All the long, cold practices in the waning Vermont daylight paid off in a big way this weekend: the Saint Michael's College Women's Rugby team are the new Rugby Northeast Division II champions.
Saint Michael's (8-1) defeated Stonehill College 17-10 to claim the RNE championship, upsetting the higher-ranked Skyhawks.
"It feels great to win," said Susanna Shigo '16. "All of the ladies played the best game of rugby I have ever seen. During that game, they had so much heart. We have been practicing for many weeks, endured cold temperatures and darkness, and we just wanted to win so bad."
Saturday's victory earned the Purple Knights a berth to the National Division II Rugby Championships, which Shigo said will be held some time in the spring. Saint Michael's was ranked as high as 15th in the nation in Division II by Rugby Magazine and will likely be ranked higher going forward after defeating 14th-ranked Stonehill.
Earlier this year, several Saint Michael's players were named to All-Conference teams by Rugby Magazine.
"I love being a part of this team," Shigo added. "Everyone is so welcoming and it really is my second family on campus."
Please be sure to check out frequent team updates on Susanna's blog. Further updates and a trove of pictures can also be found on the team's Facebook page.