The MARFU U-23 Women's All Star Program is proud to announce it's roster for the 2007 NASC. Players were selected from the fall LAU All Star Championships, the MARFU U-23 Developmental team, and this weekend's open tryouts.
After the weekend of tryouts, which included a full day of training and 2 matches against the NoVa women's first and second sides, 24 players plus 4 alternates were identified. An unforeseen cancellation of the Northeast/MARFU Senior warm up match allowed some of the senior MARFU players to take the pitch with NoVa, providing the young sharks with a very challenging opponent.
"Testing the candidates against a top division 1 team is the perfect finish to our selection cycle. We know the competition in Blaine is going to be tough, so we look for players who can really push the bar both defensively and offensively. Slotting 2 wins against NoVa this weekend was just a bonus - finding the right players enroute was what we were ultimately after"
The NoVa women awarded #8 Kate Daley (Penn State) and #12 Amber Benlian (Maryland Stingers) MVP honors for the first game, and #13 Lauren Rosso (Penn State) MVP honors for the second game. "We've been exploring a lot of new ways to create space on offense, and as a result we were able to get players like Vanesha McGee (Philadelphia Women) and Liz Inkellis (Princeton) and Sarah Miller (James Madison) into the try zone several times. We are really excited for the NASC, especially our first match against the Midwest".
Next Saturday at 1:00 the U-23 Sharks will take on the DC Furies in a final warmup match. Interested parties can find details and directions at http://www.girlsplayrugby.com/marfu-u23 .
Amber Benlian, Maryland Stingers (c)
Katy Black, Westchester University
Kathleen Brady, James Madision
Julia Brown, University of Delaware
Laurie Bryan, Virginia Tech
Stephanie Burkhardt, Westchester University
Nicole Coffineau, Virginia Tech
Kate Daley, Penn State
Allison Dolan, LaSalle University
Liz Inkellis, Princeton
Lori Kenuk, University of Delaware
Allurie Kephart, Penn State
Fontaine Lloyd, Penn State
Vanesha McGee, Philadelphia Women (vc)
Sarah Miller, James Madison
Allison Myers, Philadelphia Women
Carrie Perdue, University of Virginia
Emily Shiflett, University of Virginia
Emily Tunney, Philadelphia Women (vc)
Elizabeth Walsh, University of Delaware
Lauren Rosso, Penn State
Sheri Villa, American University
Khanh Vu, Penn State
Rachel Warden, NoVa
Alison Worman, Penn State
Lisa E Rosen - Head Coach
Roshna Wunderlich - Assistant Coach
Deb Yates - Manager
Jen LaFalce - Athletic Trainer
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The MARFU U-23 Women's All Star Program is proud to announce it's roster for the 2007 NASC. Players were selected from the fall LAU All Star Championships, the MARFU U-23 Developmental team, and this weekend's open tryouts.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
MARFU U-23 All Star Tryouts - THIS WEEKEND!
May 19th and 20th 2007, are the MARFU U23 Women's All Star tryouts in the Washington, DC area. May 19th will be an open tryout - a coach's recommendation IS NOT required, however, competing players should have competence at general rugby skills, good to excellent fitness, and a fantastic attitude :) .
This is NOT a clinic for beginning players. We will spend the day learning the techniques, style of play, and communication tools that the MARFU U23 squad will use. Individual skills, fitness, and team play will be assessed throughout the day.
Saturday, May 19th
MARFU U23 Open Tryout Camp
Colmar Manor Pitch (3200 37th Avenue, Bladensburg, Maryland)
Open to all USA Rugby CIPP registered, female MARFU players under the age of 23 on Jan 1, 2007.
Check-in 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Warm-up 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Morning Session 10 AM...
Sunday, May 20th
MARFU U23 Matches vs. NoVa Women
Gravely Point Pitch (near National Airport)
All selected MARFU Players(based upon previous day's tryouts or other accommodations) should report to the field time specified at the end of Saturday tryouts.
Two full matches will be played.
What to bring to Saturday's tryout camp:
* Please bring your own LUNCH and WATER - there is a Subway near by if needed.
* Please bring your own kit needs (boot, mouthguards, tape, pre-wrap) including a LIGHT and DARK shirt.
* Signed waiver form.
* There is a nominal $10 fee per player to participate in the tryout camp.
* Please also have your insurance information available.
* Your USA Rugby CIPP number (can be found on www.usarugby.org).
