The start of a new school year brings a new beginning for the West Chester women’s rugby team as they gear up for the fall season. The Lady Rams are coming off of a tough loss in the NCAA tournament to Brown last year, as well as losing four outstanding athletes to graduation. But, the Golden Rams hope to use their veteran skill and experience, along with a host of incoming talent, to rise above and go further then they ever have into the national tournament this upcoming spring.Tuesday will mark the first day of practice, giving Coach Tony DeRemer, in his fourth year as the team’s head coach, a chance to see what he has to work with this year. The girls should be well ready and in shape for the season, as the trainer gave the team a set daily workout plan to keep up during the off-season. After a week of practicing and drills, DeRemer will announce the official roster.
A group of around ten freshmen are coming out for the team this season, ranging in all realms of talent, position, and experience. Some have been playing for years, up through high school, which is becoming evermore popular these days, while others have never touched a rugby ball before in their life. That is no problem at all though, as rugby is fairly easy to pick up; it just takes athleticism, determination, and fearlessness.
In addition to the incoming freshmen, the team has a slew of returning veterans from last year’s stellar season. These girls know how to get there, and should be able to guide the Ram’s to their fifth straight NCAA tournament.
A group of 15 veterans went down to Maryland two weeks ago to compete in the Atlantic Cup Tournament, which is a preseason tournament to get the teams out playing. It wasn’t anything serious, none of the games counted for anything, it was just to come out and get playing and have some fun.
West Chester’s first match-up was against the University of Maryland, whom West Chester will take on this coming fall season. They easily overcame the Terrapins, hopefully the same outcome as the next time they face them. Their second game was against a local women’s club team from Seven Rivers, where the girls were unable to come out on top. That’s no worry though, as it was just to get practicing, and it doesn’t count against them.
At this point, it looks as if the Lady Rams have as good a chance as they ever have had at qualifying for the NCAA tourney at the end of the season.
“If I could pick a team to go out on my senior year with, this would be it!” stated senior Erin Furlong.
Ryan Frisco is a second-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.