Sara McNicholas. Photograph by Christopher Heffernan
After a month of only practice and no tournaments, sophomore Sara “Salsa” McNicholas is named rugby player of the month of March by Women’s Rugby Correspondent, Ty Hickey, based on her performance during practices.
McNicholas is in her second year of rugby for the Golden Rams. She joined the team in her freshman year with no prior rugby experience. She has grown as a player and is regularly the acting captain of the B-side in the 7s season.
“Sara has been improving constantly since she started playing rugby in fall 2021,” head coach Tony DeRemer said, “but I have seen extreme changes in the last few weeks and months.”
This spring 7s season, McNicholas’ improvements have made themselves well known in her play.
“She’s been working very hard in all areas and it has shown in her confidence level this spring,” DeRemer said.
She consistently gives 100% during practice and keeps her ears open to constructive criticism and opportunity to learn.
“You can really tell that she just wants to get better,” sophomore Brooke “Chips” Crago said.
McNicholas is a dedicated player for the Golden Rams. She is known to go to the gym outside of team lifts “working 24/7 for the past year.”
“She has been putting in work in practice, outside of practice, over the summer [and] during our breaks all while maintaining really good academics too,” Crago said.
As a stand out player on the field as well as academically, McNicholas majors in Exercise Science with a concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy.
“She is just as hard a worker on the field as she is off the field,” Crago said.
As McNicholas improves, so do the players around her.
“As Sara tries to progress she brings people up with her,” Crago said. “She has been a really big leader to the walk-on especially.”
The Golden Rams were originally scheduled to attend the Harvard University’s Crimson 7s in March but did not due to budget. This left them with no tournaments or contests in March.
As of April 9, McNicholas has six conversion kicks and one try for 17 points on the season. She has played and started ten games for the Golden Rams.
Honorable mentions to captain Faith Morley and first-year Mikayla Kizel. Morley has worked hard in practice to perform well and to lead the team. Kizel has had a stand-out first season of rugby with seven trys as of April 9.
The team has also qualified for the USA Rugby 7s Collegiate Championships taking place in Houston, Texas. The R7CC will span May 5 to May 7 and will feature the top 16 women’s and men’s teams in the country.
Ty Hickey second year media and culture major chinese minor