Navy Women's Rugby Final Four Bound

One of the best kept sporting secrets at the Academy should get a little more publicity this week after the Navy Women's rugby team fought their way through to the Final Four. Rugby may be a club sport at Navy, but with both the men and the women playing in important competitions over the next few weeks it is time these toughest of athletes got their due.

One of the best kept sporting secrets at the Academy should get a little more publicity this week after the Navy Women's rugby team fought their way through to the Final Four. Rugby may be a club sport at Navy, but with both the men and the women playing in important competitions over the next few weeks it is time these toughest of athletes got their due.

The women have been playing a grueling schedule since the beginning of September, which has seen them lose only once in over 20 games against college and club sides from D.C. to Colorado. This success has continued into the playoffs and with victories in consecutive days in the rounds of 16 and eight over Brown and Virginia the Mids are down to the last four teams in the nation.

For those who may be unaware exactly what rugby is imagine playing football without pads for 80 straight minutes. Throw in the fact that there are no offensive/defensive switches like in football and you have the recipe for a brutal sport which really tests the limit of what the human body is capable of. Now try playing two of those games on back to back days with the aches and pains of the first barely having subsided before you take your initial hit on day two. It is pretty much akin to running into a tree repeatedly, then doing it all over again. That is what the Mids had to go through last weekend to book a May trip to Stanford, Ca.

In California Navy will match up against a Penn State team that won the Midwest Regional. The Navy hallmark this year has been a strong defense and an ability to win in close games. Both these traits will need to continue against the Nittany Lions if the Mids are to progress to the championship game against either Norwich or host Stanford.

The men, meanwhile, are part of the eight invitees to USA Rugby's Varsity Cup. The stacked field includes 31 of the 33 National Champions since the inception of college rugby, most notably Cal and BYU. The Eastern round of the competition will be held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this Saturday and will be a showcase of the best collegiate rugby in the country.

Best of luck to both squads on their title attempts.

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