Players who are unable to attend Saturday's session due to graduation conflicts but still wish to compete for a spot need to contact Lisa/Deb ASAP. All exceptions must be arranged in advance.
Pre-registration is not required, however, in order to accurately plan and manage the day, it would be helpful to know who's coming. If you intend on coming to the camp, please drop us a line and let us know more about you. If you have rugby-related questions or concerns about your availability, please contact Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly.
Coaches are encouraged to provide information about players they believe can compete for a spot - the more details the better. Coaches are also welcome to attend and assist at tryouts. If you are a coach and are interested in attending, please email Lisa and let her know what your specialty is, what timeframe you're available and if you willing/capable to referee at all.
At the conclusion of Saturday's session, 40 players will be identified to return Sunday for two scrimmages against the NoVa Women's RFC. Other players are welcome to stay, however their participation in Sunday's activities will be limited. At the conclusion of Sunday's session, 28 players will be identified to be part of the official 2007 MARFU U23 team. This team will have a test match against the D.C. Furies on Saturday May 26th and travel to Blaine MN, Jun 12-17, to compete at the National All Star Championships, where we will play the other Territory U23 teams in Tier A.
Details are always being posted here on our website regarding specific venue locations etc. Please disseminate this email to interested players, and let's plan for a terrific weekend of rugby. We hope to see lots of you there!
Lisa E Rosen
MARFU U23 Head Coach
MARFU U23 Team Manager
Monday, May 14, 2007
Rather than repost to the comments, I'm bringing this back to the top. Original post is here.
It seems that someone with inner knowledge of the Eastern Illinois program has posted in defense of the comments on www.collegerugbyamerica.com, though that individual chooses to post as "Anonymous". From the content and tenor of your posts, Anonymous, it seems as if you must be someone with the program, so why don't you let us know who you are?
In summary, this individual states that there is no disrespect intended to the "clubs", but until state sports organizations manage rugby as they do other high school sports, the term "high school rugby" can't be used. Likewise, in colleges across the country where rugby is managed as a club sport, the term "college rugby" can't be used.
This claim was backed up by a response to a query to the webmaster at collegerugbyamerica.com ...
"In order to be considered high school rugby, the term must consist of
possession of high school varsity teams who are sponsored by a state
athletic association. Currently, here are no high school varsity girls
rugby teams in the U.S. All information is absolutely correct. High
school age club rugby exists all over the country yes, but the term
high school rugby is not valid as high school track, high school soccer
or high school lacrosse is."
That's interesting ... I had no idea that those terms were copyrighted. Who exactly owns the copyright to "Girls High School Rugby"? Who owns the copyright to "College Rugby"? GIVE ME A BREAK! Stop the BS. Fix the site and represent the state of the sport accurately.
FYI the email response also had no name attached to it - just "email@example.com". He or she who is speaking for rugby in America, identify yourself!
OK, I'm being to judgmental. Let's give Anonymous the benefit of the doubt. Let's let the NCAA tell us what the state of the sport is in the United States. I went to the NCAA site entered "rugby" as a search term. It came back with two pages.
The first refers specifically to the state of rugby in the USA, and provides information on it as an NCAA emerging sport.
Level of Participation (high school club/college club):
3,225 girls participating in high school club rugby.
11,000 women collegiate club rugby players.
347 total women's collegiate rugby clubs.
What's this? People are playing rugby? I WOULD HOPE SO, OTHERWISE WHY WOULD THE NCAA NAME IT AS AN EMERGING SPORT? Coach Graziano's statements on collegerugbyamerica.com that he MUST recruit athletes for rugby from other sports, because there IS NO GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL RUGBY IN THE USA, is completely mis representative and misleading. The NCAA has no problem telling the world how many players participate in club and college rugby at the high school and collegiate level, why do you? And yes, Anonymous, i can see that they say "High School Club", and Collegiate Club". I get the distinction, it's about the word CLUB. The point is, they are not saying "THERE IS NO GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL RUGBY", like collegerugbyamerica.com is. The NCAA is telling the truth.
The NCAA site also says this, on the same page:
Remarks: Rugby is one of the largest and continually growing club sports in the United States with almost 350 collegiate women's clubs already in existence. USA Rugby currently provides start-up kits to assist newly formed clubs become successful on-campus teams. In addition, the International Olympic Committee Program Commission has recommended rugby be added as an Olympic sport for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
I get where you are coming from, Anonymous. Varsity, varsity, varsity. That's excellent! I totally support the movement of rugby into a varsity model. But not this way. Varsity programs need to make the sport better, not worse. You state in your comments that "rugby is currently a non-sanctioned club sport at all levels". It's a TOTALLY SANCTIONED CLUB SPORT! Universities with rugby CLUBS manage them through club sports offices, CIPP their players, oversee budget and fund raising activities, manage coaches, and YES, even have "codes of conduct". This is not 20 years go. Club sports, rugby specifically, is NOT what it used to be.
