Women’s Rugby to Play at Beast of the East


On April 14 and 15, the Women’s Rugby team will be in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to compete in the Beast of the East rugby tournament.

According to the Beast of the East website, the tournament hosts hundreds of men and women’s Division I, II, and III rugby teams from across the country. The teams play for two days, and end with one winner from each division. Last year, the University of New Haven’s women’s team came out on top.

Back captain Hannah Kozan, a junior marine biology major, will participate in her third tournament this year. Kozan described the Beast and what it was like to win in 2018:

“Playing three full games a day really puts a strain on your body but having that all pay off in the end really proves how hard this team works to achieve our goal,” said Kozan.

Pack captain Lucy Tartal, a junior majoring in criminal justice—investigative services, said that winning last year was one of the best experiences. Tartal said this tournament is “really cool because you get to be in an environment with lots of other teams and players who are also very passionate about the sport you love, so the energy is high.”

Kozan said the other teams know that they’re coming back for another win, so they have to work harder this season to achieve their goal. The other teams will be doing the same.

Recruitment chair Alex Stroffolino, a senior forensic science major, is making her debut in this tournament. Stroffolino said that it gets nerve-wracking because of the expectations from the division and the team, but she said she is confident that they can come together as a team and play the best they can. Stroffolino said she is excited to see the new girls show up and give their all, while watching the veteran players lead them through it.

Hope Cuomo, a freshman majoring in forensic science, said she is as excited to go. Cuomo said she wants to give her all, even though she’s only a freshman, and help bring the team to a victory for the second year in a row.

Tartal and Stroffolino said that rugby is great because of its physical challenges.

“Many people call it organized chaos…you’re always putting yourself through a new physical challenge and when you’re unable to go further, you have the rest of your team to carry you through,” said Stroffolino.  

Cuomo said her favorite part of the sport is that there is a spot for everybody, no matter who they are.

Kozan said, “This tournament is what we work for all spring. I am pretty excited for the new girls to experience it and become reigning champs for the second year.”