The Mudhens’ fall season, through our captain’s eyes…

By Aunnica O’Brien      On the heels of a less than consistent 2014-2015 season, the Mudhens gathered in early August to establish some goals for the 2015-2016 season. After many a potluck dinner and mixer gatherings, we decided one thing was for certain: we wanted to make the Mudhens a successful and competitive Division II team. So we started practices early, a month before our first game.

At least 40 women showed up to that first practice; more people than I had ever seen at a Mudhens practice in my two and half years playing on this team. It was certain, we were on a new path and the momentum behind that collective mindset was powerful.

Practices continued to yield at least 25 women each night. This allowed us to work on our game-like scenarios at almost every practice; finishing each night with a proper “rammy” as our coach John calls it.

Our first game was against the Budd Bay Bandits, the team from the Pacific Northwest that made it to Nationals last season. We knew this game was significant. We wanted to start off on the right foot and set a precedent for the new season. Our last two matches against Budd Bay ended in losses, one significant. IMGP9527 (1)

A precedent we set indeed, we won 54-10. Tries scored from forwards, from backs, from rookies, from vets. This game also demonstrated the depth we are building. Bringing in our substitutes at the 50th minute transcended our level of play. Inserting power and pace from rookies like Ariana Bray, Maisha Davis and Madeline Barnes.

This win equipped us with the confidence that we needed. We headed into our second game ready to continue playing with integrity and incorporating all 23 players. Another tough opponent next, the Portland Pigs, we continued working hard at practice.

We won. A total shut out and another reason for us to feel proud of the work we were doing at practices and in games. This positive trend upward continued against the Eugene Reign, and the Bend Roughriders. Each time we took the field, we’d beat our opponents and not just by a small margin but significantly enough to average 54 points a game. We ended the fall season with 216 points scored over four games. Our opponents, collectively, only scoring twenty points against us.

Photo Sep 23, 12 40 51 PM (2)Working alongside my fellow captain, Brittany Stepnioski and our coach, John, a comforting feeling washed over us. No matter what combination players we decided to roster, each and every option was powerful in a way that was difficult to stop.

The Mudhens have had some significant changes over the last three years. In my time on the team, we have gone from winning a championship to nearly ceasing to exist. Last year was an obstacle. Lots of uncertainties hung in our reality. We needed some time to repair and move forward as an entirely different entity.
As we head into our spring season, we have some tough competition. The Tacoma Sirens in addition to the Oregon Sports Union sides have historically been difficult games to win. We have the foundation and resources necessary to continue beating teams. Our spring goal: to represent the Pacific Northwest in the National Championship. And I have no doubt that we can. Tapping into the confidence, depth and power that carried us through the fall season, this team will continue to soar. Here’s to growth!

Summer with the Mudhens has officially kicked off!

It’s officially summer, and the Mudhens’ 7’s season is underway!  We have been soaking up the sun, practicing hard with our friends Seattle Quake Rugby and spreading Mudhen Love in the community 24/7!  Here’s the low down on the past week and our upcoming plans:

Roy Lucas Sevens Tournament:
rlThe Mudhens hit the pitch in our first 7’s tourney of the season on a beautiful, sunny Portland Saturday. We came out victorious in our first match against OSU and lost 2 hard-fought battles to SD Surfers and ORSU, who ended up winning the whole tournament. It was a great day of positive feedback and learning for all of us! AND we got to travel and spend more time with our favorite men’s team!

Seattle PrideFest 2015flyer
We will be out showing our Seattle PRIDE and answering any questions for interested soon-to-be ruggers on Saturday June 27th! Find us in front of Life Long AIDS Alliance from 10am-1:30pm and then come watch us play a hilarious match of Prom Dress Rugby with the Seattle Quake at 2pm at Cal Anderson Park! Come see what Mudhen Love is all about!

37th Annual CanAm 7’s
On July 11th, we will be playing in the 37th Annual CanAms up at the Chuckanut Polo Fields in Bellingham. Grab a slurpee and take a drive up near Canada to watch 24 men’s and women’s teams play some great rugby!

We are so excited about everything happening around Seattle this summer! Come out to our practices every Monday and Wednesday, 7pm-9pm at Montlake Playfield. Everyone is welcome! Contact us at mudhenrfc@gmail.com if you have any questions! MHL!

Mudhen Spring season closing weekend is upon us!

Dear Mudhen alumni, fans, friends, and family… some updates for you!

Upcoming events: 

This weekend your Emerald City Mudhens take on the Tacoma Sirens for the final game of the Spring season at HOME! Magnuson Park, 1:30pm kick off. We then will head over to The Woods (above Grimms in Capitol Hill) for our annual Labor & Lust fundraiser. Come join us for an afternoon of sunshine and good rugby and an evening of dancing, drinks, and auctions! For Labor & Lust tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1413498. See you there!

What’s been happening: 11081057_10153750324049937_3769479684656301376_n

Budd Bay, March 28th: Thanks to all those who pledged for points in our 3/28 game v. Budd Bay! We raised $747.50 which will assist in the purchase of (much needed) new jerseys! THANK YOU! The game ended in a loss for the Mudhens, but it was a hard-fought game as seen by this snapshot of Celid’s stellar try.

