After two seasons of loss and heartbreak, the Springfield College Women’s Rugby team has had their first winning season. Led by captains Shannon Stanley and Kristiann Kassay and head coach Kristen Brosius, the team was able come out of the 2011 season with a 5-1 record, good enough to get them into the postseason and the No. 1 seed in the South Division.
When asked what it felt like to make the playoffs, Brosius replied, “It feels incredible and it feels right. With this particular group of girls, this is how it should be. They have heart, they’re passionate, they work hard, and this is what they deserve.”
In the first round of the playoffs, Springfield played Johnson State College but came up short 27-10. The Pride scored the first try of the game midway through the first half, but missed the kick. A few minutes later, Johnson State picked up a kick and brought it in for a score of their own. The kick was good, and they took the lead. Then after a few quick passes and a breakaway, Johnson State scored again to further their lead.
In the second half, Johnson State added another quick score off another breakaway to go up by three scores. The Pride scored another try but it was too little too late, as the Johnson defense was able to keep them from scoring the rest of the game. To cement their victory, the Badgers scored another try
“There’s a small margin for error,” said Brosius about the game. “We just let a few things slip. The other team had a few great breakaways and to their credit, they took advantage of the gaps.”
At the beginning of the season, Kassay and Stanley had the goal of making the playoffs and they have since succeeded. Although they lost in the first round, this is a huge step for the program. Kassay, who is a sophomore, hopes that the team will keep their interest in the sport and that they continue their success into the next few years.
“I think we can only go up,” said Brosius. “I think we’re just going to get better and better every year. They’re a fun group, they’re a family, and they love each other. I think we can only get better.”
With the success and momentum they gained this year, the Pride’s rugby team should become an even better team in the future and will continue to grow, not only as a team, but as a family. If they have learned anything from their past seasons, they know that you can only learn and get better from defeats, which they are very good at.
Nick Lovett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org