promises to bring the matchup of the
Disappointed with field conditions last year, the ruggers are looking
for revenge. "Remember that little field with the tree in the try
zone? Well, none of that this year," Buckspan said. "They're
coming up to play on a real pitch, and I predict we destroy them by physically
dominating the game.
"We'll use the speed of our wings and fullback and our excellent
conditioning to wear them down and then dominate offensively," she
The ruggers have plenty to defend before Wellesley, starting with tomorrow's
round-robin tournament against Bates and Colby at Farley. In order to
prepare for this tournament and the upcoming season, the ruggers have
been drilling basic components every day in practice.
They also have been incorporating a lot of new material learned from
last year's spring break tour to Scotland and England. Ruggers gained
experience playing advanced European teams and working with some well-known
Coach MaryBeth Matthews was excited about this learning opportunity.
"Great experience [was] gained during the spring tour to Scotland
and England," she said. "[It] was an amazing experience for
all who could take part...strengthening our skills and our friendships
and solidifying the meaning of TEAM."
Friendship and team, as most players will tell you, are the essences
of rugby. First years and seniors alike view this club as a network of
friends. "The team is like one huge family; you can't go anywhere
without running into someone," first year Carolyn Dion said.
"I instantly made 50 new friends when I joined the team," Amelia
Rutter '05 added.
Rookie junior Andrea Weeks was in agreement as well. "I promised
a friend I'd try rugby for a week, and I'm definitely a part of the team
In the forward pack, returning players Buckspan, Carolyn Westra '03,
Camilla Yamada '03, and Liz Swedock '03 lead with experience. In the backfield,
Jenness, Ellie Doig '03, Joanie Taylor '03, Lindsay Pettingill '02, and
Julie Thompson '03 will help lead the attack and defense.
"I'm expecting a lot of good things from this season," Jenness
said. "Not only do we have a tremendous amount of returning talent,
but the skill and dedication that the rookies have brought to the field
is really promising."
The team's first battle is tomorrow, starting at noon against Bates and
Colby. With four home games set for this season, the ruggers can't wait
to show Bowdoin what they're made of.