Women's Rugby

About the Program
Bowdoin College holds an elite status among collegiate women's rugby programs. The Polar Bears are one of just a half-dozen squads in the nation to claim "varsity" status and have continued their rich tradition of success since making the move from "club" designation in 2003.

The Polar Bears have made several appearances in the New England Rugby Football Union playoffs, and placed in the 2003 postseason. This past fall, Bowdoin enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in program history, capturing the New England Division II Championship with a 23-12 victory over the University of New Hampshire at Pickard Field. The Polar Bears advanced to the Northeast Regional Final as well, earning a bid to the National Championship "Elite Eight" in April of 2007.

The program plays six regular season games in the fall and also has a limited spring slate. In the past few seasons, several Polar Bears have gone on to compete for regional and national sides, evidence of the expanding popularity of the sport. The team consists of both an "A" and "B" side, allowing as many athletes to compete as possible, while maintaining a competitive level of play. Coach Marybeth Mathews emphasizes strong sportsmanship in creating a safe and supportive team environment for this world-renown sport.

2006-07 Recap
The 2006-07 season was undoubtedly the most successful in the storied history of Bowdoin women's rugby. The Polar Bears finished the year as New England Champions and made their first-ever trip to Nationals, reaching the "Final Four" of the Division II Tournament.

After falling in their season-opener in the fall, Bowdoin rebounded with eight straight wins, hosted (and won) the NERFU Championship and traveled to Rutgers for the Northeast Regional. Bowdoin went unbeaten against rivals Colby, Bates, Farmington and Maine-Orono, outscoring their in-state foes by a combined 145-24 score.

At the national tournament, Bowdoin bounced Arizona, 22-0 before falling to eventual National Champion UC-Santa Cruz in the Semifinals. Overall, the 2006-07 Division II New England Champions racked up an 12-4 record.

The Bowdoin College women's rugby team practices and plays at Pickard Field, part of Bowdoin's 35-acre athletic complex. Pickard Field is comfortably framed by the beautiful Bowdoin pines and- during the exceptional autumn season in Maine- is unquestionably one of the best places to watch a match in all of New England.


Student Life: Athletics: Teams

Women's Rugby Coaching Staff

Head coach: MaryBeth Mathews
Assistant coaches: Bob Mathews, Elisabeth Dustin

Head Coach MaryBeth Mathews has been coaching Bowdoin Women's Rugby for thirteen years, the past four of which have been at the Varsity level. Currently finishing her Masters Degree in Higher & Adult Education, she holds an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Southern Maine. She also studied fabric technology and pattern development at UNC. While an undergrad, she played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. As a spectator at a men's game, MaryBeth became interested in playing rugby when she heard about a women's team forming in Boston. In the fall of 1976 she played in the inaugural women's rugby game on the East Coast, Beantown vs. Boston. The following spring, she co-founded the Portland Women's RFC and went on to win four consecutive New England Championships and a National Title in 1978.

Returning to rugby after the birth of daughter Jessica in 1987, she rejoined Beantown, her original team and commuted to Boston from Maine, playing several more years with a short interruption for daughter Katie, born in 1990. While on the Beantown squad, she won another National Championship in 1991.

Meanwhile, the Bowdoin Women's Rugby team was reforming and looking for a coach after a brief interruption from the late 1980's. While working in product development and design in Active Sports Apparel for L.L.Bean, Ms. Mathews received several phone calls from Kristin (Noonan) Hall '95 and Gina Kuechle '95, repeatedly asking her to coach. She worked with the team a few times during the spring of 1994 and began coaching in earnest during Fall '94. Her first two seasons produced undefeated teams and two Division 2 New England Championships. After four years at the Division 1 level, Bowdoin has returned to D2, where they just won their 3rd New England Championship (Fall 2006) and have qualified for the Elite Eight USA National Championships this spring.

In addition to coaching the Bowdoin Women, MaryBeth coaches the Maine Collegiate All Star and the New England U-23 All Star teams who play competitively throughout the summer. Coach Mathews is a certified U.S.A.R.F.U. Level II Coach as well as a certified referee.

"The most diverse, interesting and amazing women decide to play rugby and I am lucky enough to coach them here at Bowdoin." says Mathews. "I absolutely loved playing the game because of the teamwork, friendships, and fitness required, and I love coaching it because women's rugby is the ultimate team game. Like many sports, the lessons learned and benefits gained from setting goals, overcoming challenges, and learning to lead on and off the field carry over into life. I am proud of the inclusive, diverse and supportive atmosphere we have created here at Bowdoin where women can develop greater self-awareness and find new strengths while learning to play a really fun, new sport!"

