The women’s rugby teams’ 15th season started on Sept. 18 with their season opener against the University of New Haven Chargers in Connecticut. They started the season with a 66–0 win against the Chargers. They also faced the United States Naval Academy on Sept. 24.
This was the Golden Rams’ first game and win against the Chargers. They shut out the Chargers with a 66–0 score, scoring a total of 10 tries and eight conversions. The Chargers are in their second season as a varsity team.
Senior captain Heather Spangler opened the scoring in the first two minutes with her first try of the season and of her three in this match. She led the scoring with 15 points.
“It was an amazing turn of events, a really fun time and a great effort from the team,” Spangler said.
Sophomore Sara McNicholas had six successful conversion kicks for 12 points in the game.
Sophomore Brooke Crago scored two tries for a total of 10 points.
Freshman Taylor Baldwin scored her first collegiate 15s try as well.
The team scored a total of ten tries and eight conversions in the win. Other try scorers included graduate student Christelle Alce, graduate student Natalie Cruz and senior captain Faith Morley.
Alce’s try was a long run from one end of the field to another after the Golden Rams held the Chargers just meters from scoring.
Last season the team defeated the Navy 31–30 in a hard-fought win. After their first win, the Golden Rams looked to continue their streak against the Navy on Sept. 24 in a highly anticipated game.
The second half of the two-game homestand is a game against the Queens University of Charlotte Royals on Oct. 1. The game will take place on the South Campus Rugby Field at 10 a.m.
The team defeated the Royals last season 25–17 and will look to repeat that success. That game will also be the team’s senior night and the final home game of the season.
The next game will be away against Lander University later in October.
One of the top scorers from last season has returned to the team in a coaching role. Assistant coach Autumn Czaplicki finished her playing career with 192 total points from 38 tries and one conversion in 28 games played. In the team’s history, she has the seventh most tries scored.
The team also lost one of their best kickers, senior Julianna Aliprandi. Both Eckard and McNicholas have stepped up to fill that gap.
Despite these losses, the team has retained key players such as captain Bayla Shindledecker, who is in her second year as a captain of the team.
The Golden Rams are looking to return to the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) finals this season. They went undefeated last season until the championship game, where they fell to the American International College Yellow Jackets.
Ty Hickey is a second-year Media and Culture major. firstname.lastname@example.org