Women’s rugby represents Dartmouth at Can-Am tournament

by Cody Fujii | 7/27/17 8:05pm

Five members of the Dartmouth women’s rugby team have been selected to compete in the Can-Am Series. The competition is a two-game series between the American and Canadian teams and will be held in Ottawa on the University of Ottawa campus from July 28 to August 7. The competition helps develop younger players in Canada and the United States and exposes them to the pressure of playing on an international stage. The goal is to create a strong pool of athletes that can later compete on their country’s international team.

Representing Dartmouth on the American team are Milla Anderson ’19, Kat Ramage ’19, Becca Jane Rosko ’20 and Lilly Durbin ’21. They will play on Women’s Junior All-Americans, a team consisting of the best rugby players under 20 in the country.

“This will be my first time competing while wearing a USA jersey, and while I’m excited, there is definitely a lot more pressure,” said Anderson. 

Unlike her other teammates on the American side, Anderson picked up rugby in college.

“I decided to start playing rugby because I had participated in sports my whole life and didn’t want that to end after I stopped running track,” said Anderson. “Coming to rugby so late does put an additional pressure on me because there is still so much about the sport and game play that I have to learn.”

The American players anticipate a good challenge from the Canadian team.

“They’ll be a really tough opponent,” said Durbin. “They come up really fast on defense but can also attack. We’re going to have to come together fast because we only have five or six days as a team before we play them.”

Recruiting for the team is a lengthy process, with coaches scouting out players across the country before sending invitations to special training camps.

“The coaches can go to games or watch film or hear from other coaches,” said Durbin. “They also see you at different tournaments with your high school or college team before camp selection.”

Athletes for the under-20 American team were selected based on their performance during a training camp in July. Around 50 women from high schools and colleges across the country were invited to participate in a training camp. After a few days of training and learning strategy, players were split into two teams and played scrimmage matches. After close evaluation, 22 players from the pool were selected to participate in the Can-Am tournament.

Incoming freshman Idia Ihensekhien ’21 will also represent Dartmouth but on the under-18 Canadian team.

Each team will have a few days of training before their first match. The teams are given a few days to restrategize before facing off again. The under-20 division teams play each other on August 3 and 7. The under-18 division teams play each other on August 1 and 5.

The tournament will be broadcasted by Rugby Canada.