Rising from Loss

Following a weekend off from rugby due to weather, AUWRFC went head-to-head against George Mason for our second matrix match this season. After a physical game, GMU was able to pull ahead, winning the game 17 to 14.

Although we did not come out victorious, AUWRFC had strong aspects of play. Despite the rain, our set pieces were unified and drove together. We also had some outstanding play from individual team members–some of the best we’ve seen all season. Women of the Match this week are Maeve and Lauri! Maeve was a force to be reckoned with on Saturday, bringing continual energy and dedication to the game, and stopping GMU in their tracks. Also, special shoutout for that time she held up a try with her foot! On the backs side of things, Lauri did a fantastic job identifying openings in the GMU defense, communicating to get the ball, and running super fast! Also shoutout for never giving up, and finishing the game on a positive note with a try.

This week’s practice will be dedicated to improving tackles when we are tired, maintaining ball possessions, and setting up an effective defensive line. A lot of our areas for improvement center around coming together, 15 as 1, and amplifying our individual strengths by playing as a cohesive team.

With clear goals for practice this week and a fire to come out of this loss, we are hopeful to present a strong and cohesive team against GW next week to get the win.

First Matrix Win

Building on what we learned from the VCU game, AUWRFC played hard game this saturday and started off our first matrix match of the season with a win! We definitely sent a message to the Capital Rugby Union that we are not a team to be messed with and our next 3 matrix matches better watch out. Not only did we prove to our opponents that we are a talented team, we proved it to ourselves. We had beautiful play and communication between the backs and the forwards that led to consistent and strategic phase play opening up opportunities for many team tries. 

All of our effort and dedication showed on the field to continually push ourselves. Special shout out to all the players who stepped out onto the pitch either in a brand new position or without ever seeing a rugby game before. All of them rose to the occasion and made a huge impact in securing our win!  

Our Forward Woman of the Match goes to one of those players: Hunter. Hunter stepped up to play Flanker without any forward experience and she repeatedly annihilated Gtown’s flyhalf making their entire team terrified to have the ball. 

Our Back Woman of the Match goes to Nicole. Nicole’s ability to read the field leads to her incredible try saving tackles every week but this week Nicole utilized that skill to effectively attack space, support her teammates and score 3 tries for a hat trick!

We will take this week’s practice to  put in the work for another successful weekend of AUWRFC rugby against George Washington.

Building Momentum

Building on what we learned from our first game and implementing the skills we practiced this week into our game play, AUWRFC came out victorious this weekend against VCU, 36-17. Our team worked hard for 80 mins, making open field tackles, winning line outs, capitalizing on quick penalties, and made crisp passes-particularly in the back line.

As great as the A side victory feels, this weekend we were the most impressed with our B side game. Our rookies came out strong, tough and ready to play some awesome rugby. Despite some confusion, as to be expected from new players participating in their first rugby match, our rookies gave it there all and it was incredible to see. We could not be happier to say that the future of AUWRFC is bright.

Although AUWRFC had some good play all around, we had a few of players that stood out this weekend. For the A-side, the Women of the Match are Maggie (forward) and Hannah (back).  Maggie was chosen for consistently working hard in getting to the break downs and blowing the other team off the ball and Hannah for leading the backs in strategic and organized game play, excellent tackles and being a strong voice on the pitch. In addition to our A-side players, we also had two rookies get Women of the Match of the B-side game: Guffee (forward) and Grace (back). Guffee made an impact off the bench in the A side game with hard hitting tackles and strong runs, only to step up in the B side game to help lead fellow rookies to victory. Grace had strong runs and natural talent for identifying and attacking holes. She had great hands in the back line and strong support. 

With the momentum from this weekend’s victory carrying us into practice before our first matrix match, we will diligently work on improving on our weaknesses and hopefully secure our first matrix win against Georgetown this Saturday! 

Learning Together

“The goal is not to be better than the other woman, but to be better than your previous self.”

The mentality of improving every time you step on the pitch or show up to the triangle for practice is a constant theme with AUWRFC this season. As a largely young team with most players having less than a year of experience, we are constantly learning and growing as a team. Last weeks game against Navy was a great start to that growth.

