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Club Sports Highlight: Women’s Rugby

Colleen Mearon ‘21

Staff Writer 

The Women’s Rugby team is one of 18 club sports here at Merrimack, and has had a presence on campus since 2011. Senior Captains Clare Markey and and Kylah Keefe lead the team, with guidance from Head Coach Christian Lavallee. The team is a part of the Rugby North East Conference, playing against 7 other teams at the D2 level in the 2nd tier. The team that lands in first place for the conference is sent to the national tournament, which Merrimack had the honor of attending in 2014. The women came in fourth place while representing the RNE in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and are hoping to have as successful of a season this year as they did in 2014.

“This year I am looking forward to how our team is going to grow,” junior Vice President of the team Ryan Krahn mentioned. “We have a lot of new girls who have never played the sport before but are picking up on the game quickly, which is allowing us to succeed during games.” 

The team is very open to beginner players, as most of the team is made up of women who have not played before college. Despite the new players, Krahn explains, “…the team is looking great this year. Leading the back is me, and leading the pack is our captain Kylah Keefe. This is great for teaching purposes and… allows us to work extremely well and have each other’s backs on the field.” 

The ruggers started their season at home on September 21 against local team UMass Lowell, falling short with a final score of 31-12, despite an early lead. The Warriors quickly turned around a week later against St. Anselm, defeating the Hawks 19-17.

“I am extremely happy with the results of our two matches… the second match of this season was my first win on this team since I joined the team,” Krahn explained. “We are working great as a unit and I think if this continues we are going to have a great season, which will set us up for success in the spring when we compete in tournaments.”

The team is working hard for a strong season, and will head to Middlebury College for their next match on Sunday, October 6 against the Panthers. The next home game for the Warriors will be Saturday, October 19 against Southern Connecticut State University. 

“We accept girls at any point in the season and are always learning and improving our game so it is never too late to join. Rugby is a sport for everybody- any body type, size, and shape can play which is why we all love the sport so much,” Krahn said.

Students interested in joining the team should email clubwomensrugby@merrimack.edu, direct message  the team’s social media accounts, or reach out to the captains or Matt Gordon, the director of all club sports.  

Stay tuned for full-length interviews with members of the rugby team, which will be located on the Beacon’s website as well as the MCTV YouTube page.