Women’s rugby celebrates 25th anniversary

The Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club (WWRFC) is a team that is legendary for its incredible speed, strength and endurance – both on and off the pitch. This past Saturday, alums returned for commemorative events honoring the 25th anniversary of the Williams women’s rugby.

After an outstanding, late-night Friday practice, the Used Bagges were set to go. Though some may have complained of ailments such as headaches and general malaise, it was obvious that the WWRFC should also be know for its modesty as well.

Their moves on the pitch, even during the warm-ups, brought tears to the current players eyes. Such beauty is rarely seen on the rugby pitch.

The WWRFC alums have gone many different ways, although rugby stays close to their hearts. So close, in fact, that they count a World Cup player (“Poopy”) and several National players among their ranks. This talent was obvious from the very start, when a fabulous kick-off return set up the first of eight tries for the Used Bagges.

The “alum scrum” rucked over the ball, showcasing their strength and finesse in getting the ball out to their speedy line. The line had mad skills. This includes, but is not limited to, incredible pratfalls that involve Moira Shanahan ’01 and her Monstro-sized feet.

Shanahan shrugged off the incident later saying, “I was just glad that I wasn’t the one wearing the jersey today. I thought that people were just dripping with sweat, until I realized that there was a shower on the field. That made me feel better until I saw Liz Sterling ’02 melt into a little puddle.”

Shanahan won MVP for the UB line, while Rebecca Rehm ’00 won for the scrum. Rehm had several excellent punches, and broke through the nearly impenetrable current players defense.

A special honor that went out that day was to the “newest bride,” Gina Coleman ’90. Coleman dazzled the crowd with her incredible endurance and commitment to the task on hand. Whether it is her lethal stiff-arm, or her gracious acceptance of the honor bestowed, Coleman attributed her success to two words: “circular breathing.”

Finally, the MVPs for the current players were Virginia Despard ’02 (scrum) and Caroline Messmer ’02 (line). Mistaking the trophy bowl for a nasal enema, Messmer snarfed the fine product of Milwaukee up her nose in a dazzling imitation of some sort of twisted fountain. Despard was much classier, accepting her award with the smooth operatorness that she is known for.

The whole weekend was a fabulous one for the WWRFC. Seeing the incredible alums, including the now-famous Gulag and the way too musical Mel, provided an inspiration for the current team as they prepare to tackle their upcoming opponents.

Next on the team’s agenda is the annual Beantown tournament. After that, two home games will follow – Wesleyan (Sept. 22) and Smith (Sept. 29). All games start at 11 a.m.