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Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club Announce Rebecca “Reebok” Radtke as Head Coach

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MINNEAPOLIS, MN– The Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club announce the hiring of Rebecca “Reebok” Radtke as their new head coach. The decision was made at the club’s 2019 Annual General Meeting Sunday, January 27, 2019.

Radtke, who has spent the last 5 seasons as the head coach of the University of Minnesota Women’s Rugby Club, becomes the second head coach in Amazon history. She will work closely alongside outgoing coach, Roger Bruggemeyer, to smoothly transition into the role following the spring 2019 season.

We are extremely excited to announce Rebecca Radtke as Head Coach of the Twin Cities Amazons Women’s Rugby Club. Rebecca comes to the Amazons with a wealth of experience, knowledge and Amazon legacy. She brings technical intelligence, innovation, character, and a long history of organizational leadership. We are confident that she will lead the Amazons into the next chapter of success. We feel extremely fortunate that she will be coming on board and could not be more excited for the future of our organization,” said club President, Katie Sjeklocha.

An outstanding flyhalf during her playing career, Radtke has carried her passion of rugby not only through her time with the Amazons, but also instilled this mentality in every team she has touched as a coach.

Rebecca comes to the Amazons with a wealth of experience, knowledge and Amazon legacy. She brings technical intelligence, innovation, character, and a long history of organizational leadership.

– Katie Sjeklocha, Twin Cities Amazons President

This past fall, Radtke’s University of Minnesota Women went undefeated in their regular season ending with a 5-0 record. Representing the Midwest region for the fourth consecutive year at USA Rugby Division 1 Regionals, the Gophers dominated Notre Dame in their first round.

Unfortunately, they lost in the second round to the United States Air Force Academy, 20-37. Since Radtke took the collegiate team over, the Gophers saw a drastic turnaround. With strong regular season performance and consistent attendance to DI regionals, the team will be sad to see Radtke depart.

Radtke is motivated to bring her passion and experience back to the Amazons, now as a coach.

“The Twin Cities Amazons is a team comprised of tradition and talent,” Radtke said.  “I am honored to take the Head Coaching position, and I look forward to continuing the development of both the Division 2 and the Women’s Premier League programs.  These are teams built of highly competitive, physically tough, mentally strong, and high character women. This is going to be fun!”

A 2002 graduate of UW- River Falls, Radtke is no stranger to Midwest rugby. She not only captained her team, but also acted as player/coach. She represented UW-River Falls and the state of Minnesota as a player on the MN U23, Midwest U23, and US U23 teams. Later, she became the backs coach for the U23 Minnesota and U23 Midwest teams.

In 2000, while Radtke was still in college, she started practicing with the Twin Cities Amazons, coached by Roger Bruggemeyer. After an unfortunate detour from back to back ACL tears, she officially joined the Amazons in 2005.  Radtke was a part of the very first Women’s Premier League (WPL) season in 2009, and then helped lead the Amazons in 2013 to win a National Championship with a 25-12 victory over the Berkeley All Blues.

I am honored to take the Head Coaching position, and I look forward to continuing the development of both the Division 2 and the Women’s Premier League Amazon programs. These are teams built of highly competitive, physically tough, mentally strong, and high character women.

– Rebecca “Reebok” Radtke

Also joining the Amazons’ coaching staff is former USA Women’s National Team player, Lynelle Kugler. Kugler, also a Twin Cities Amazon alumnus, has had significant success as both a player and coach in the Midwest. The Colorado native joined the Amazons for the first ever WPL season in 2009 and was a part of the 2013 National Championship squad. She represented her country as a player in the 2010 and 2014 Rugby World Cups. She retired after eleven years with the USA Eagles with 31 international caps in both 7’s and 15’s. Since retirement, Kugler has been an instrumental part of Radtke’s coaching staff at the University of Minnesota, and she is motivated to bring her experience as a player and as a coach to the Amazons.

The new coaching staff shares deep roots with the Amazons and their knowledge of the game is clear. The new leadership, coupled with the momentum from the Zons’ top four finish in the 2018 Women’s Premier League competition, will position the team as a strong contender in the WPL 2019 season.

About the Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club
The Amazons are a senior women’s rugby club based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The Amazons field teams to play in USA Rugby’s Women’s Premier League and USA Rugby’s Division 2 League. The club plays matches locally and nationally and welcomes players of all levels of experience. At the Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club, we believe we’re made stronger by our differences and united by our commitment, passion, intensity and desire to be the best.

