Go to content, skip over navigation


More Pages

Go to content, skip over visible header bar
Home News Features Arts & Entertainment Sports OpinionAbout Contact Advertise

Note about Unsupported Devices:

You seem to be browsing on a screen size, browser, or device that this website cannot support. Some things might look and act a little weird.

Polar Bear of the Week: Lauryn Eisenhart ’24

May 3, 2024

Courtsey of Brian Beard
SENDING IT TO THE END: Lauryn Eisenhart ’24 concluded her collegiate rugby career this past weekend in Maryland at the Collegiate Rugby Championship with a 3–1 record.

At last weekend’s Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) in Maryland, Lauryn Eisenhart ’24 led the way with five tries—helping Bowdoin earn the Plate Division crown. Women’s rugby ended up winning 3–1 overall, with Eisenhart winning the title as the second-leading scorer in the Premier Division.

Eisenhart was initially intimidated going into the championships because the competing teams, such as West Point Military Academy and Pennsylvania State University, were well-known nationally for their rugby prowess. Despite this, the team ended up beating Pennsylvania State University, Notre Dame College and University of Michigan over the weekend.

“It was very high stakes, but I knew we were the underdog. So I feel like there was a ton of bad pressure initially,” Eisenhart said. “But as the games went on, we just gelled so quickly and were able to pull off these wins.”

Eisenhart saw CRC as an opportunity to showcase the team’s talent and hard work.

“I think one of the things that I’ve learned while at Bowdoin is that women’s rugby doesn’t always get the same respect as some of the other teams,” Eisenhart said. “So I saw CRC as a good opportunity to show ourselves Bowdoin athletics and the broader rugby [community] that we [aren’t] just a good DIII team, but rather a very dominant team nationally.”

The team’s three victories were an emotional ending to Eisenhart’s rugby career.

“Immediately as the whistle blew, all of it hit me at once. This was the end of my career and probably the most competitive I would play going forward,” she said. “I immediately started crying on my teammate, who’s also a senior, and we were just standing there not knowing what to do. It was an existential moment.”

On the field, she was focused on performing the best she could since this was her last collegiate rugby game.

“I had nothing to lose. I really went in with a mindset that was much more focused on trying to be myself on the field, so allowing myself to try stuff and not dwelling so much on my mistakes,” Eisenhart said. “My biggest motivation was to leave everything I had out on the field, so that I didn’t have any regrets.”

Eisenhart’s rugby career started in middle school, but initially, she played soccer. In eighth grade, she quit and joined a local high school’s women’s rugby team in search for a more supportive team dynamic—and she immediately knew she made the right choice.

“I realized that it was going to be different [on the rugby team] when we were tackling and I didn’t have a mouth guard. I mentioned it to this girl who was standing there and she said, ‘Oh, just take mine.’ She took it out of her mouth and literally just handed it to me” Eisenhart said.

In addition to the supportive environment, Eisenhart found women’s rugby to be inclusive.

“Specifically with body types, you can look any kind of way and you can be great because there are so many different positions and talents that are required for rugby,” Eisenhart said.

Even with a supportive environment, Eisenhart initially struggled with imposter syndrome. But by the end of her Bowdoin career, she was able to overcome these fears and flourish as a player.

“My junior year was a really good transition year for me to realize that I was gonna be fine…. So I allowed myself to be more creative on the field, which I think is one of my biggest strengths as a player,” Eisenhart said. “I’m happy that I’ve gotten to the point now where that’s really not an issue anymore. And I think part of it comes with age, but also just … having teammates and coaches that support you.”


Before submitting a comment, please review our comment policy. Some key points from the policy:

  • No hate speech, profanity, disrespectful or threatening comments.
  • No personal attacks on reporters.
  • Comments must be under 200 words.
  • You are strongly encouraged to use a real name or identifier ("Class of '92").
  • Any comments made with an email address that does not belong to you will get removed.

Leave a Reply

Any comments that do not follow the policy will not be published.

0/200 words