August 9, 2011

Merrimack Men's and Women's Rugby Set for Inaugural Rugby Northeast Season

Men’s Fall Schedule / Women’s Fall Schedule

The Merrimack College men’s and women’s rugby teams have announced the fall portion of their 2011-12 schedule as first-year members of the newly formed Rugby Northeast Conference.  Both teams kick off the season on September 24.

Merrimack students interested in joining the clubs this fall should contact the teams’ respective captains via e-mail (Men: Matt Kirkham: kirkhamm@merrimack.edu; Women: Sarah Chambers: chambers@merrimack.edu)

The men’s team kicks off the season on September 24 on the road at Saint Michael’s College (2:00 pm) while the women play host to the Purple Knights at a time to be determined.

Both teams will be competing against familiar Northeast-10 Conference and Hockey East Association rivals throughout the fall as part of six-game stretch for the women and seven game schedule for the men.

"We're really excited about the upcoming fall season and the inaugural Rugby Northeast competition,” women’s head coach Chip Auscavitch said in early August.  “We certainly have our work cut out for us with some great teams in the conference, but each week we'll be playing against school rivals.  We are looking to lay a strong foundation for future seasons."

Rugby Northeast opponents include Stonehill College (NE-10), American International College (NE-10), UMass-Lowell (NE-10, HEA), Saint Michael’s College (NE-10), Saint Anselm College (NE-10), Bentley University (NE-10) and Providence College (HEA).  Click here for men’s and women’s complete schedules.

Coming off a strong year in 2010-11, the men’s team looks to build off an undefeated record of 5-0 before losing in the New England Rugby Football Union playoffs.

“I think last year we showed lots of promise but eventually did not reach our ultimate goal,” said senior captain Tyler Wimberly. “This year we hope to grow on the successes of last year.”

The women’s rugby team finished last spring with a 2-2 record and returns three seniors including flanker Chelsea Wilkes (Concord, MA), lock Danielle Schiavoni (Sag Harbor, NY) and 8-man Kristen Mackey (Methuen, MA).

Both the men’s and women’s teams are slated to play their home contests on the Warrior Field turf.  For more information, please visit the Merrimack College Club Sports home page.