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July 2014

Tribe had one great fall and spring season.  As we bid adieau to our seniors, we are expecting a large rookie class, and have decided to move down into NSCRO division to focus on rebuilding and strengthening our team.  The tribe did put up a fight this past year though, beating Georgetown, George Washington, ODU, and VCU.  We later advanced to the playoffs, placing second in the south and third overall in Division II play.   In the spring, we got down and dirty at prom dress rugby, and won our senior sendoff against George Mason.  

That being said, our Fall 2014 schedule is up! Mark your calenders for upcoming games! Go tribe!


October 2013

Tribe beats Georgetown University, George Washington University, and Old Dominion University consecutively. 

All scores were high on the Tribe's end, particularly ODU.

William & Mary wins 53-0, and remains undefeated in Division II play.


November 14, 2012

Tribe faces Albright for spot in NSCRO Semi-Finals

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October 26, 2012 

Unbeaten women's rugby wings Virginia club title

By: Jim Ducibella 



Fall 2011- W&M Tribe finish first in the VRU DII

Spring 2011- W&M lost to Temple (10-5) to end their tournament run
‎"The Mid-Atlantic is busy with friendlies, but the most exciting movement comes from William & Mary. The team is ensuring it’s aptly prepared for national finalist Temple (which played DI’s West Chester to a 63-0 loss last Friday) when the... two face off at the territorial quarterfinals. It’s a rematch of last year’s MARFU semifinals, a game that Temple won 42-0. William & Mary put a hurting on Mary Washington, which had defeated W&M 20-7 last season for the Virginia title. The VRU runner-up followed the big win with another thumping, this time downing Georgetown 45-5."


Fall 2010- W&M enters the Ed and Sandy Lee Tournament seeded first, finishes 2nd to Mary Washington


Marfu Women Down To Fourlaelashannon1
March 10, 2010
By: Staff

The Mid-Atlantic has narrowed its Women's DII Collegiate Nationals hopefuls down to four, with Georgetown, William & Mary, Temple and La Salle vying for the three MARFU seeds this Saturday. The quarterfinals showcased a range of competition - from blowouts like La Salle's 49-0 win over Mary Washington 0, to barn burners like Temple's 17-14 victory over George Washington.

Georgetown was the first team to qualify for semis, downing York College 19-0 by noontime. The home team concentrated its scoring during the middle 40 minutes of the match, going into the break 12-0, then adding another converted try 10 minutes into the second half. "Both teams came out really hard," said Georgetown coach Joanna Liu, "and we were pretty even through the first quarter. We opened it up, but York owned the last 30 minutes. They had all the momentum and I was definitely nervous. We had to make some subs due to injuries, and they had some fresh legs come in, but we had some great goal-line stances to keep them out of the try zone."

Freshman center Lexington Henn, inside center Laurel Chor and flanker Alex Maher accounted for the tries, while Beth Goldberg handled the extras. Georgetown will have its hands full against La Salle, which dominated Mary Washington 49-0 on Saturday. Mary Washington's cover defense did a decent job of pinning the home team's outside attack early on. La Salle coach Kristin Aliberto adjusted the attack by exploiting vertical holes in the wide channel and flooding with support, and that's when the tries started pouring in. Flanker Julia Walsh led try scorers with four.

"Mary Washington is going through some rough times," coach Kris Kabza said, "Our numbers dropped into the mid 20s, and it showed against La Salle."

"La Salle should be added to ['s] college rankings," Kabza continued. "They have gone neck and neck with Temple this season, beating them in league play and then barely losing to them in their LAU playoffs."

Temple held onto a three-point margin to down George Washington 17-14 in its quarterfinal and will face William and Mary, which defeated American Univeristy 32-17, in the semis. "Our fitness level was really high, since the weather has forced us indoors," William and Mary president Lora Faris said, "and that really helped us gain momentum and keep it into the second half. American played a good, clean game, but we had them beat on speed."

Faris singled out eightman Caroline Grady's powerful breakaways and rookie center Mary Spinner, who had three tries on the day. Grady, hooker Stacy Lewis and Amanda Eclipse padded Spinner's hat trick, and Caitlin Steiner added the conversion.

Winners of Saturday's semis and third-place match will head to Sweet 16s in Sanford, FL, on April 17-18.


Women's rugby makes history
by Christina Bullock '10
December 8, 2009

Tears of joy fell on the pitch as William & Mary athletes were claimed victorious. The William & Mary women's club rugby team made history last month, winning the Ed and Sandy Championship in Roanoke.

