Updated: Feb 24
California is looking a little cleaner after the sweep that Women’s Rugby at ASU was able to accomplish with a final victory against University of California Santa Barbara this past weekend. Not only was this game crucial for the remainder of the season going into the playoffs for Women’s Rugby at ASU, but it was also bittersweet, as it was the annual Senior Appreciation game for the graduating ruggers on the team.
The final home game of the regular season started off with a Senior Appreciation ceremony prior to kickoff, where the graduating class of 2023 was recognized for their contribution to the Women’s Rugby at ASU club this season and seasons prior. It is notable that this senior group is the largest one that Women’s Rugby at ASU has seen in years and is filled with bright, talented, and hardworking young women who are looking forward to the future ahead of them. The senior group includes: Mari Bray, Nadia Current, Steph Davies, Hannah Goldman, Jensen Gomez, Jocsellys “Jojo” Nieves, Maelle Quartetti, Claire Walter, and Jaden Worrell.
As for the game, it was certainly a sight to see last Saturday morning. From kickoff to the final whistle, it was an aggressive battle between Women’s Rugby at ASU and UCSB Women’s Rugby. UCSB certainly had a team of talented players and was not an opponent to be taken lightly. But after 80 long minutes of play, Women’s Rugby at ASU earned the win, with a final score of 43-24. Senior, Hannah Goldman, who plays half back but was out this recent game due to a knee injury, loved the cohesion the team had last weekend as she supported from the sidelines. “I knew the team was going to go out and play hard and put in their best effort. I expect the same effort in the upcoming playoffs” Goldman said.
This win sealed the deal on a clean sweep for Women’s Rugby at ASU against all the California teams in their division. With this big win, the club is looking very promising for the approaching playoffs. There is no one with more faith in the team than sophomore and absolute diamond of the team, Sofina Hibbeln. Hibbeln has been out of play this season due to a shoulder injury but has been putting in overtime effort showing up for her teammates and being a constant voice of positivity and encouragement. “I expect great things,” Hibbeln said. “The team is made up of great talent and I know that when we work together, anything is possible.”
With an attitude like that, Women’s Rugby at ASU is sure to continue making their mark in their conference this Spring. Women’s Rugby at ASU is now going into the next few weeks with a mindset of preparation and determination. Their next and final game of the regular season is on March 25 against Arizona rival, University of Arizona, in Tucson. Women’s Rugby at ASU will be taking the next few weeks to recover their bodies after playing a tough 5 games in 5 weeks and reset for their Arizona opponent.
This team has done great things this season already and is looking forward to finishing off the season on a high note no matter what. The women of this team continue to stay positive, show good sportsmanship to the teams in their conference, and understand that no victory is earned individually, but together. Women’s Rugby at ASU chose a word back in January that they wanted to set the tone of their season: Invictus. Meaning? Invincible. And the women of this very new team have fought through injury, adversity, and exhaustion these past 5 weeks by continuing to exude their collective mindset and be Invictus. With the season coming to a gradual close, it will be exciting to see what else this team can do.
Photographed by Susan Bray