Contact:

Lindsey Haller
Communications Manager
Twin Cities Amazons Rugby
info@amazonsrugby.org

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Releases

Twin Cities Amazons Hunt for A New Head Coach

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After decades of service, Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club Head Coach Roger Bruggemeyer has announced his retirement following the spring 2019 season. The Amazons will be sad for him to leave, but are motivated for the future and what it holds for this young squad.
Bruggemeyer led the Amazons to unprecedented success including the promotion of the club to the USA Rugby Women’s Premier League (WPL) and then on to win a 2013 USA Rugby WPL National Championship. Although the Amazons did not obtain the desired result at nationals this year they still wrapped up their season with a successful 4th place standing.  It will be impossible to fill Bruggemeyer’s shoes, but the Amazons will continue to move forward in search of their new Head Coach for the 2019 fall season.
To read the job description and for information on how to apply, please click the link below. The deadline to apply is December 10, 2018.

Head Coach Job Description – Twin Cities Amazons Rugby

Questions and inquiries can be directed to Katie Sjeklocha, Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club President, at info@amazonsrugby.org.
Releases

Twin Cities Amazons on the Hunt for National Championship in Atlanta Oct. 26-28

Oct. 19, 2018 (Minneapolis) — When it comes to the Twin Cities Amazons Women’s Rugby Club, forget everything you know about destiny and fate. This team doesn’t chase dreams, they hunt goals. That’s exactly how the underdog team became champions of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) Red Conference and earned a spot in the 2018 WPL 10th anniversary semi-finals.

All eyes were on the Amazons on Sunday, who were looking to beat the defending national champs, New York Rugby Club, on their home pitch in New York. Within five minutes, Olympian Katie Johnson, 8 man, put the Twin Cities on the board with the first try of the match. Fullback Megan Wolff kicked the extras for a 7-0 lead, Amazons. The Amazons have a handful of high try scorers this season. Johnson, Rachel Lentsch, and Kaelene Lundstrum have each scored six tries since the season’s start in August.

Though before long, New York came back with the fury. Flyhalf Kirsten Siano and outside center Shamira Robles scored, the halfback added two conversions, and the score jumped to 14-7 favoring New York.
After nearly twenty minutes, Amazons prop Lanoira Duhart scored a try to narrow the gap, which left her team trailing 14-12 as they headed into the second half.

Heading into the second half down by two points, Twin Cities Captain and nationally capped Eagle Sylvia Braaten recalled, “One of our goals was to come away with points every time we entered their 22 meter.”

That was no small feat because of New York’s solid communication and powerful tackle accuracy. New York’s defense was strong, but the Amazons’ offense proved to be stronger.

Deep into the second half, flyhalf Katana Howard carried in another try for five points and Wolff’s conversion gave the Amazons a 19-14 cushion.

Johnson scored a second try, giving her team crucial points, and the Amazons were able to hold onto their 26-14 lead for the final fourteen minutes of the match. Sunday’s victory solidified the team’s top spot for the WPL Red Conference.

Photo Credit: Kayla Finn

“New York didn’t disappoint when it came to bringing the intensity,” Braaten said. “I’m proud of the resilience we showed in coming back from a two-point deficit at half and holding them scoreless in the second.”

Still, she kept her sights set on the team’s future.

“We had several missed opportunities and we’ll be focusing on sharpening up our handling, retention, and overall execution over the next couple of weeks as we prepare for nationals,” Braaten explained.

Braaten has also announced her retirement from the Amazons and the Eagles this year. She has had a wildly successful 10-year career that included 15 total caps and 2 World Cups (2014 & 2017). Braaten also assisted to the Twin Cities Amazons National WPL Championship in 2013.

The match against New York Rugby Club was the Amazons’ last chance to guarantee they would have a shot at another WPL National Championship. Though the Amazons end their regular season on a high note, not all has been smooth sailing. The group got off to a rough start this season, losing on the road to DC Furies and Atlanta Harlequins by 2 points and 43 points, respectively.

Across the board, home pitch advantage has been a trend for the WPL. But losing to teams the Amazons have dominated in the past was a disheartening start to the 2018 season.

