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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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The Statesman

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Women’s rugby program gains momentum

Coming off a competitive year, the “Black Widows” are looking to improve even more in the upcoming women’s rugby season. 

A division title is well within reach for the program that has been on the rise since its inception.  Over the past 20 years, the program has become more competitive as rugby has become an increasingly popular sport.  

Once just a club that lacked funds to compete, the Black Widows are now seen as a successful team recognized by the university. Although still technically a club, head coach Steve Galaris knows that his rugby team is more that.  “We’ve assimilated to the university because they’ve been so generous to us,” he said. 

Galaris, who has been with the team for seven years, says that the club “has moved up in division status, membership is on the rise, and there have been better style of play and knowledge” during his tenure at Stony Brook.

In order to continue their development, the Seawolves have set specific goals for the near future. Assistant Coach John Isles said that in the next 3-5 years, a promotion to Division 1 is one of their priorities, which can happen even with tough competition in the coming years. However, the team will have to make the Division 2 regional playoffs first, a goal they have set for 2010. The step after that would be a national playoff appearance. 

Galaris has high expectations for his team, saying one day he wants the team to develop into a “perennial powerhouse.”

Off the field, Galaris wants to recruit more underclassman to increase the team’s youth while promoting the sport of rugby overall, an objective that he called one of the most important. 

According to Galaris, it is still unknown who will lead the team this year. Although there are a number of veterans on the team, the most valuable players will be determined from hard work in practice and throughout the course of the season.

Players to watch out for are senior Erin O’Sullivan and sophomores Katherine Foran and Alexandra Slavin, all of whom Galaris thinks have a good shot at leading the team. Galaris said he is looking forward to seeing which of his players can step up and lead the club both on and off the field, even if it’s an underclassman. 

With experienced personnel and strong coaching, the Seawolves look forward to jumping off to a good start in their home opener against Rutgers on September 19. The players, including junior flanker Allison Baldowski, feel optimistic. “We have a tough fall schedule,” she said. “But our team has a lot of hard workers so we will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.”

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  • K

    KonradSep 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    What a great article, go Black Widows!

    Reply