Women’s rugby program debut doesn’t disappoint


Photo courtesy of @unewhavenwrugby on Instagram

Women’s rugby poses after their program debut win, West Haven, CT, Sept. 6, 2021.

In February, University of New Haven athletic director Sheahon Zenger announced the addition of women’s rugby as the university’s 18th varsity sport. Last Monday afternoon, the program made their season and home debut hosting Manhattanville College.

It was a battle of first-year coaches. Head coach of the Chargers, Emily Record, made her debut looking to lead her team to victory in front of the home crowd while head coach of the Valiants, Frank Graziano, also made his coaching debut looking for his first win on the road. The Chargers put on an impressive show, defeating the Valiants 17-5 in the first match and 14-10 in the second match.

It took only three minutes for the Chargers to find the tryline and get onto the board to take the lead. Once the Blue and Gold scored their first try, they didn’t look back on their way to the 17-5 match victory.

Match two saw the Chargers battling from behind as the Valiants scored first 10-0. Damaris Williams came away with her first try of the season to cut into the lead, followed by a conversion completion by Cynthia Chavez to make it 10-7.

Team captain Sydney Dela Cruz finished her second Charger try of the afternoon, followed by a conversion to give the Blue and Gold a 14-10 lead. The defense of the Chargers was called upon after gaining the lead and the team held the Valiants off the tryline to win in match two.

On Sept. 18, the Chargers will travel to Yale to face off against Bentley University.