Nationally Capped Eagle and Twin Cities wing Kaelene Lundstrum recalled, “We were just not connecting as a team, whether it be different clientele, early in the season, or other factors. We were not working as a unit in the beginning of the season.”

Slowly but surely things got back on track for the Amazons with a miracle defeat against New York in the Twin Cities, 39 -10.

“Our goals [that Sunday] were to connect and to finish on the opportunities we create,” Braaten explained. “We did a better job of keeping our intensity high throughout the match, but still have much to improve on. We are looking forward to taking the momentum of [Sunday’s] win into the second half of the season.”

Johnson also commented, “We truly proved ourselves in the first game against New York. With that win it helped us grow more confident but also showed what we needed to work on the most.”

The Amazons took off with that momentum, but nobody around them seemed to take notice. As the season wore on, the WPL experts continued to vote against the Twin Cities for the win.

So the Amazons continued to set goals, with daily reminders from their captain to communicate and connect with one another. Because of this, the 2018 Amazons became more than a team of fifteen players: They evolved into one unit working through every minute on and off the field together.

They’re getting closer to the mountaintop.

The Amazons are not competing in the semi-finals because they’re lucky, and it wasn’t written in the stars. They are going because they are tough. They are resilient. They are confident, and they are a representation of what it takes to win the WPL Red Conference.

In victory, the Amazons took the sting out of their previous losses and look forward to the road ahead, hoping that road will lead to a championship title for the Twin Cities.

The 2018 WPL Championships will be held in Atlanta on October 26 and 28. The weekend’s matches will be live streamed on Florugby.com.

Read USA Rugby’s recap at https://www.usarugby.org/2018/10/wpl-week-9-recap-semifinal-spots-secured/?ayBJ2CkfhgI6D5Rx.99


After this weekend’s successful results, Amazons DII remains at 19 points. Amazons WPL is up to 29 points, keeping the team in first place for the Red conference.


Current WPL standings can be found
here. Current DII standings can be found under the Midwest Women’s DII West Green section here.


About the Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club
The Twin Cities Amazons Rugby Club are an adult women’s rugby club based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The Amazons field teams in two different leagues (Women’s Premier League and Division 2), play matches locally and nationally, and welcome players of all levels of experience. The Amazons are former USA Rugby Women’s Premier League National Champions (2013) and have several members who compete for the USA Rugby Women’s National Team.

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For inquiries please contact Club President Katie Sjeklocha at 612-702-6651 or at info@amazonsrugby.org.

 

Releases

Week Eight: WPL Amazons VS Atlanta Harlequins D2 Amazons VS Palmer College Dragons

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Pictured: Ophelia
Photo credit: Rachel Hill Rachel’s Facebook Page

October 9, 2018

 

This weekend, the Amazons had packed weekend at home and managed to pull off two thrilling victories with DII playing against the Palmer College Dragons on Saturday and WPL playing Atlanta Harlequins on Sunday.

 

In Fall 2017, the DII home match against Palmer resulted in a 23-10 win for the Amazons. This season, the match ended in a 10-7 win for the Zons.

The DII Amazons took on an always tough Palmer College on Saturday in frigid Minnesota weather.  It was forty five degrees at kickoff, and a muddy pitch forced the match to be contested mostly in the forwards. Veteran prop Olivia Frey said “We knew going into the game against Palmer it would be an all-out battle. Our goal for the game was simple: Connect and support one another. I think we did just that, the forwards were organized, and Amity [Amazon #9] did a great job controlling the contact points.” The Zons got on the board first, with a try by Olivia Frey, and the score would remain 5-0 through halftime.

After the break, flanker Katrina Anderson scored the eventual game winning try. Palmer would manage to score and convert toward the end of the second half, bringing the score to 10-7. The Zons wielded the three point victory thanks to a defense focused on aggressive hits. “We now know how Palmer plays and will be able to adapt for our next game against them. We plan to keep climbing the mountain!” said Frey. Next up, the DII Zons travel to take on Palmer College again on October 20, 2018.
Watch the Full Match Here

In Fall 2017, the WPL home match against the Harlequins resulted in a 27-17 win for the Amazons. Earlier this season, the Zons lost to Atlanta at their away match. This Saturday, the away match resulted in a win 25-24 for the Zons.