The women had an undefeated season and were proclaimed state winners by the Division 2 Virginia Rugby Union. This is the first time a William & Mary rugby team (men's or women's) has ever taken a championship title.

"This was my first year coaching the women and I was really fortunate to take over a wonderful group of dedicated, enthusiastic and athletic women players," said Chris Ball, coach of the team and associate professor of psychology at the College.

For the past couple of years, the club sport has done very well winning the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union Regional Tournament and was completely student-led. With strenuous practices three times a week and the guidance of Coach Ball, the team has seen incredible results. After winning the tournament, six players were selected to represent the Virginia Rugby Union in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Union All-star Tournament.

"Our amazing team chemistry, along with guidance from out outstanding coach has transformed us into a tenacious force this semester," said Jillian "Jilli" Jackson '11, a Kinesiology major and president of the team.

Rugby is a game that is played in over a hundred countries throughout the world. It is a form of football played with an oval ball. The object of the game is for two teams of fifteen players each, to score as many points as possible, by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball with the team scoring the greater number of points being the winner of the match.

"Rugby is a very physical game, regardless of whether it is being played by men or women-with no helmets or pads. Players need to be able to run, pass, tackle, kick, ruck, scrum, and line-out," Ball said.
Many of the players on the team have not only developed a deep love for the sport but also for the friendships they have forged on and off the field.

Amanda Eclipse '10, backs captain of the team noted, "I know every person on the team well enough to call them my best friend."

The rugby club has also hosted several social events during its season. The players say they share a special bond, having deep rooted traditions such as team stories, nicknames and personal mementos passed down from alumnae of the team.

Jackson continued, "Winning is amazing but rugby doesn't stop when the match is over. I am very proud of our team and I can promise you that we will continue to grow and get better, stronger and closer than ever."




Womens Rugby Undeafted
by W&M Staff
Rec Sports

September 29, 2009

liz puntingThe sun was still sleeping as the Lady Ruggers made their way to the pitch at 6 am in the morning. Breakfast and coffee in tow, they climbed into vans and cars for a foggy, long, and mountainous trek to Lexington. All in the school van were quiet for the beginning of the trip, slouching on bags and teammates to get a few extra hours of sleep. Yet, after a much needed pit stop they awoke to pregame singing and dancing to such 90s classics and MMBop and Its Gonna Be Me. The drive continued smoothly through the clouds and finally, we arrived in Lexington. The ambiance changed drastically as men in uniform marched along side the van and the fortress that is VMI rose on the mountain top. It soon became apparent that the other cars were lost and the van itself could not locate the pitch. Pulling off to the side of the road at the sight of cleats, out climbed the courageous Captain of the Backs, Amanda Eclipse. After much discussion and several sharp turns up steep hills in a massive van, the van approached the pitch which had been moved due to weather to a practice football field with turf. The players in the van immediately contacted, directed, and calmed the other drivers who shortly arrived to the football "pitch."

Nervous, anxious, and excited, the William and Mary women watched the VMI team approach in full uniform, warm ups that is not camo. The warmups began in a slight drizzle and soon the William and Mary women were prepared to face our nations defense. The game played along with the rain. The rain was calm as the game became a back and forth battle. Lineout, scrum, lineout scrum. At times it felt like the backs weren't even around. However, in a glorious spur of the moment decision, fly half, Liz Forro, put William and Mary on the board with a drop kick into what should have been rugby goal posts, but were actually football posts. The VMI women were angered to be down and the rain intensified as they upped their drive. After a battle, the VMI women scored a try to take the lead which was quickly answered by a try from Liz Forro who was helped along the pitch by the team and excellent runs. The score was 8-7 William and Mary as the teams paused for half.

With it now pouring, the second half became even more intense. A constant battle for possession ensued sending the forwards into several scrums and lineouts. To quote the Captain of the Forwards, Sarah Dean, "It felt as though I was just doing squats, then run across the pitch for powerlift, squat, powerlift." The William and Mary women pressed on and scored a second try with a successful kick to follow to make the score 15-7. Enraged and possibly inexperienced, the VMI girls began to ruck sloppily throwing their hands into the ruck to snag the ball eventually leading one member to be thrown in the sin bin. With the rain still falling, the game concluded with the same intensity it began and resulted in an amazing, glorious, epic, and respectable William and Mary victory over the previously undefeated VMI. Following a post game cheer, handshakes, and picture, the wet, sleepy, proud ruggers climbed back into their vehicles for a foggy and dancing filled ride home with cookies provided by wing, Lora Faris's parents, who drove from Ohio to watch the now 2-0 Women's Rugby Club play.


