Most members of most teams look forward to their season all year.
Not the rugby teams.
Those students who choose to play this somewhat chaotic sport get a bonus--they play both a fall and a spring season. And for the Harvard women's rugby team, the spring is looking mighty promising.
After a highly successful fall tour, the women who like to ruck are out to build on that.
"We have a very athletic team," junior Valeria Scott, president of the club, said. "We have the potential to do pretty well."
For the first time in a number of years, the team's roster has grown to over forty members. And although about half of these women are in their first season, having a plethora of players helps.
In the past, the lack of bodies has hurt the Radcliffe crew, making scrimaging in practice virtually impossible. This, as one can imagine, has hurt the squad. But with its beefed-up roster, this team is ready to play.
The team is captained by junior Kathryn Cahir and senior Iris Tong. Other officers of the club include sophomores Jane Dopkins and Fran Maxime (Co-Social Chairs) and Sarah Varela (treasurer).
One of the team's key players is senior eightwoman Alex Williams. Williams's strength and experience have been essential in the squad's success over the last few years. Williams also plays an important role in the scrum, which has provided a lot of scoring for the team.
At the front of the scrum are props Ann Murray '93 and Kiernan Ignacio '93 and hookers Joy DeJesus '94 and Margaret O'Neil '92. Chair and Heather Kaufman '92 look to be the flankers, as ex-flanker Varela has moved to scrum-half since Keiko Morris '92 broke her leg during the fall season. Second-Row Megan Todd '91 will line up with either Dopkins or Maxime in the middle of the scrum. Williams rounds out the back of the scrum in the eighth slot.
"Our scrum is very strong and will play a key role," Cahir said, "but our backs have gained experience and are pretty speedy. They will contribute."
Tong is the fly-half, while Scott is the inside center, and senior speedster Yolanda Lewis fills the outside center position. Taimi Barty '94 will fill one of the wing positions, while the other has yet to be solidified.
Radcliffe's main competition will come outside of the Ivy League and mostly in tournament play. After a match with neighboring Tufts in early April, the team will compete in the Seven Sisters Tournament at Bryn Mawr, PA on April 13 and 14. A week later the squad will play in the Ivy Tournament, which the team chose to compete in instead of the New England Tournament.
While the fall season features mostly games, the spring schedule is made up of tournaments, thus taking on a more "random" quality, according to Cahir, because anything can happen when three or four contests are played in a weekend.