Women’s Fall 2016 Recap
A pep talk from Mark McCabe, a former USA Eagle and Charles River Rugby Alumnus, helped the River Rats kick off its fall season. The women’s team saw a lot of new faces—with Maggie Conley as the new head coach and about eighteen new rookies, CRWRFC’s size just about doubled. The great number of rookies in fall 2016 allowed for the smooth transition under Conley, whose enthusiasm, dedication and experience paved the way for a successful season.
In the season opener at Moakley Field, the Lady River Rats saw their first loss as a young team against Portland Rugby. At Amoskeag, CRWRFC lost a tough fight to a talented team with a final tally of 38 to 5. The Hartford Wild Roses posed yet another hurdle to a ‘W’ for the River Rats as they faced a loss of 13 to 5. These growing pains allowed the Lady River Rats to evaluate their weaknesses and regroup at practice in the coming weeks. Against Springfield, CRWRFC witnessed its hard work pay off in a rightfully earned win with a 17 point shut-out. The momentum from this success carried the Rats through the following week to its most important game of the season against Worcester. The motivation to beat this longstanding rival ramped up the Rat energy above its already abnormally high baseline. After what was likely its most challenging match, CRWRFC faced a disappointing loss to the Worcester Shamrocks. Despite this chink in the season record, the Rats patted themselves on the back for a job well done with its young team. The season closed out with an impressive win against North Shore Rugby, who trailed the rats by 17 points in a final score of 22 to 5.
All in all, the 2016 fall season, saw its ups and downs but the growth of the Lady River Rats was significant. Coach Maggie helped the Rats work as a forceful unit while allowing individual skill sets to shine. Her encouragement and guidance to operate more like a family than as a team has manifested an environment of comaraderie that feels as though a ruck is not merely an act to hold possession of the ball but rather to protect one’s own. It cannot be overstated that the Charles River Rugby Club is a home on a pitch that knows no bounds.