Hofstra women’s rugby — more than a team, a family

The Hofstra University women’s rugby team began their practice with sprints to build endurance. // Elisabeth Ford/The Long Island Advocate.

By Elisabeth Ford

The Hofstra University Women’s Rugby Football Club is packing up as the season comes to an end, but not before bringing their A-game to their matches, tournaments and especially practice.

Club member Sarah Purschke said the team’s effort paid off this fall. “This season was a game changer for us. We really proved ourselves on a bigger stage,” Purschke said. “With all the hard work we put in this season, we ended up at the tristate championship as well as the [National Collegiate Rugby] regional playoffs. It was super rewarding, as it was the first time in program history.”

According to GetInvolvedHU, the women’s rugby club welcomes all girls on campus, no matter their background in the sport. The club says:

“One of the great things about this sport is that there is a position for everyone: Big or small, short or tall, rugby could be for you! No prior rugby or sports experience is necessary to join the team, and we are always welcoming new girls to our rugby family!”

During a recent practice, players worked on endurance, coordination and skill. Not only did they show up for the sport, but also for their team. While the girls stepped up to the cones for drills, their teammates loudly cheered them on.

“I would say it is such an accepting family-like atmosphere. We all want the best for this team and each other,” Purschke said of the club.

See the photos below for a glimpse at the women’s rugby team practice.

Laces were tied tight in preparation for the women’s rugby practice on the soccer field. // All photos by Elisabeth Ford/The Long Island Advocate.
Players, including Miles Globus, front, lined up to begin drills. Practice ran from 9 to 11 p.m.
A rugby ball sat at the edge of the sidelines while players readied themselves for drills.
Grace Kokasko caught the rugby ball during drills.
Victoria Tercy, left, worked on ball handling with Morgan Luke, right.
Fiona Horvath watched her fellow teammates from the sidelines.
Jen Brandes kept her eyes on her teammates during drills.
Vy Ho smiled to the rest of the team during practice.