Prior to Sunday’s matchup, the Mounties defeated the UNB Varsity Reds in a historic game, breaking UNB’s 41-game regular season winning streak that goes back to 2016. Mt. A coach Whitney Callaghan spoke about the win: “It definitely puts wind in our sails,” she said, “I think it’s a big opportunity for us and shows we’re capable of a lot this season.”
Coach Callaghan also touched on what she likes most about her team: “They’re very passionate, committed, and their excitement for rugby is a reason why [they] were able to improve so much.”
Fresh off an ACAA all-conference award last season, co-captain Harley Siddall spoke of her and the team’s excitement about playing on homecoming. “I’m excited to have the Mt. A community back us here at home,” she said, “I think that will be really pivotal [for] how we do in a game.”
Being someone “big on community,” Siddall says, “it’s hard to put into words” what it means to be co-captain of the team. “I couldn’t be more grateful that coaches and players alike trust me on and off the field to motivate and encourage others,” Siddall said. “Having the captain role allows me to build a positive and inclusive community.” As the team continues to build and improve post-COVID, her biggest team goals this year are to have fun, support, and grow alongside one another.
Because they are a club team, much of their income comes from fundraisers and self-funding, all going towards player and safety equipment. Siddall says to keep an eye out for partnerships with local businesses along with events on the women’s rugby Instagram (@mtawrfc). Other than that, “crowd support is huge,” says Siddall, so be sure to attend regular season and playoff home games! After playing rugby for the past eight years, Siddall looks to continue playing after graduation.
First-year student Alex Warman scored in her first Mt. A game against UNB and looked to continue making a presence against UKC. Warman spoke about her excitement for her first-ever homecoming game. “It is homecoming, It is iconic […], we are going to have the home crowd here to support us,” says Warman. Partnered with this excitement, Warman admits to being a little nervous —“we don’t want to disappoint our [home] fans, so we have to put on a show.” Warman also wanted to give a special shoutout to her teammate and sister Kenzie Warman who is in fourth-year, “it is like you are playing the sport you love with people you love too.”
As an up and coming player, I asked Warman about what strengths she brings to the team. “I think I am a hard runner, I’m always hungry for the ball and looking to anticipate the play that’s about to happen.” Aside from skills on the field, Warman adds that she hopes to “bring a lot of energy to the team and pump the other girls up.” Warman, who comes from a football background says she has been playing sevens rugby for the past two years, but this is the first time she has played 15’s. For reference, Rugby sevens is made up of a team with three forwards and four backs while 15’s includes eight forwards and seven backs. Sevens is also a much shorter match than 15’s. One of Warman’s personal goals in her first-year is to “observe the older girls on the team, [and] see how they [play] and balance being a student athlete.” Lastly, Warman said: “as a team, if we can look back on ourselves and the work that we put in, then that’s all I want.”
A notable performance gave the Mounties their second win of the season on Sunday, with a score of 47-5. A shortage of UKC players technically caused a forfeit on their behalf, however, both teams played a scrimmage of rugby 10’s. This change was no problem for the Mountie squad as they powered through in the first half and took a commanding lead. UKC scored their first try in the second half and prevented another influx of Mt. A tries as they strengthened their defense.
The women’s rugby team is off to a strong 2-0 start. Keeping their positive mindset and team-centered ideology will be critical for results in the coming weeks. The Mounties look to stay undefeated when they play at home on October 1 at 2 p.m.