 
 
 

10959063_1078552488838461_7018924347588093447_o

Bend, April 4th: Long car rides, a sunny Saturday, marriage proposals, great fun and rugby… the Mudhens’ trip to Bend was certainly filled with Mudhen Love. We came from behind to end the game in a tie, 21-21. After the game, we overworked our tear ducts when Menhen Chris Pratt got down on one knee, and Alice Jacobson said yes!

 
 
 
 
 
 

11038868_10153797272234937_3509473858215420259_oChuckanut, April 11th: Mudhens traveled up to play Chuckanut last Saturday in a 72-0 win. Aunnica O’Brien led the Hens with 4 tries scored. You know you’re playing with a great group of women when the post-game circle of positivity mentions every player on the pitch. Well played, Hens!

 
 

11130181_1078552485505128_1831404316262973628_oGoodbye Patty Smith! Thanks for everything you’ve done for the love of the game 🙂 Congrats, and good luck in Washington D.C.! We wish you the very best! The other Washington ruggers will be lucky to have you and your smashing style of play!

 
 
 
 

Questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to mudhenrfc@gmail.com.

Mudhen Love as Resilience

Resilience is a quality that, when it reveals itself, has the power to create unstoppable momentum. If the Mudhens have shown anything in the past two weeks, it is relentless work and remarkable resilience. These athletes have come together to raise their own expectations and set the bar higher for the rest of the Spring season.

ICYMI: A quick recap of the beginning of the Spring Season

March 7, 2015: Mudhens v. ORSU DII | Result: L 36-12 

A slow start and a lack of cohesion from the Mudhens allowed ORSU to control the first 40 minutes. The Hens came back strong, but too late in the game. Wing Dani Brace put 2 tries on the board for the Hens in the last 5 minutes of the second half. You could say this was the loss the Hens needed to regroup and decide together what kind of team we have the potential to be and what team we want to be. And it worked.

March 14, 2015: Babbfest – Portland, OR | Result: 2nd Place

11070181_345404818978467_7842172572751029236_oTournament play gave the Hens a chance to try out different combinations of players in short 30 minute games. On the field, you could only hear positive talk all around from the Hens, and the cohesiveness that the Hens lacked the previous weekend was present throughout the tournament. All in all, it was an excellent day of rugby and the perfect opportunity for the Hens to set the stage and raise the bar for the upcoming big league matches.

March 21, 2015: Mudhens v. Boise Nemesis | Result: W 29-3

11075022_10153728791314937_1343747616456022224_nAfter practice and chalk talks focused on raising the bar, the Hens followed through and executed their game plan against Boise. These ruggers took the pitch with confidence in each other, showing cohesion and unified play. They played a calm and settled game of rugby. Forwards worked as one solid unit– positive tackles, hard hits and runs, constant support and smart defense kept the control of the game in the Hens’ favor. Tries scored by center Erin Hickey, 8-man Sarie Harris, center Socoe, and winger Dani Brace. Try and two conversions by fly half Aunnica O’Brien (C). No doubt that #mudhenlove is synonymous with resilience.

What’s ahead: 

March 28, 2015: Mudhen v. Budd Bay Bandits

Magnuson Park, KO @ 3:00pm – Come out to support the Hens in our second of three home games this Spring! There will be an opportunity to pledge for points – you pledge a monetary multiplier (ie 50 cents, $1, etc.) for every point the Mudhens score. Visit our Pledge for Points page to make your pledge!

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email or Facebook.

What we did and what’s ahead

Wondering what we’ve been up to? Catch up in-person at our Kick Off Mixer on Monday February 16th.

2014 Fall

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 9.05.22 PMMudhen Rugby went 3-3 this past Fall season. Tough losses against Budd Bay, Portland, and Tacoma exposed our weaknesses and gave us points of improvement. Wins against Chuckanut, ORSU II, and Eugene displayed backs and forwards working cohesively together to push through to victory. Across the board, veteran and rookie Hens began to gel together, learning from mistakes and continuously improving as a unit.

We ended the season hosting Gonzaga University for a clinic focused on rugby skill development.

2015 Winter

The off-season is all about fitness, and as a club that’s gearing up for a competitive spring season, we hope to see all this off-season work pay off.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 9.04.44 PMBut we haven’t been able to completely stay away from the pitch this winter. We’ve recently hosted our first of 3 winter college clinics. We’ve partnered up with the women’s rugby clubs at Western Washington University, Eastern Washington University, and University of Washington. Head Coach, John Wooler, has put together a series of demonstrations and drills to develop skills and strategy. It has truly been a pleasure meeting the women of collegiate rugby! We hope to someday see them on the field in a Mudhen jersey.

Additionally, our Kick Off Mixer is on Monday, February 16th from 6-10pm at Twilight Exit. Come join us for a great time with the most entertaining Hens.

2015 Spring

This spring season, we’re ready to groove together as we look ahead to some tough competition. Take note of our spring schedule, and we hope to see you at a game:

Practices: We will be starting practices on Wednesday, February 18th. Practices will be held thereafter every Monday and Wednesday, 8pm-10pm at Magnuson Park. Questions? Email mudhenrfc@gmail.com.

March 7th: Away vs. ORSU
March 14th: Babbsfest in Portland
March 21st: Home vs. Boise
March 28th: Home vs. Budd Bay
April 4th: Away vs. Bend
April 11th: Away vs. Chuckanut
April 18th: Home vs. Tacoma
April 25th/26th: PNRFU Playoffs – Location TBD
May 9th: Championships in NorCal