Women’s rugby wins tournament
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
The women’s rugby team won the Beast of the East Tournament earlier this month in Rhode Island off the backs of a very strong performance from their secondary squad team.
“[The] Beast of the East was definitely a good challenge for us,” senior, co-captain Kacie Gagner said. “We registered two teams and both sides came away with some wins. We played some really tough teams and even though we did lose some of the games I’m extremely proud of how we played because we managed to hold our own against some really great teams.”
Junior Kasey Newman, Gagner, senior, cocaptain Elanna Sanon and freshman Aunalise Anderson really keyed the team to victory with their impressive play over the tournament, forwards coach Taylor Edinger said.
“Elanna has been a pretty dominant force not just on the team, but in the league, and I’m sure that when other teams are putting together a gameplan she’s someone that comes to mind,” she said. “And then we have a couple of other players that take a leadership role in motivating players, like Kacie; she’s very good at that.”
In addition to the seniors and upperclassmen, Edinger said she has been really impressed with the play of Anderson as a freshman, someone who she hopes can move up to the A-side in another semester or two.
“Aunalise has a lot of raw talent and she’ll give a hard 80 minutes, and as the game goes on you’ll give her little tidbits of what to do and what not to do, and she just shows so much improvement game-to-game,” Edinger said.
The team has struggled this season to put wins together but they have shown a tremendous amount of improvement and resilience even if some of the roster may be younger or newer to the sport of rugby altogether.
“Our team has improved, during just this spring season so far an insane amount, and it’s awesome to see everyone learning and progressing as players,” Gagner said. “Our future is very bright and we have so much talent where every teammate is so valuable so I’m really optimistic for the rest of the spring season.”
The Black Attack and Killer B’s, as the respective squads are reffered to on campus, have a few games left on the calendar before the semester ends. They played some sevens this past weekend with Yale and New Haven, and they will have two more 15-a-side games before the regular-season slate ends in two weeks: one this Saturday with the Fairfield Lady Yankees and another one in two weeks on May 4 at New Haven, in a Saturday morning tilt at Kayo Field.
“We’re playing a women’s team [in Fairfield] so girls that have already graduated college can compete, even up to girls in their 30s, which is crazy to me,” she said, “but then we’ll be playing New Haven and that’s always a close rivalry.”
The New Haven Old Blacks, which also play some of their home games at DellaCamera Stadium, where the Chargers’ football team calls home, had a signature win earlier this season when they defeated The State University of New York New Paltz 52-0. Like the Black Attack and Killer B’s, they are a club sport that relies exclusively on fundraising and the support of parents and families.
“Most of these teams, like ours, in Division I, II and III have a club sports department where they are run and give some funding but most of them are student-run and there’s an executive board with a president, vice president, match secretary, you name it, where someone’s running each part of the team and there are a lot of moving parts,” Edinger said. “It’s all just about fundraising, family support and showing up to practice and competing.”