Kate McCabe and her Rugby-Filled Life

Kate McCabe, our current assistant coach and BUWRFC alum, has been up to big things this past spring. She started a girls’ rugby team at Belmont High School where she currently teaches. The sport is not new to the school as there has been a boys’ team for the past nine years. There has always been some interest shown from the girls; in the past a few girls even played with the boys team. But this year was different, twenty girls signed up and the boys coach asked Kate to start a girls side!

Kate has always had a connection to rugby; it’s in her blood! Her father played in college and when she attended SPLASH as a freshman, she was drawn to the rugby table and signed up. After playing for BU, continued playing for Boston Women’s. There were several BU players on the team the year before she joined, most notably her freshman year captain Kristin Howley (BU ’02) and one of her best friends, Heidi Schmerbeck (BU ’03).

“That connection from my collegiate side to the women’s senior side helped me decide to continue playing – because I followed players that I looked up to at BU. It was one of the best decisions of my life. And when I look at BU players on Boston Women’s today – I feel so proud to be a part of such a great tradition of dedicated BU athletes”

In 2011 the club president, Julie Athanasiadis BU’11, reached out to Kate looking for volunteers to work with the team. And just like that, Kate became our assistant coach! Although rugby is life, some of us have to make a living and get a job in the real world. Kate has been a social studies teacher for 11th and 12th graders at Belmont High School for nine years.

Now her professional life and rugby life have collided into the Belmont rugby football club! When I asked Kate about any obstacles she faced like lack of field time, lack of funding (common BU problems), she said it wasn’t a problem for her and her team.

“I have to say – the girls at Belmont has been truly lucky to be embraced by such an accepting rugby community in the Belmont Rugby Club. When I started this year, I wasn’t alone because all the coaches and parents that support the boys team, immediately supported the new girls team.”

Kate’s team had the opportunity to practice with the boys’ team during preseason. Working with a team that has already been established for 9 years means that there was access and support for field space, equipment, jerseys and even coaching for the girls.

Besides the support from the Belmont boys’ team, BU Women’s Rugby and Boston Women’s have helped tremendously along the way. Kate was able to reach out to recent grads Ashley Donahue and Deanna Nash (BU ’14). They have been putting in their time to help with practices and are even continuing to work with the girls over the summer. In addition, Boston Women’s Rugby Club and BU Women’s Rugby Club collaborated to do a small clinic for the girls in May – and everyone had a blast! The surrounding high school girl rugby teams have also been so helpful and supportive – working with the girls and helping them set the groundwork for a competitive team in the future. The amount of support really says a lot about the rugby community.


Belmont/BU/Boston Clinic


The girls had one scrimmage to cap off their first season. Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School hosted her squad in a b-side scrimmage. The coach of this team was actually a Boston Women’s alum; she was very welcoming and accommodating. The girls had a blast and walked away with a tied match 10-10. Next year Kate hopes to have a full season with multiple games. The girls even told her they want to win the state championship in 2018!

When I asked Kate how rugby could help these girls with their future, she had a lot to say. She worded it so beautifully that I am not going to even attempt to summarize this…

“I think rugby helps everyone that plays it – but it does amazing things for women. As a young player – rugby felt empowering to me, as I often came across people impressed that I would want to play the tough contact sport. Every year when I watch new collegiate players start rugby, or veterans gain mastery in skills that eluded them as beginners – and now as I see high schoolers picking up this game – I’m struck by how much we gain in a sport that demands a player take ownership for their body and mindset. You are rewarded for playing hard, for being fierce, strong, fast, tough and smart. Everyone, of every size and ability, finds a job on the team and that job is necessary to success at the end of the game. You cannot win with one superstar – you need everyone to work together – and that makes some of the tightest bonds imaginable as you build friendships that are founded in trust, honor, and faith in each other. The rugby community is an amazing one to be a part of – no matter where you are in the world – the rugby community is something you can reach out to – a local club to play with when you’re traveling the world – a local team to join when you move across the country – a college team that you continue to support long after graduation – this family is unlike any other sport I’ve ever played. I have been so proud to be a rugby player for the last 12 years of my life – I’m also so proud to bring this game to new players as a coach long after I stop playing.

One of my high school players wrote me a thank you note that said: “I love playing rugby because it makes me feel strong. People looked at me like I couldn’t play because I’m small, and I love being able to prove that I’m stronger than anyone thought.” — That player has already discovered strength that she always had. It’s sometimes tough to test yourself but doing it anyway and believing in your own potential, not matter what anyone else thinks – shows tremendous strength of character. She is powerful – physically and mentally. Every rugby player is. And that strength is an amazing thing to take into the world with us…”

Spring Season on It’s Way!

We had a bit of a bumpy start to our season with all the inclement weather and practice times, but now we are smooth sailing! We are in 7’s season, so we will be competing in weekly tournaments all over the northeast. Here is our spring schedule…

Saturday March 21

     Siena PatRucks (Siena College, NY)

Saturday March 28 

     Crimson 7’s (Harvard University, MA)

Saturday April 4 

     Yale Classic (Yale University, CT)

Saturday April 11/12


Saturday April 18

     Polar Bear 7’s (Bowdoin College, ME)

Saturday April 19

Alumni Event (Nickerson Field)

Saturday April 25

      Norwich University, VT


Hope to see you all at some tournaments!

Cradles to Crayons

This morning our team had the great opportunity to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons. For those of you who don’t know, Cradles to Crayons is an organization that provides clothing, school supplies, and toys to kids in need. They collect the items, sort the items, and package the items at their warehouse location in Brighton. Over 300,000 kids are in need of these basic items right here in Massachusetts.

Today, our job was to put together outfits for the children. We had a wonderful time mixing and matching, and being in awe over how cute the baby clothes were. This dapper outfit was put together today by some ruggers.


