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Fall 2023 Season Recap

Vivian Klemmer

Dec 3, 2023

Colgate Womxn's Fall 2023 Season Recap

Following a strong 10 years under Coach David Chapman, the Colgate Rugby program started off this fall season eager to meet the new coaching staff. Kyle Corbett, this season's head coach came to Colgate from Syracuse, with experience playing at SUNY- Brockport and coaching various teams in the Upstate NY community. Mkhala Dougher and Jeff Roodey, both coming from the Syracuse area as well, are Coach Corbett's assistants. The team hit the ground running during preseason, both on and off the field. With practices every day, the team focused on reviewing the basics of what they already knew. During meetings, they discussed recruitment with a goal to bring in as many new players as possible, after losing a large Senior class in the spring. Their recruitment ideas worked, and the team was able to bring in over a dozen rookies after an event called "dorm storm", in which our ruggers helped the freshmen move into their dorms during move-in day, and the club sports fair. This season, our womxn's team focused on teaching their many rookies the game of rugby and rebuilding the team with a new coach.

Season Recap 


September 9th - University of Buffalo 

Colgate Women's Rugby stepped onto the pitch at University of Buffalo eager to compete in their first game of the season. With nine rookies in Colgate's starting line up, it was a majority of the team's first taste of what rugby has to offer. With so many new players on the pitch, Colgate struggled to find their footing in the first half of the game. University of Buffalo capitalized on this, scoring four tries in the first half. However, Colgate was able to start taking control of the game in the second half, with captain Mariah Loiocano '24 scoring Colgate's first try of the game. Colgate held Buffalo to 0 points in the second half, as our new ruggers began to understand the game and the team started to make strong tackles. Our ruggers stayed resilient through the whole half, and the game ended with Buffalo winning 24-5. 

Colgate winning a line out against U. Buffalo 

September 16th - Binghamton University

Colgate Womxn’s Rugby took on University of Binghamton for their first home game of the season. With one game under their belt, our ruggers were determined to match Binghamton's intensity. The game started off with captain Ellie Humphreys '24 scoring the first try of the game. Binghamton scored the next try, and the two teams went back and forth placing the ball in the try zone. The half ended with Mariah Loiacono '24 having scored and Ellie Humphreys '24 scoring her second try of the game. When the game started up again, Zja'Kyla Brumfield '26 fought her way into the try zone, scoring her first 15s try. Our ruggers' held strong against Binghamton's offense, with both vets and rookies making strong tackles. Mariah Loiacono '24 scored two more tries for Colgate, and Ellie Humphreys' scored another one. Captain Hannah Meyerowitz '25 scored four conversions for Colgate. The match concluded with our ruggers winning their first home game 43-26! 

Captains Mariah Loiacono '24 and Hannah Meyerowitz '25 high-fiving after scoring a try

September 23rd - Kent State University 

This weekend, our ruggers left for Akron, OH on Saturday morning, anticipating a tough game against a nationally ranked Division 1 team. Kent State greeted our ruggers at the field, and the game began! Right away, Kent State recognized our ruggers' lack of experience and capitalized on that. With so many rookies on the field, this change of pace was difficult to match, but our ruggers persevered and used this game as an opportunity to work on their tackling. Halfway through the half, Colgate got the ball, and captain Ellie Humphreys '24 broke through Kent States defense 10 meters from the try zone and scored Colgate's first try of the day. After hard fought minutes on defense, Colgate won the ball out of a line out, and our ruggers were able to implement their backline plays. Their hard-work paid off, and Halle Hatten '27 was able to offload the ball off to Quinn Heffernan '27, allowing Heffernan to run 22 meters into the try zone and score her first try! Colgate's goal for the second half was to be more comfortable on the field. Our team, playing with one man down due to injuries, played with just as much intensity as they had in the first. After a long half of scrums, defense, and tackling, our ruggers ended the game with a try from Vivian Klemmer '26 and a conversion scored by Hannah Meyerowitz '25. This game introduced most of our ruggers what high level Division 1 rugby looks like. After finishing the match with a try, the match ended with Kent State winning and a score of 86-19. 