Many of our players were in new positions, with forwards switching into the back line and backs debuting with the forward pack. Despite the heat, everyone stepped out onto the pitch and gave it their all-tackling hard, scrumming low, passing accurately, and keeping up the intensity. Although we did not finish with the outcome we had hoped, we all walked away a better rugger than when they stepped out onto the pitch and are looking forward to taking all we have learned into our game against VCU this weekend.

Fall 2016 Game Schedule

Fall 2016 American University Women’s Rugby Game Schedule 

September 10, 2016

Navy (Away @Navy; KO TBA)

September 17, 2016

 VCU (Home @Burning Tree Elementary School; KO 9am)

September 24, 2016

Georgetown (Home @Burning Tree Elementary School; KO 9am)

October 1, 2016

George Washington (Away @GW Mount Vernon Campus; KO 9am)

October 8, 2016

 George Mason (Away @Mason; KO TBA)

October 15, 2016

 Towson (Home @Burning Tree Elementary School; KO 9am)

October 22, 2016

Catholic (Home @Burning Tree Elementary School; KO 9am)

Note: All home games will be played at Burning Tree Elementary School in Bethesda, Maryland.

Let the games begin!

Start College off Right, Join AUWRFC!

Starting college in a few weeks and looking for a fun and easy  way to get involved on campus? Already been at AU for a year or two, but looking to branch out? Spending a semester/year at AU as an exchange student and want to meet an amazing group of young women? Played soccer since pre-school and ready for a change? Never played a sport and decided this is the year? Just want to hang out with some incredibly awesome people, and learn about an amazing sport?

Regardless of your situation or reason, the answer is always JOIN AUWRFC! No experience necessary! Just attend one of our info sessions listed below, and learn how you can make these awesome people your teammates!

Still have questions? Reach out to our fabulous Rookie Mama, Sophie Black! Sophie is ready to help you get involved with rugby here at AU and so excited to do it. Here is what she had to say about her position:

“When I found out I was going to be rookie mama, I was so excited. To me, this was a chance to continue our momentum, and shape the future of American University Women’s Rugby, an organization that has given so much to me in only a year. What’s even more exciting, is that being a sophomore, I was just in the position that the rookies will be in now, allowing me to relate and guide them through every step of joining our team and rugby family. I can’t wait to meet our new rookies and teach them how to fly high like an eagle!”

AUWRFC's 2016-2017 Rookie Mama, Sophie Black
AUWRFC’s 2016-2017 Rookie Mama, Sophie Black

Want to learn more? We will be hosting information sessions during the  first week of classes about how to get involved. The meetings are on August 30 (Tuesday), August 31 (Wednesday), and September 1 (Thursday), all at 8 pm on the SIS stairs. Feel free to also email Sophie at sb1461a@student.american.edu with questions/for more info! You can also fill out the contact form to get added to our email listserve to stay up-to-date on practices and games. Hope to see you at a session and out on the pitch later this fall!

Tournament Season: Cherry Blossom & Ruggerfest

The past few weeks have involved a great deal of rugby for AUWRFC. First we played in DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament, where we went 2-2 over the course of two days. We faced tough competition from the teams we played but left everything we had on the field. For Cherry Blossom, our woman of the tournament was Kat, who played effectively on both defense and offense and acted as a strong leader for her teammates.

After an off week in between, we spent last weekend playing at the DC Furies’ Ruggerfest Tournament. We spent the tournament surrounded by other talented, hard working women’s teams from the DC area and beyond. While the final record for Ruggerfest was 1-2, we came together as a team and showed not only our capabilities as rugby players, but an abundance of character in the face of frustration.

Last weekend, there were a number of players who deserved to be named woman of the tournament: Caitlin, Nicole, Molly Bean, and Steph, for their impressive play, and Tashell for her character and positivity on the field. However, woman of the tournament goes to our captains, Kelly and Nugget. They demonstrated true AUWRFC character and led their teammates both with their voices and by example.

With both tournaments over, we have completed the competitive part of our spring season. We’ll be going out in style with our final match of the season: the 20th Anniversary Alumni Game!