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BW women's rugby team advances to nationals in New Orleans

Photo of BW women's rugby teamThe young, fierce BW women's rugby team is headed to the 2021 Collegiate Rugby Championship May 29-31. The National Collegiate Rugby-sponsored tournament will take place at Gold Mine Stadium in New Orleans, home of the NOLA Gold professional rugby team.

Under the direction of head coach Mark Montgomery and assistant coaches Tony Williams and Casi Montgomery, BW women's rugby returned to the campus roster of club teams in fall 2019.

While COVID-19 halted team activities in March 2020, the team continued to meet virtually and stay connected. They were ready to return to the field when practices resumed in fall 2020 under strict protocols that included training pods.

When matches resumed in late March, the women burst onto the field, ready to show off their skills. In three weeks of tournaments and nine matches, the team outscored their opponents by 186 points, scoring a total of 230 points so far this year.

As the season progressed, the women rose to a first-place ranking in the region.

Rugby rookies swarm to make their mark

Photo of BW women's rugby teamThe achievements are astounding, considering 73% of the team did not play rugby in high school and are new to the team at BW. Every athlete on the team has seen playing time this year. At least six of the players have scored tries, which are like touchdowns in football, giving the team five points with a chance to kick a conversion for two additional points.

Player Alex Seamon '22 said, "Coach Montgomery has created a welcoming environment for veteran and new rugby players alike. As someone who has never played rugby before, I was very nervous to try out for the team. But after attending a few practices, I realized this sport was a place where I could continue to grow not only as an amateur athlete but also as an individual."

This year's co-captains are Molly Cancian '24 and Jill Wood '23. On and off the field, they have continued to lead their team.

Cancian said, "It's been great seeing everyone on the team improve so much in such a short amount of time."

Wood added, "These women put their everything into this program and watching the club become this successful has truly been amazing."

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