Let's keep digging. One of the things that varsity rugby has always come up against was the idea that it's participants can't play select sides or for the USA. I know from my own personal experience that players at a particular institution were told they could not participate in the USA U19 program, because it was "against NCAA bylaws". REALLY...
Here, according to the NCAA web site, are the "PROPOSED" laws for rugby.
There are in fact some specifications about not playing "amateur rugby" during the school year. But scroll down a little further ...
220.127.116.11.2.2 Olympic and National Team Development Program
There are no limits on the number of student-athletes from the same institution who may participate in Olympic and national team development programs. Such programs may also include a coach and student-athlete from the same institution, provided:
(a) The national governing body (NGB) conducts and administers the developmental program;
(b) The NGB selects coaches involved in the developmental program; and
(c) The NGB or the selected coaches select the involved participants. (Revised: 2/21/02)
WOW! National Team Development programs? You mean like the NASC? Seriously? I'm willing to bet there are some athletes at EIU who would love the chance to represent their country. This is great news!
So just one last detail...
Anonymous says in his or her post that "No club team, in any sport can come close to matching the fitness and athleticism of a NCAA sport."
When challenged by AOF to explain a lost to Texas A&M (a group of "less athletic club players), Anonymous cited that a top scorers was injured. PLEASE! How about just acknowledging that Texas A&M were better. No, rather than acknowledging that perhaps the athletes at Texas A&M were as good or better, Anonymous gave the Texas A&M coach the kudos .. "the Texas A&M coach is very talented and a great guy." I'm sure he's a terrific coach, but don't some of those "club athletes" deserve SOME of the credit? Why is it so hard to acknowledge that at least some club athletes work and train as hard as varsity athletes?
Anonymous goes on to direct us to the EIU website where we can read about EIU's awesome season and record breaking statistics. I was expecially impressed by the "124-0 thrashing" of the Spartans. Hopefully those terrific athletes (and don't get me wrong - there is no doubt there are some great athletes) that are coming to rugby from other sports to play at EIU will get a chance to challenge themselves in hard games against great competition, and possibly even get a chance to represent their country, since the NCAA says they can!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So this link got gchatted to me today ... http://www.collegerugbyamerica.com.
And usually I don't blog mad. Today I am blogging mad.
At first i thought AWSOME! Another step forward towards NCAA Women's Rugby. Awsome!
And then I started reading. This site claims its the "OFFICIAL site of Women's College Rugby". Really? There's no NCAA logo - and USA Rugby, with it's NCAA Initiative isn't even mentioned. I'm not sure who owns this site (a whoisquery has it registered to godaddy.com, so just a service), but it FULL of misinformation and certainly misrepresentative.
There's a prominent interview with Frank Graziano, the EIU Head Coach - and no disrepect intended, but some of his statements are flat out WRONG, and I'm pretty sure it's not an accident.
For example, when asked about recruiting, Coach Graziano states:
"With no high school rugby anywhere in the U.S., the cross-over athlete provides the recruiting base for our program". Are you kidding me? There's high school rugby everywhere! EVERYWHERE! Here in Eastern Penn, there are over 30+ girls high school teams.
That statement is echoed, in italics, in bold on the girls high school page. "College Rugby America recognizes the long overdue need for the formation of girls high school rugby. Currently, there is no girls high school rugby anywhere in the United States".
That's right Divine Savior, Kent, Budd Bay, Haverford, Blackhearts, Conestoga, Summit, Littleton etc etc etc. YOU DON'T EXIST.
You wanna be really pissed, everyone who's played rugby in college? Look at THIS page. The first college rugby program was EIU in 1998? I'll bite on the first NCAA program ... but DON'T IGNORE THE REST OF US!!! I played college rugby in 1982!
There is a press release about the newest multi-sport athletes. All are from EIU.
And then there is the "National U18 Development Program". There's much talk of camps to prep athletes for college rugby. According to the site, "This is the only program in the nation designed for the development of future college rugby student-athletes." Really? So what about the Penn State Camp? The East Stroudsberg Camp? The camps run by the USA U-19 Program? The camps run in Minnesota by MARF? The DOZENS of camps run across the nation by club and college programs every summer and winter? Seriously, this is the ONLY camp in the whole country tailored for college rugby student-athletes? I cry b#@$#@*(t.