Colgate pulling a ball out of the ruck 

October 14th- Cornell University

After two weeks off from having games, Colgate walked onto Academy field, ready for the long awaited game against Cornell University on Homecoming weekend. As the match began, it was evident that our ruggers had been working hard at practice because after a few minutes, Ellie Humphreys '24 broke through Cornell's defensive line about 20 meters from the try zone and scored the first try of the game. Cornell's defense was strong, and our ruggers were forced to work together as they brought the ball up the field. Hannah Meyerowitz '25 scored Colgate's second try of the day and made the conversion as well. Ellie Humphreys '24 broke through Cornell's defense again, scoring another try for Colgate. When Cornell had the ball, our ruggers worked on keeping a straight line and not leaving any gaps for the offense to run through. When Colgate got the ball back, they worked on passing the ball quickly out to side, with winger Sarah Oley '26 catching the ball 40 meters from the try zone and scoring Colgate's next try of the game. Cornell got the ball back and scored their first try of the game. Our ruggers' defense held up strong, and Colgate was able to get the ball and score their fifth try of the game by Halle Hatten '27. Due to injuries and for the safety of the players, the match ended soon after, with Colgate up 31-5. 

Colgate supporting their teammates in a ruck

October 22nd- Syracuse University

Colgate stepped onto Academy Field, excited to play another rugby match, this time against Syracuse University. Our ruggers didn't let the wind and rain stop them from wanting to play a fun match with intensity after working on their attack structure and scrums for the past week. Syracuse came out strong, and our ruggers struggled to adjust heir play to the cold, rainy, and muddy conditions. Colgate and Syracuse went back and forth pushing the ball forward, with Syracuse finding the gaps in our ruggers defense and scoring tries. Colgate perservered and eventually was able to move the ball into Syracuse's 22. Hooker Alana Greer '27 finally pushed through the Syracuse defense and scored a try for Colgate. throughout the game, Colgate focused on keeping up their intensity and playing safe, as it was most of the team's first time playing in inclement weather. They worked on their tackles, keeping their hips low and making strong hits. The match ended with Syracuse winning 48-7. 

Every scrum 'gate!

October 28th - University of Pittsburgh

Colgate walked onto Academy Field, excited to show appreciation for their Seniors at their last home game and to show their parents everything they learned this season. With this game against University of Pittsburgh being their second conference game and the last game of the season, our ruggers were ready to implement everything they have been working on over the past couple months. Hannah Meyerowitz '25 kicked off, and the game began. Colgate started off with intensity, making strong hits against the Pitt team. Colgate soon got the ball and Halle Hatten '27 broke through Pitt's defense and scored the first try of the game. Colgate was able to bring the ball back into the opposing team's 22, and Hannah Meyerowitz '25 pushed the ball through their defenders and scored a try. Working the ball to the outside, Colgate scored again, this time by Sarah Oley '26 after running the ball out of Colgate's 22 and into the try zone. Halle Hatten '27 scored her second try of the game, after an offload from Quinn Heffernan '27. Pitt fought back hard, and Colgate was forced to keep their intensity up as Pitt brought the ball up the field. Before the end of the first half, Ellie Humphreys '24 scored her first try of the game, and Colgate's fifth. In the second half, Colgate focused on counter-rucking and supporting their teammates with the ball. Ellie Humphreys '24 took the ball from Pitt off of a counter-ruck and, soon after, 8-man picked and ran the ball into the try zone. Pitt and Colgate went back and forth with the ball, and before the half ended, Vivian Klemmer '26 scored a try for Colgate off of an offload 15 meters from the try line. The match ended with a 46-41 win for Colgate. After the game, our ruggers showed their appreciation for seniors Ellie Humphreys and Mariah Loiacono. 

The team showing their appreciation for their seniors

Remaining Schedule

The womxn's season is now over, but the team is spending the offseason preparing for the spring 7's season through clinics, practices, and putting together panels where they can talk to and learn from experienced coaches and players. Mikhala Dougher is stepping into the head coach position for the rest of the year, and is working hard to prepare the team for the spring. Go 'Gate!The Colgate Rugby Network

To see our roster and hear rugby stories from current and alumni players alike visit Until the next newsletter, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @colgaterugby so you can always get the latest updates. Go ‘Gate!



Vivian Klemmer '26

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