WILMINGTON, Delaware- It is often said but seldom shown that hard work pays off. This weekend, the 24 women who represented the DC Furies in Delaware proved that the aphorism still rings true. After 8 hours of rugby, including 9 matches and a 20 minute final, the club walked away with a combined record of 7 wins, 3 losses, and a first place trophy.
Captains and coaches agree that the Furies’ showing at the tournament was successful for the first regional qualifier of the summer. Both squads seemed to begin the day with a shaky start but continued to show progress throughout the tournament, focusing on both the team and individual goals that were set before competition. Using the rest time to refuel, review performance and circle back to their original goals seemed to give the Furies what they needed to make their gradual climb to what resulted in a hard-fought victory over Nova for the first place trophy.
The Furies Elite side went into this weekend with a focus on executing and maintaining their defensive pattern throughout the series. The greatest challenge of the morning came in their first match vs Philly 1, who put up a hard fight by coming back to score twice in the second half. It did not take long for the Furies to find their bearings, however, as they quickly came back to defeat Nova 2, MD Exiles, and Scion with a 105-5 point spread. The highlight of the day came when the Furies went head-to-head with long-time rivals Nova 1 for the Championship Match. Going into the second half with a tied score at 10 a piece, the squad knew that they would need physical and mental endurance to overcome their opponents. Senior player Eli White was proud of the mental toughness that the squad exhibited in their final match. “I was impressed with our ability to stay confident and calm under pressure in a long and hard-fought final;” White said. “Our success stemmed from the fact that we worked well together as a team, working off the ball to support each other.” Special kudos to impact sub Katy Stewart, who not only offered fresh legs and hard-hitting tackles when entering the game in minute 12, but who also scored the game-winning try with only seconds remaining! Among notable players, Rhi Clark stands out, having contributing 3 tries to the final match. The Furies Elite defeated Nova 1 20-15 to win the tournament.
The Furies Developmental side created great momentum throughout the day heading into the plate final. They had a tough bracket in pool play starting with NOVA I and Scion I. While the Furies 2 lost to both teams they worked together to adjust their defense and force the attack to take the ball out wide. “Watching the match vs. Scion was really inspiring” said Senior player Eli White. “Our defense was smothering and showed a true never-give-up attitude.”Under the leadership of captain Angela Cole, the team managed to pull together a strong offensive attack combined with a consistent defense to win handedly over the Maryland Stingers. Tammy Bouma, having scored her first ever try only last weekend, scored many in pool play alone. Furies 2 went on to win against the Exiles. Gussie Maguire stepped up as fly half and did an excellent job of distributing the ball despite battling the flu. It was a physical match but again capitalizing on turnover balls and applying consistent defensive pressure lead to another win. Furies 2 advanced to the plate final against Philadelphia women. Philly scored early but the Furies countered to end the half at 5-5. Elena Clark had many tries throughout the day but her shining moment was in the plate final where she chased down a breakaway and tackled Philly right out the end of the try zone. It was a hard fought match but unfortunately Philly prevailed. It was a great day for rugby and a great day for the Furies 2 side to get time to play together.
Co-captain Jess Shipley looks back on the day with pride. “I’m really pleased with our consistent level of intensity and effort throughout the day. Obviously, winning the tournament was a great achievement especially for it being our first competitive tournament, but we know we have a lot to improve and will be getting back to work this week!”
Back to work indeed, as the Furies started Monday night’s practice with sprints and fitness. The squad will look to build off of what they learned this weekend to prepare for their hardest competition of the summer next weekend in Cape Fear, NC.