Let's take a look at the staff for these camps. WAIT, its the EIU staff!
Hey, there's a section where we talk about laws... WAIT, it's with Coach Graziano!
Ok - so granted, I'm a little pissed. Everyone has the right to recruit and recruit and recruit. But DO NOT misrepresent your program our your place in the world. There are hundreds of high school programs in the country. Oh, they don't have a varsity label? That doesn't mean they don't exist. How many high school rugby players were on PSU's winning team this year? LOTS - and I bet more than a few of them attended the PSU camp when they were in high school. I bet the same goes for Stanford. I know that the high school programs in Colorado and Minnesota and Seattle are pumping out international caliber athletes.
DO NOT Represent your staff and your camp as the only people in the country running development programs. Somewhere along the line someone identified and coached all the student athletes playing, and it was someone other than Coach Graziano. There are SO MANY PEOPLE - "big" names and "no" names working their asses off to develop the high school rugby athlete, working their asses off to get them ready for the best college rugby experience - and this web site is representing itself as the "OFFICIAL" source of pretty much everything. USA Rugby HAS an official NCAA initiative - and the aren't even mentioned!
This is not the official anything. It's a marketing tool for Eastern Illinois University, and its misrepresentations are insulting (I can't speak for the whole rugby community, but I'm insulted). You DO NOT represent everyone. Put the EIU logo on this site and make it right.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Last weekend the MARFU U23 program kicked off its 2007 campaign by entering a developmental U23 team in the Washington Ruggerfest, hosted by the DC Furies.
The tournament is one of the largest spring tournaments on east coast and features three tiers of competition. The MARFU U-23 Developmental team entered the middle tier, along with Developmental teams from the DC Furies, Nova, and Beantown, and National Division II Club finalists Albany.
We worked hard to get the roster just right - to have the appropriate depth at each position, and just enough top-level experience raise everyone's level. 2005 & 2006 veterans Emily Tunney (Philadelphia Women) and Amber Benlian (Maryland Stingers) provided stellar leadership as captain and vice captain respectively, while Georgetown's Katie Welter and American University's Sherri Villa returned to the teams vastly improved from last year. Villa put in one of the strongest solo efforts at the tournament, showing speed, creativity and flair both offensively and defensively, while Welter was a rock at fullback, dangerous under the high ball and dead accurate with her open field tackles.
The remaining 18 players were all new to the program, and were identified at the MARFU U-23 LAU Round Robin Tournament.
The group gathered Friday evening for a 2 hour training session - after introductions were done we reviewed our game plan for the weekend, got a little light contact in, defined our communication system, and adjourned for the evening.
Saturday's first match was a bit rough against the DC Furies Developmental side. DC was peppered with veteran select side players, and we were still learning each others names. While everyone adjusted to a new system of play, we held the Furies to 2 tries but were not successful getting into the tryzone. After some light work on our ball retention techniques, the team met the Village Lions Saturday afternoon and turned in much improved 10-0 performance. We steadily improved throughout the day and even through each match. The players got to know each other all a little better during a team dinner in the city, and did some goal setting to improve Sunday's performance.
Sunday was set up as a "play till you lose" day. We faced the Albany Siren's at 9:00am, and were able to really stretch our legs. Albany was tough at the breakdown and very strong ball in hand, but our strength 1-22 was the difference, and we entered the semi finals after a 29-0 victory.
Our semi-final match, it turned out, was a rematch against the DC Furies developmental team. Now the the team was getting comfortable with each other, and bolstered by a very unusual coin toss, the team approached the match relaxed and focused. After an even first half, we were finally able to put players through gaps - and twice Shippensburg center Danielle Dincher and University of Delaware wing Elizabeth Walsh were able to 2 v 1 the fullback for a score. At full time the score was 19-5, an impressive turnaround against a very challenging opponent.
Our third and final game of the day and fifth of the tournament was literally a battle of youth vs experience, as we faced always dangerous, always sneaky Back in Black in the second division final. Back in Black is an over-30 touring sides, but there's nothing weak or slow about these women. With players like Nancy Fitz, Krista McFarren, Dana Creager, and more too numerous to name, it is a team that makes a habit of winning tournaments. Back and Black blew through the early rounds undefeated, and we knew we would be in for a hard contest.
