By Najib Aminy
Dressed in traditional all black jerseys, the Stony Brook Women’s Rugby team trampled over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, shutting them out 15-0 to win the Big Apple Classic on Saturday, April 26. The tournament win closes off a successful spring season for the Black Widows of Stony Brook who managed to find their way competing in numerous semi-final matches throughout the season.
The success of the latest tournament win, a first for Stony Brook, dates back to spring break 2008. According to first-year coach Ali Nazir, a former Stony Brook rugby player, the trip to Savannah was a great experience for the girls to bond and build team chemistry. “There was much tension after the fall season, we lost to Marist who went pretty far nationally.”
The women’s rugby season, which is broken into fall, where there is league play, and the spring, where there is tournament play, improved drastically from two years prior where the Widows failed to record one win. However, the game against Marist proved to be a heartbreaker as the Widows tied Marist earlier in the season only to lose to them in their championships. To add salt to the wound, Marist continued to go further in the season, reaching national status.
It was during the trip to Savannah that the lady Widows were able to play against other top rugby teams such as the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. As the team grew more experienced, the wins soon followed as the lady Widows made the semi-finals in the Beast of the East Tournament on April 20, the largest rugby tournament in the Northeast. Defeating Plymouth University 26-0, and UMass 12-5, the lady Widows lost to Bryant 12-0 ending their win streak and their chance of a tournament championship.
However, one week after making semi-final after semi-final, the Widows would finally get what they deserved as they won The Big Apple Classic. Coach Nazir credits senior Nyoka Pierce for her exceptional play and leadership. Pierce led the Widows to wins over Hofstra and RPI and was named the Prestigious Player of the Tournament Award. Coach Nasir commends seniors Natasia Mascol, Kelly Gluffre, and freshman Megan Border for their outstanding contribution as well.
Coach Nazir added that while the team had talent, there was not a coach that was there and stuck with them. “Everybody came together and all I did was provide the base work and they did everything else,” said Nazir.
The Widows wear all black as part of their 20 year history dating back to when they received little funding, as players opted to wear all black. The name “Widows” stuck and more than 20 years later, the ladies in black won their very first tournament. Coach Nazir is very thankful for the team he had this year and feels that his seniors have made an impact on the various number of freshman on the team.
The Widows are looking to repeat their undefeated fall season and are looking to seek revenge on their rival Marist.