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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Women’s rugby team works through rain, shine

Courtesy of Jade Glore
The prom dress match held during Serendipity exemplifies the camaraderie and spirit found on the women’s rugby team throughout the year.

“I did musical theater in high school, and then when I got to college I was like, I am 500 miles from home, and I don’t know what I’m doing,” said junior Taryn McFadden, president of the Guilford College women’s rugby team. “Let me do something that’s really out of my bubble and play the most 100 percent contact sport I can think of.”

The women’s rugby team is always recruiting new members and training every week with practice from 4 – 6 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“I’ve always played and loved team sports, but the rugby team is (more) than that,” said first-year Eva Lie-Nielsen in an email interview. “It’s like a family. I know it sounds cheesy, but those girls are always going to have my back.”

The team is bound by a sense of community and support for each other.

“I can’t even say that being on the women’s rugby team is like being in a family,” said junior Meredith Hudson in an email interview. “It is my family. After my (first) year, I was considering transferring … (until) I joined the rugby team.

“Through it, I found a diverse group of women who immediately welcomed me, laughed with me, cried with me and supported me.”

McFadden has also seen the team grow a lot since she joined her first year at Guilford.

“When you get to the point when you’re an older rugger, you do have to be an active member,” said McFadden. “I know I have been learning that every day, … and I have watched my fellow teammates learn that as well.

“I’m really proud of all of them for their commitment to the team and the kind of community that we’ve made.”

With so many members having graduated last year, the team is focusing on training new members, or ruglets. Ruglets are members who have played rugby for less than two semesters.

The best way for a ruglet to gain experience is to start tackling.

“Rugby has always been kind of a trial by fire,” said McFadden. “You learn by doing.”

Doing has been a challenge this semester because a lot of scheduled games have been rained out. This is hard on the team, especially one of Guilford’s small size.

“It … definitely decreases the morale for people that want to come to practice when we aren’t actually playing games,” said McFadden.

However, the team has not lost their spirit.

They have scheduled a home game against North Carolina State University on April 9, an away game at Elon University on April 23 and one in Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 30.

“When you look at our team, we come from every kind of athletic background,” said McFadden. “I truly think that there isn’t another team or club on this school that can claim the same.”

The sense of camaraderie the team evokes may be best represented by their annual glitter and prom dress game on Saturday.

“Serendipity, rugby and ridiculous dresses that we can ruin: what’s not to love?” said Lie-Nielsen.

On the sidelines during a short break, the team members bemoaned the difficulties of playing rugby in dresses, which were hard to move in and made it difficult to tell Guilford players from Elon.

“Most dresses were harmed in the making of this event,” said Hudson.

Muddy dresses or not, the mood was high. Junior Danni “Scooter” Lawrence-Cohen was overheard saying to her teammates, “I’m so excited. Let’s play rugby.”

As Hudson puts it, “(B)eing a part of the women’s rugby team is equivalent to being a part of a family that loves, supports and occasionally tackles each other to the ground.”

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Carson Risser, Staff Writer

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