The Coast Guard women's rugby club team enjoyed tremendous success this Fall as the Bears advanced all the way to the USA Rugby Women's Division II College Fall Championships Semifinals at Furman College in Greenville, S.C. for the first time in school history and finished ranked fourth nationally.
The Bears, who won the conference championship for the fourth straight season this year, had advanced to the National Round of 16 in both 2013 and again last season.
This year, the Bears absolutely dominated the opposition during the months of September and October winning all seven matches by a combined score of 423-5 including its only close match was a 17-5 win over the University of New Hampshire.
In the final game of the regular season head coach Bill Anderson started the B-side in the first half before putting the starters in as the Bears turned a 20-0 deficit into a 25-20 win. The Bears were 8-0 in the regular season, winning the final five games on the road and finished the year 11-2.
In the opening round of the playoffs, the Bears shutout Maine 32-0 and then jumped out to a 22-0 halftime lead led by two tries from junior outside center Angel Fay, who would add a third try in the 60th minute to finish the hat trick as the Bears beat fourth ranked Bloomsburg 48-22 to advance to the Round of 8.
In the Round of 8 game, junior Linda Drake and junior Emma Hvozdovich each scored tries as the Bears beat ninth ranked St. Michael's 22-17 to advance to the national semifinals for the first time.
Winona State beat the Bears 45-5 in the semifinals before Vassar edged the Bears 15-10 in the consolation game.
Sophomore Hayden Short and junior Linda Drake earned a spot on the All-tournament team as well as being nominated to the USA Rugby Collegiate All Star Camp while senior Hannah DelGuerico earned All-tournament honorable mention honors.
Also during the season junior Ashley Palmieri was named the Canterbury Player of the month in November.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team. Their dedication and drive to get better was fun to watch and coach," said Anderson. "We always say 15 as one, but it was really 35 as one as every player on this team contributed to its success. I would like to thank assistant coach LT Gilmore, president 1/c Erin Reynolds, and our captain's 2/c Ashley Palmieri and Marissa Rodriguez for all their hard work and leadership of the team."