The AU women’s rugby team is excited about the upcoming season after last weekend’s scrimmage.
AUWRFC faced a difficult first week of full-team practices. Tuesday the rookies encountered their first practice in inch-deep mud. Wednesday the non-stop rain led the team to an indoor chalk-talk. Thursday they were back out on the field, only to beaten by a downpour so extreme that one rookie complained that the water dripping in her eyes had completely obscured her vision.
Those challenges translated into a delayed start for AU as they went into last Saturday’s scrimmage against George Washington. GW scored 5 tries with no conversions in the first two 30-minute periods, but AU rallied as the game progressed and began to gain momentum in the second period. Their first try came in the third period from Captain Maggie Mueller, followed by a hard-fought five points scored by Ella “Grams” Holman. Mueller scored again off a penalty, then Jacqui “Cuy” Langer wrapped up the last period with another five points. With one successful conversion, the scrimmage ended GW-30, AU-22.
This week the team worked out their kinks from the weekend, pushing hard at practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The skill level has been improving, and the outlook for the season remains bright as they prepare to face-off against rival Salisbury in their first official game.
In light of all the changes that took place between the spring season and this fall, the team knew it would be facing a lot of challenges. Now as the season gets into full swing, Mueller is optimistic.
At the end of last semester, there was a lot of uncertainty about AUWRFC. We knew we would be around, but at what level we would be playing, what direction our club was going and who was going to lead us [sic]. Now, as we head into our first game, I have the utmost confidence that this will be our greatest season yet!
Our returners have already stepped up as clear leaders and extremely hard workers, on the pitch and off, to fill gaps made by graduated seniors and abroad players; Roly has brought the team together to work as a unit and is bringing us to the next level of rugby play, which is going to make us near unstoppable on the pitch; we have a more positive and optimistic attitude than ever before; and our Rookies are the best I have ever seen!!
Given the combination of all those things, I truly believe that if we keep our heads in and work hard the entire season we have a chance to go to the national playoffs. Truth. I’m so stoked for this season!!!
The sense of excitement is palpable across the whole team. “That first-time in is the most nerve-wracking,” said rookie India English at Saturday’s scrimmage “I feel butterflies in my stomach.”
“They never go away,” responded club president Kesley Cadden.
Those butterflies are definitely here to stay as the team looks forward to the possibility of a lot of firsts this year. The ultimate hope; their first trip to nationals. For now, they anticipate their first game of the season- where regardless of anxiety, AU will certainly be putting in 100%.