Women’s Rugby Headed To National Stage
The women’s rugby team tasted victory in Shippensburg, Pa. last weekend, placing third in the finals of the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union Division-II tournament with a 10-5 win over Temple University.
The team reached the third-place game by defeating Salisbury College in the quarterfinals and losing to Shippensburg University in the semifinals. By placing third, the team secured a berth in the USA Rugby semi-quarterfinals against Norwich University on April 16 in Sanford, Fl.
The MARFU tournament saw competition from the four best teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, with the top three teams moving onto the national semi-quarterfinals.
Sophomore Kaitlin Smart was excited for the performance put forth by her and her teammates.
“We were straight up freaking out,” Smart said. “There were definitely tears when we won, it was really exciting.”
In order to reach the final round of four, held in Pennsylvania, Mary Washington will have to defeat not only Norwich University, but their undetermined quarterfinal opponent as well. Smart is hopeful for her team’s chances.
“We haven’t gone for the last few years, so it’s exciting for the seniors,” Smart said. “We’ve all worked really hard, we really wanted it.”
This has been a successful year overall for the Mary Washington squad. The team won the Virginia Rugby Union’s Division II championship, and seniors Ashley Border and Mercy Furey, sophomore Lara Hampson, Dalia Natour, freshman Carter Moore, and Molly Walter being selected as Virginia Rugby Union all-stars. Sophomore Lucia Morey was selected to the Mid-Atlantic Under-19 All-Star team.
This was the first time since the 2007-08 season that UMW won the Division-II tournament, but they had done so consecutively every season from 1998-99 to the 2007-08 season. The first-place finish this season had been followed by second-place finishes to the College of William & Mary in 2009 and Longwood University in 2008.
Smart was clear on what it will take to have a deep run in the national tournament.
“Our coaches have been pushing us further at practice,” Smart said. “[We’re] running more, getting in better shape, telling each other ‘we really wanna do it this year, guys.’”
The team will use a scrimmage against Georgetown University this Saturday to stay sharp before the national tournament begins, and Smart is excited for what the rest of the season will bring.
“It’ll take a lot to win these games,” Smart said, “but we’re all happy to be here.”