Saturdays are rugby days this semester at the College. Players and fans alike are getting ready for what they hope is going to be the best season yet for the women’s rugby team.
One might think that a team without a full-time coach would struggle trying to live up to the expectations of their competitive Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union Division, but in past seasons the women’s team has continued to rise above and beyond anyone’s expectations.
Last year the Lions took second place overall in Division II after just breaking into the division in Spring 2004.
The women’s team also took third place this spring in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union tournament, making them the third best rugby team in the Mid-Atlantic United States.
Although many of the veteran rugby players have graduated, the younger players show promising ability on the field, also known as “the pitch” in rugby lingo.
“We are really excited to get back on the field and play some rugby,” junior captain Kerri Matthes said. “We have some great girls who are ready to step up and take this team back to the Division II finals.”
Unfortunately, the first game of the season was an upsetting one for the Lions.
In a rainy, muddy game last Saturday, the Lions lost to the Spartans of York College 10-3. Sophomore fly half Tracy Karmel scored the three points for the Lions during a penalty kick in the first half.
During the second half of the game the Spartans scored two tries. On the tries, both conversions failed. Fullback Bree McNerney was given a yellow card for repeated high tackles.
The game produced many injuries on both sides of the pitch due to the messy rain conditions.
Overall, the Lions made a good effort on the field. Even though it was a loss, it was not a huge loss for the team, and the biggest losses came from the players who were injured during the game.
“We played a tough match today, but everyone gave it their all,” junior wing and outside center Caitlyn Tilley said.
“I think that we’ll be ready to play York again in the finals and then you’ll see a different outcome,” she added. “It’s still early in the season and we’re a young team, but we are only getting stronger after each practice.”