Air Force Women’s rugby team competes in Armed Forces championship

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sabrina Fuller

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. – The Department of the Air Force Women's Rugby Team participated in the Annual Armed Forces Women’s Rugby Championship in Wilmington, North Carolina, June 25-26, 2022.

“Being able to play rugby across the branches is one of the reasons why I stay in the Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. Eve Dorshorst, 435th Cyber Support Squadron cyber lead and rugby player. “The Air Force gave me the opportunity to play with these amazing women. It's a reminder that just because we serve, that doesn't mean we have to give up our passions.”

The team is made up of active duty members, guardsmen and reservists from a variety of career fields, but these players don't let their differences interfere with the game.

“It's important to come here ranks off,” said Dorshorst. “We play as a team and we are constantly encouraging each other. We have a mission and it needs to be accomplished; rugby revitalizes those Air Force values.”

Ultimately, the Air Force beat the Navy 15 - 5, Coast Guard 22 - 7 and Marine Corps 25 - 17. The Air Force lost their match with the Army, which placed them second in the championship overall.

“We are constantly improving and we will always keep raising the bar,” said Maj. Patricia Adams, 940th Mission Support Group executive and team coach. “I love coaching. I'm thankful to be able to translate my experiences to other players. They have potential to play in the Olympic sport.”

Players use skills such as sprinting, side-stepping and tackling to out-maneuver their competition.

“Rugby is an accumulation of a lot of different skills,” said Capt. Noelle Heiser, Air Force Manpower Agency operating location chief and the co-captain of the rugby team. “This is a warrior sport that depends on supporting one another, raising each other up and coming together.”

The connections these teammates made on the field with each other is what attracts players to continue with the sport.

“I love the group of women that surround me and they bring out the best in me,” said Heiser. “There's nothing like being so exhausted you don't want to move and then looking to your left and right and knowing that with their support it makes you keep moving.”

Anyone interested in trying out for the team can go to Those selected are invited to tryouts prior to the Annual Armed Forces Women’s Rugby Championship.