From friends to the field

maryWhile field hockey players compete for ball possession in a civilized fashion and cross country runners coast by practice fields, the women’s rugby team practices by tumbling over one another in what appears to be a giant wrestling match.

The reason for this apparent wrestling match is team building, according to Elizabeth Forro ’11. This is a practice session for the women’s rugby club, and while to the untrained eye it merely looks like club members are taking spill after spill, they are in fact playing touch rugby. Falls usually occur as the players trip over each other.

“People think everyone gets injured. That’s not true. We have fewer injuries than you’d think,” Sarah Dean ’11 said. “That’s why we don’t have to wear pads.”

The lack of protection does not seem to deter new members. The main draw of the sport is that the rugby club teams do not feel like typical sports teams. There are no official try-outs; anyone is welcome to join, whatever their skill level and the team fosters an especially close bond.

“This Thursday night we have a social and we are together basically all day Saturday because we have games,” Forro said. “The Women’s rugby team in particular has a closeness that is not often seen. They give each other very distinctive nick-names: Diesel, Beans and Steiner are just a few of them. Outside of rugby, teammates often eat together and go to campus events together. Most of their social activities also involve watching football.”

In fact, Dean said it feels more like a club than a sport in many ways. Outside of rugby, teammates often eat together and go to campus events together.

“There is a very close feeling amongst players,” James McCulla ’10, the men’s rugby captain said. “It’s almost like a fraternity feeling.”

The Ed and Sandy Lee Tournament marks the end of the semester for the rugby team. The two-day tournament that determines whether the Women’s team can go on to play in the Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union tournament in the spring. While the tournament itself is a bonding experience, there are other opportunities that weekend.

“After the tournament, there’s a themed-party, and we all go to target together and get outfits, it’s ridiculous, and so fun,” Forro said.

The closeness of both teams is evident just by watching them practice. The men’s team is so intensely involved in their scrimmages that they do not want to stop and reset a play. While discussing strategy, the players express their desire to get the talking over quickly so they can keep playing. When McCulla finally gives the instruction to play on, the team responds enthusiastically, screaming, “Maul.”

The women’s team has its own personality: everyone keeps laughing, even when they are getting bowled over by their teammates.

“We get really close,” Forro said. “Especially with rookies, because it’s hard to get new people interested, and then they’re excited, and we’re excited. It’s nice.”

A new addition to the women’s team this year is Coach Chris Ball. A professor of psychology at the College of William and Mary, Ball is also an experienced rugby player who had played for a club in his native Australia for over ten years. While he has only been with the women’s team for a few weeks, he is already impressed.

“They’ve already improved just from where they were,” Ball said. “They’re all very dedicated, and they’re working so hard. It’s a complex game. People don’t appreciate that … [these players] have courage.”

Ball, like his players, is not scared to get his hands dirty. He jumps in to adjust their scrum — the distinctive tackle-like move that is more of an art form, according to Ball. He also teaches new members how to properly fling the ball and helps with strategy.

“It’s not gonna be perfect every time,” he said. “You have to adapt to it.”

Although rugby is not a common sport in the United States, that does not seem to discourage members of the men’s and women’s clubs at the College. The players are enthusiastic about the sport, even and perhaps most especially if they have not studied it before.

“We get a lot of converts who are bored with other sports,” Forro said. “I’m the exception, not the rule.”
While Forro played rugby for a team at her high school, having experienced players is not a common occurrence. Sarah Reschovsky ’11, a transfer student from Kenyon college in Ohio, began playing on Kenyon’s rugby team and decided to continue when she came to Williamsburg.

“The learning curve for rugby is very different, because most people [in the U.S.] haven’t been exposed to it,” Reschovsky said.

With a new batch of players this year, both the men’s and women’s teams like their odds.

“We have a lot of great rookies … I think it’s gonna be a great season,” McCulla said.

However, the team does not only play to win — they play because they truly enjoy the sport.

“You don’t get a lot of disgruntled rugby players,” Forro said. “Because you have to love it, you have to be really into it to play. That’s why we all get along really well — we’re all having fun.”