Women’s rugby finishes strong season, takes second in Maine cup

It was an emotional day for the seniors on Colby women’s rugby team, as they played their last games in the blue and white jerseys they had come to wear with such pride. Traveling to Portland for the Maine Collegiate Rugby State Tournament, Colby had three scheduled games against other Maine schools. On Saturday morning, Colby took on the University of New England. Clare Stephens ’18, co-captain Hannah Kwasman ’17, and Emmy Held ’17 all scored, but ultimately, UNE won 31-19. Colby Women’s Rugby had incredible depth, with assists from co-captain Jess Edlund ’18 and kick conversions from Laura Wu ’18 and Maura Campbell ’19.

Game two started on a stronger note as the Mules took on University of Maine—Orono. Since there were shortages of players in the two teams they would play for the rest of the day, the Mules played 10s in their last two games rather than the the normal 15s that they play in both the fall and the spring. Kwasman, Edlund, and Madison Maier ’19 all scored, finishing the game with a final score of 22-5.

Later in the day, taking on University of Maine—Farmington in their final game of the tournament, Colby walked away with a resounding victory. At the end of the second half, Colby had racked up 40 points to UMF’s 5. Kwasman, Edlund and Stephens all scored again, with new faces taking the lead. Sierra Fuller ’18, Anna Donovan ’17, and Helen Sears ’20 all scored as well. Kicks from Wu and Campbell rounded out a successful campaign against Farmington. Kwasman said her favorite play was  when, “rookie Emily [Ambeliotis] rucked over the ball and picked it up, ran most of the way down the field, and was tackled right before the try line. Sears was supporting her close behind and was able to get the ball and score. It was awesome!”

On Saturday evening, the team received news that four players were chosen to be a part of the Maine Select All-Star Team: Held, Edlund, Carmen Cordova ’17, and Gianna Nappi ’17.

Moving from the fall to the spring season represented a challenge to the team, who struggled to get practice time before the snow melted. Scheduling challenges and lack of space meant short practices with little contact. While this proved to be a challenge in their initial games this season, the team was able to overcome a lack of cohesion and present a strong challenge in both the Beast of the East tournament and Maine States. Kwasman noted how important it was to have new players get on the field as learn from more experienced players in a game setting. “A lot of players played in positions they hadn’t been put in before, so it was cool to see people step up,” she said. Colby Rugby will return to play again in the fall, starting games the second week of September.