Within the opening minutes hooker Sherri Villa foiled a Back in Black attacked, kicking her own poached ball ahead into the tryzone and winning the race to ground it. Back in Black answered shortly after with a try of their own, as two attackers broke free and smoothly finished with room to spare. The U23s keep the pressure up, but the ball handling and continuity skills of Back in Black proved a little too much to handle as three more tries were put in prior to half.
We started off the second half strong, with fresh legs substituted in bulk, and midway through the second half Villa executed practically a carbon copy of her first try. Flanker Lindsay Wick was tremendously effective defensively, while Tunney and Belian strung together some nice penetrating attacks at the fringe and in the midfield. Welter was again solid defensively, stopping the lone runner repeatedly, but whenever Back in Black could create the 2 v 1 they were successful in finishing. Final score 30 - 10, Back in Black victors.
The spring developmental event is a prequel to the MARFU U-23 selection camp, which will be held in Washington DC May 19-20. Training camp will take place on May 19th, while matches against NOVA A and B will take place on Sunday the 20th. Players will be selected from this venue to represent the Mid Atlantic at the U-23 National All Star Championships in Blaine Mn this June.
The selection camp is open to all age-eligibile players who are members of MARFU. For details, visit http://www.girlsplayrugby.com/marfu-u23 or contact Head Coach Lisa Rosen.
MARFU U-23 Dev, Ruggerfest 2007:
Allison Dolan - LaSalle University
Lori Kenuk - University of Delaware
Sherri Villa - American University
Lisa Hrunka - Shippensburg University
Ally Clements - Virginia Tech
Ashley Keen - Drexel University
Meredith Black - Virginia Tech
Janet Finely - James Madison
Elizabeth Scerbo - James River
Emily Tunney (c) - Philadelphia Women
Lindsay Wick - Brandywine Women
Julie Brown - University of Delaware
Erin Rideout - Mary Washington
Allison Myers - Philadelphia Women
Amber Benlian (vs) - Maryland Stingers
Laurie Bryan - Virginia Tech
Danielle Dincher - Shippensburg
Jeanna Beard - UMBC
Misha Heller - DC Furies
Elizabeth Walsh - University of Delaware
Sarah Foster - University of Virginia
Katie Welter - Georgetown
Manager - Deb Yates
Head Coach - Lisa Rosen
Assistant Coach - Roshna Wunderlich
Local Coordinator - Gabe Ortiz
Friday, May 04, 2007
This isn't technically a coaching post, rather a question for the general public about policy and practice.
Let me preface my question/comments by saying unequivocally that I respect and honor the hard work and challenges that referees and referee organizations accross the country face week after week and month after month. This is NOT a commentary on the quality of refereeing, just a question of policy/practice.
Are there any guidelines anyone knows about that speak to referee allocations, and specifically refer to gender (of the teams, not the refs)? When the pool of available referees ranges from National Panel/B panel to C3, what guidelines do allocations groups across the various territories and even outside the USA use to determine which matches get what refs?
Has anyone been in a situation where, as a matter of policy and practice men get higher rated refs than women?
In my area, if all things are equal (ie everyone has a matrix match), senior men (of various divisions), men's D1 college, and men's D2 college will be allocated the highest available refs, and then in the pecking order (i think - there might be another level of men in there) is women senior D1. This is due to "the higher pace and intensity" of these matches. One can imagine where women's collegiate D2 etc rates in the mix ....
I'm curious as to how kosher this is. Are collegiate men's matches across the various divisions generally perceived to merit a higher level referee than Division 1 club women? Do men in general merit a higher level ref than women because of the pace of the game? Is there some common sense going on here that I don't see? Is there a pecking order?
I recently got to spend some time with a very high level men's program (TU Select Side +), and really, the "level of play" is similar across the genders. The men of course are faster, hit harder, change direction quicker, etc, but there aren't any super secret tactical or technical things that go on in a men's game vs a women's game that only a higher level referee would recognize.
EVERYONE wants the best ref available for their match - especially for big matches. Is it OK to say "first the men, then the women"? I mean, we all pay the same dues, and a ref doesn't get paid more for a men's game than a women's game so .... ?
Since it's taboo (in pretty much all unions) to bring in a hired gun "ringer" referee from another union to ref a big match, we are pretty much in a situation where we get what we get. I know, I know - pick up a whistle. We have several folks on our team who actively ref, mostly high school and occasionally college matches. So - all credit and respect to all who blow the whistle .. I'd love to hear your take on this particular issue. Please chime in!