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Women’s rugby improves with new coaches

Women’s rugby improves with new coaches

By Lily Wageman

Section: Featured, Sports

October 23, 2015

The women’s rugby club team is a hidden gem of the athletic department. The team was founded in 2000 and has continued to develop a close-knit community since its foundation.

Some recent successes from the team came last season when the team won both of its games on the first day of the Beast of the East tournament in Rhode Island. Another highlight from last season was a 76-10 victory over Wellesley in a friendly match.

This season has been a little tougher with only one win over Mount Holyoke and two losses against University of New Haven and Framingham State University. The team won their match against Babson because they forfeited for a lack of players.

Sunday, Oct. 25 is the team’s last game, against Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

This season also brings change to the team, as they welcomed new head coach LauraBen (LB) Moore ’14 and assistant coach Ev Evnen Heller ’14. Continuing their captainship are Ahuva Hanau ’16 and Maggie Lacwasan ’17. The Hoot was able to interview both captains and gain insight into the rugby team.

Hanau, who plays at scrum-half, has been on the team since her freshman year. For the past two semesters, she’s been the leading scorer. Although out for the season because of a broken finger from the New Haven game, her goals for this season included improving tactical decision making.

She describes her leadership style as leading by example and “a lot of talking,” but she has been working with Moore to make this communication more specific. “LB has taught me a lot about how to ask leading questions to help teammates come to an understanding of what they need to do to improve themselves.” Hanau believes that rugby is empowering for women because “it’s great to play a sport that has all the same rules for men and women, even though it’s full contact. We also say that women’s rugby has a spot on the team for everybody, and I truly believe it.”

Lacwasan began playing rugby during her first semester and had only played field hockey and softball before. During the season, she aimed to improve her communication skills with her co-captain, coaches and teammates, as well as gain a better understanding of the game overall.

According to Lacwasan, her leadership style is to “show than tell” and “lead by example.” She also shares the same belief with her co-captain that rugby is an incredibly empowering sport and that “truly anyone can play rugby.” She further believes that rugby promotes a positive body image in women because “you can feel the strength in your own body when you tackle someone or when you’re making a sprint down field. It transforms your thinking about how your body looks into what it can do and I think that’s extremely powerful.”
Both captains expressed an enthusiasm and passion for rugby and the bond they feel toward all within the community. They encourage anyone with any interest in the sport to join the women’s rugby team and check out their Facebook page and their page on the athletics website.

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