Women’s Rugby runs over UNH

The Colby women’s rugby team continued their success this weekend, defeating the University of New Hampshire (UNH) 36-17 on Saturday afternoon in the first round of DII USA Rugby Nationals. 

As game time approached the players came together and locked arms. The captains could be heard saying, “We are going to go out there and score right off the bat,” from the sidelines. Elissa Guerra ’18 proceeded to get the first try of the game for the Mules within 70 seconds of the game starting.  The Mules dominated the game with their physicality in both the scrums and rucks. At the end of the first half, the score was 14-0 Mules. Colby continued their dominance into the beginning and good part of the second half with three more tries, which made the score a not-so-close 36-5. UNH was able to come up with two trys in the last few seconds of the second and in extra time.

With tries from Elissa Guerra ’18, Laura Wu ’18, Jess Edlund ’18, Helen Sears ’20 and Emma Hoffman ’20, the team showed their depth of skill on the team.

Forward Captain Sierra Fuller ’18 attributed the team’s success to their leadership and close knit mentality saying, “We play as a team. We have a couple of really good players but each member of our team has a certain set of skills and we’ve gotten to a point where we can use those skills to play off of each other really effectively. Also we have a lot of strong leaders. It’s not just me and Laura leading the team, it’s Jess and Clare and Maggie and Elissa and Emma and Ella and Katie and everyone—a lot of people have stepped up. It really helps that we have a really strong forward pack this year: a lot of seniors, two former captains, and women who have been playing together for each other for multiple seasons. We’re able to force a lot of turnovers in the scrums and lineout because of that strength. We also have a really strong team bond. I think the physical nature of the sport forces us to go through a lot together. We’re more than a team—we’re a family, and that shows on the field. When one of our sisters gets tackled, we’re right there for her. There’s a lot of trust involved too. In my position I get thrown up into the air pretty high and I have to trust that my teammates aren’t going to drop me. The same goes for supporting each other in rucks and scrums—in order for us to be successful we have to trust each other.”

The team will continue their playoff run in the round of 16, next week playing Vassar College in Kutztown, PA.  Captain Laura Wu ’18 said, “playing alongside these women has been such a privilege and I’m so excited to continue that journey. We have always been the underdog and have truly risen to the occasion.” Fuller ’18 added, “I am so proud of our team. We have never been this far and it’s so exciting. We’ve all worked really hard to get here and a lot of the individuals have improved so much over the past couple months. When I was deciding to come to Colby my senior year of high school, the rugby teams were almost cut, so it’s amazing to see our program grow so much. We have a new field, huge memberships, and have been very successful on the field. It’s insane to see the progress as a program and as individuals.”