Women’s Rugby: Burke, Kempf, Ngo capture Div. III All-NIRA accolades


Women’s Rugby 1/3/2023 1:04:00 PM

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women’s rugby program snagged a few postseason accolades from the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA), as Caitlin Burke (Greenwich, Conn.), Rachel Kempf (Warwick, R.I.), and Emily Ngo (Turlock, Calif.) were named All-NIRA Team selections, as announced by the league office on Friday afternoon.

Kempf, a hooker, and Ngo, a blindslide flanker, landed on the All-NIRA First Team, while Burke represented the All-NIRA Second Team as its fullback selection.

Ngo, a tireless, hard-hitting flanker who provides positive leadership on and off the field, capped off her outstanding 15s collegiate career with her third selection to the All-NIRA team.  “Emily exemplifies our Norwich rugby approach… a high-school wrestler who put in the work to become a star player on our rugby field,” Head Coach Austin Hall said.  “I have thoroughly enjoyed watching her play with a smile on her face.”

Kempf, who is also a catcher on the softball team, earned her first All-NIRA selection.  “As just a sophomore, Rachel took ownership of our scrums this year,” Hall said.  “She embodies the gritty, competitive spirit that our program is all about.  I look forward to seeing her continued development over the next two years.”

A four-year starter who played fullback with one game at scrumhalf this year, Burke also snagged her first All-NIRA nod.  “I’m happy to see Caitlin wrap up her Norwich 15s career with this accolade.  She’s a gifted athlete who has worked hard to learn the game and develop as a player,” Hall said.  “She’ll be greatly missed next year.”

The Norwich women’s rugby team finished the 2022 15s season with a 3-3 overall record and a 3-2 mark in NIRA play, earning a NIRA Semifinal berth in the process.