It is super easy to get involved with their organization! They are always looking for volunteers and for donated items. You can find a list of items they accept and most needed items here.

You can also sign up to volunteer with a group, family, and friends here. It’s a great way to get involved and fun!unnamed-1

Fall Season Is Just Around the Corner

It’s hard to believe that summer has come and gone and our new season is on the way! This Monday marks the beginning of our preseason, which means the 15s season will start rolling in no time. So now is the time to let our fans know when/where we will be playing this fall:

September 13th- BU@URI  at 11AM

September 21st- BU@Northeastern at 6PM

October 4th- BU@BC at 11AM

October 12th- UConn@ BU at 2PM

October 19th- UMass@BU at 8AM

October 25th- Norwich@ BU 6pm

November 1st- Potential Conference Finals- TBA

We will keep you updated on any other season announcements or if any times,dates, or places change. Can’t wait to hear you all cheering us on this season!



Weekend Roundup and Looking Ahead

This past weekend BUWRFC competed in its first tournament  of the spring season. And what a way to start our sevens career. A-side won all three games and shut out the competition on our home field!  The scores for A-side were BU vs. UMass A- 14-0, BU vs. UMass B 22-0, and BU vs. Umass A 29-0.

We are very proud of this accomplishment and are excited for what this season holds. Moving forward we have a finalized schedule for the rest of the season:

March 30- Tournament @ Army

April 5- Tournament@ UNH

April 12-13- Beast of the East- Portsmouth, RI

April 27- Tournament@ Norwich

May 3-4- ACRA Nationals @ Grand Valley State University- Grand Rapids, MI

May 30- June 1- CRC’s @ PPL Park- Philadelphia, PA

We hope to see our wonderful fans at some matches in the future!

Also because we have been invited back to CRC’s this year we once again need to sell 75 two-day tickets (one day tickets also available) in order to attend. Whether you can attend the games or not, your support would very much appreciated and help us on our journey to Philly . You can buy tickets here.

Preliminary Schedule

With Spring season just around the corner, we want to let our loyal followers know when and where they will be able to see us play this season. This is just a potential schedule and not all dates are finalized and we will update with an official schedule when it’s ready.

3/22 Host Game/Tournament (10 am- 12pm)

3/29 Tournament @ Army 7’s

3/30 Possible Rookie Scrimmaging (8am- 12pm)

4/5 Tournament @ UNH

4/12-13 Beast of the East

4/16 7’s Scrimmage

4/26 Tournament @ Norwich 7’s

5/2-3 ACRA 7’s Nationals

Hope to see you at some games!



New Recruits!

Attention all new players!

We’ll be having an informational meeting on Monday, September 9th at 7pm in FitRec Room 222.

If you go up the stairs by the rock wall, the room will be at the end of the hall on the left.

– Feel free to swing by a practice and see what rugby is all about.  We’re on Nickerson Field (in West Campus) Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00pm – 11:00pm and the Track and Tennis Center (TTC – 100 Ashford St., right off Babcock St.) Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30pm – 11:00pm .

– Here’s a link for some frequently asked questions particular to our team: https://sites.google.com/site/buwrfcplaybook/for-rookies

– Other than that, if you have any questions you can direct them to our Captain, Dee Nash at dnash12@bu.edu or our Vice-Captain, Ashley Donahue at ashdon@bu.edu.


Look forward to meeting you all!

BUWRFC takes on CRCs in Philly!

2013-2014 Captain Announced!

Congratulations to Dee Nash (SAR ’14) for being voted as our 2013-2014 BUWRFC Captain!



End of Season Awards

The team gathered one final time to announce the End of Season awards and to say goodbye to the graduating seniors.

Introducing the 2nd Annual BUWRFC Awards:

Most Valuable Forward: The player in the pack who’s play on the field best exemplifies what we as a team want to aspire to. She works hard, executes her individual skills well and improves the level of play of the team by being on the field. The Most Valuable Forward should be a consistent A side player.

Noel Coleman

Most Valuable Back: The player in the backline who’s play on the field best exemplifies what we as a team want to aspire to. She works hard, executes her individual skills well and improves the level of play of the team by being on the field. The Most Valuable Back should be a consistent A side player.

Dee Nash

Most Improved Forward: The player in the pack who over the course of the year has most improved her game. The Most Improved Forward can be an A or B side player, a rookie or a veteran.

Celeste Hamre

Most Improved Back: The player in the backline who over the course of the year has most improved her game. The Most Improved Back can be an A or B side player, a rookie or a veteran.

Eva Ciccodiola

Rookie of the Year: The player that in their first year playing rugby has made the biggest impact on the team.

Paige Stathopolous

16th Woman: This award goes to the player who’s presence in practice and games helps make the team better as a whole. The 16th Woman does not need to be the best or flashiest player on the field. This award is an opportunity to recognize someone who is truly committed to improving herself and Boston University Women’s Rugby.

Lisa Cardone

The Terrier Award: This award goes to the player who has done the most to advance Boston University Women’s Rugby with her actions off the field. This can be through working as a member of the board, fundraising, volunteering or promoting the team.

Lauren McCormack

The Leadership Award (to be voted on by rookies only): This award is given to the veteran player who has been most helpful and supportive of new players as they learn the game of rugby.

Alex Hubelbank

The Legacy Award (to be voted on by seniors only): This award is given by the seniors to a returning (meaning freshman, sophomore or junior) player who best embodies the qualities that the seniors hope will continue to be a part of Boston University Women’s Rugby after they graduate.

Dee Nash

Bonny Johnson Award: This award is given to the player who, after the namesake, has played four years of rugby consecutively both semesters.

Aubrey MacGill