Student Life: Athletics: Teams

Women's Rugby Roster

Name Year Pos. Hometown/School
Joy Geertz 09 Hooker Sheridan, Wyo.
Catherine Jager 09 Flanker Bend, Ore.
Maria Koenigs 09 Center, Fly-Half Longmeadow, Mass.
Lizbeth Lopez 09 Hooker, Flanker Napa, Cali.
Alivia Moore 09 Center Flanker Indian Island, Maine
Hannah Wadsworth 09 Prop, Hooker East Aurora, N.Y.
Jessica Walker 09 Prop Cleveland, Ohio
Erica Camarena 10 Flanker Oaxaca, Mexico
Danielle Carniaux 10 Lock/Flanker Sayville, N.Y.
Hannah Larson 10 Scrum/Fullback Minneapolis, Minn.
Sara Faurer 11 Hooker Snowmass Village, Colo.
Loryn Fridie 11 Prop/Lock Sag Harbor, N.Y.
Larissa Gaias 11 Fullback/Wing Southampton, N.Y.
Elizabeth Gary 11 Flanker Brooklyn, N.Y.
Carolyn Levin 11 Outside Center Pasadena, Calif.
Leah Navarro 11 Flanker Peabody, Mass.
Anna Nicole 11 Hooker/Flanker Newton, N.H.
Dorothy Pei 11 Wing Millington, N.J.
Alicia Sorensen-Biggs 11 Lock/Flanker Scottsdale, Ariz.
Rebecca Stevens 11 Scrumhalf Potomac, Md.
Morgan Taggart-Hampton 11 Lock Amherst, Mass.
Diana Zhang 11 Wing San Gabriel, Calif.
Nylea Bivins 12 Silver Spring, Md.
Allison Dupont 12 New Orleans, La.
Nicole Erkis 12 Villanova, Pa.
Taylor Escajeda 12 Unionville, Conn.
Onyi Esonu 12 Lynnwood, Wash.
Elizabeth Fox 12 Radnor, Pa.
Felicia Heider 12 Gansevoort, N.Y.
Marketia James 12 Jackson, Miss.
Brittany Johnson 12 Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Hannah Levy 12 Waccabuc, N.Y.
Colleen Maher 12 Chappaqua, N.Y.
Katie Mathews 12 Cumberland, Maine
Helen Midney 12 Immokalee, Fla.
Rafaela Uribe 12
Danielle Willey 12

Head Coach: MaryBeth Mathews
Assistant Coaches: Bob Mathews, Elisabeth Dustin
Team Captains: Hannah Wadsworth, Alivia Moore
Student Life: Athletics: Teams

 Women's Rugby Schedule

Date/TimeOpponent Result Score
09/13/2008,  3:00PMvs. Plymouth (at UMass-Amherst)
Beantown Tournament
W  48-0
09/13/2008,  5:00PMvs. Amherst (at UMass-Amherst)
Beantown Tournament
W  3-0
09/14/2008,  9:00AMvs. Bates (at UMass-Amherst)
Beantown Tournament
W  6-0
09/20/2008,  1:00PMat ColbyW  34-0
09/27/2008,  1:00PMMAINE-FARMINGTONW  79-0
10/04/2008,  2:00PMat New HampshireW  29-22
10/11/2008,  11:00AMBATESW  22-0
10/18/2008,  1:00PMMAINE-ORONO 
10/25/2008,  TBANERFU First-Round (TBA) 
10/25/2008,  TBANERFU Playoffs (TBD) 
11/01/2008,  TBANew England Championships (TBD) 
11/08/2008,  TBANortheast Championships 
Student Life: Athletics: Teams

Women's Rugby Releases

Date Posted Title
11/07/2006,  2:30PM Women's Rugby NRU Playoff Information
04/24/2006,  1:00PM Five From Women's Rugby Selected to Maine XV
06/02/2005,  9:00AM Nickerson and Reid Selected for National Squads
04/26/2005,  11:00AM Women's Rugby Players Chosen For Maine Select XV
11/01/2004,  3:00PM Bowdoin to Host Women's Rugby Regional
10/27/2003,  3:45PM Bowdoin to play Plymouth in NERFU Semifinals
10/20/2003,  10:15AM Women's Rugby Qualifies For Postseason
09/10/2003,  3:45PM 2003 Women's Rugby Preview
Student Life: Athletics: Teams

Women's Rugby : Previous Seasons

The seasons listed below are represented by the year in which the given season started. Thus, Winter sports that may have the bulk of their events played in the following year are still listed by the year in which they began. For archived statistics, go to the Almanac/History page.

Previous seasons: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001