For Sunday, the WPL Amazons welcomed Atlanta to town for a must-win showdown. The Twin Cities Amazon Club celebrated College Appreciation Day, and were bolstered by an awesome crowd of college ruggers and fans. Those fans were treated to an absolute thriller of a match. The Zons struck first with tries from Rachel Lentsch and  Kathryn Johnson. Atlanta answered back with a try and conversion, before Kaelene Lundstrum dotted down to bring the score to 15-7. An Amazon yellow card and early injuries forced some forward changes heading into half time.

The second half started with an Atlanta surge. Three tries quickly flipped the score to 15-24 Atlanta. Nationally capped Eagle and Captain Sylvia Braatan explained “When momentum shifted and Atlanta took the lead, we regrouped and talked about the need to be resilient, maintain focus, and maintain possession. It was great to see how we as a team stepped up to the challenge and respond to the adversity.” Lundstrum got her second and third tries to put the Zons ahead 25-24 with 10min to play. The crowd was on its feet as Atlanta and the Zons battled back and forth before time finally ran out and the Zons kicked to touch, sealing the win. “I have to say hearing the cheering from the sidelines was something that I really think helped us keep going Sunday,” said forward leader Ali Gillberg, “I’ve never played rugby in front of such a large vocal home crowd before, it was super cool to have so much support.”

The WPL Zons head to New York next weekend where a win could send them to Nationals in the top bracket.
Watch full match Here

After this weekend’s successful results, DII is up to 19 points. WPL is up to 23 points, keeping WPL in first place for the Red conference. Current WPL standings can be found here. Current DII standings can be found under the Midwest Women’s DII West Green section here.

DII MVP: Olivia Frey
DII Hit of the Match: Emmy Sutherland
WPL MVP: Sylvia Braaten
WPL Hit of the Match: LaNoira Duhart

Below are the details of the point system  used for standings.

 

STANDINGS
Win = 4 points

Tie = 2 points

Loss = 0 points
Score 4 or more tries in a match = 1 bonus point
Lose but score within 7 points = 1 bonus point

Read more about WPL news at http://wplrugby.org/.

Releases

Week Seven: WPL Amazons VS Beantown D2 Amazons VS Milwaukee Scylla

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Pictured: Kaelene Lundstrum
Photo Credit: Ryan Siverson Photography

October 1, 2018

 

This weekend, the DII Amazons traveled to Milwaukee Scylla on Saturday while WPL traveled to Boston to play against Beantown on Sunday.

In Fall 2017, the DII away match against Scylla resulted in a win for the Amazons. This season, the match ended in a 37-20 loss for the Zons.

For the DII match, the Amazons started off strong with two solid penalty trys by Rachel Afrenbrink. The Zons kept up a solid defense with some great offensive punches by Lindsey Haller, Julie Bode and Olivia Frey. After several held up try attempts with 6 minutes left in the half the Amazons missed their scoring opportunity with a half time score of Amazons 13 to Syclla 8.

The second half was a game for the forwards as Scylla’s pack dominated several mauls. The Amazons placed down one more try in the 2nd half by Ophelia Loree as Scylla racked up their points ending the match with Amazons 20 and Scylla 37. The amazons most certainly lost steam going into the second half on Saturday, but hopefully the fuel from their home field and the fans will help them bring home and win against Palmer.

Looking at previous years, Palmer has typically been a smaller sized, speed driven team. It will be an interesting match up against the Amazons who have heavy forward play. We look forward to seeing who comes out on top.

After an unfortunate loss for the DII, the WPL brought back the smiles to the Twin Cities with a motivating win against Beantown on Sunday.

In Fall 2017, the WPL away match against Beantown resulted in a 27-17 loss for the Amazons. Earlier this season, the Zons tied to Beantown 15-15. This Saturday, the away match resulted in a 52-12 win for the Zons.

For the WPL match, it was truly a battle of the forwards. Both defensive lines working hard to hold the opposition and both packs working hard to punch back. After a solid front by the Amazons defense, Beantown’s #8 Yeja Dunn managed to squeeze by and lay down the 1st try of the match. The Amazons came back with fury, having beautiful breaks by Ariana Koras and Kathryn Johnson bringing us right to the try line with a solid forward crash laid down by Shaena Sparrow.

Beantown pushed back with a strong force, shoving the Amazons down the field with a forward punch by #5 Stacy Bridges. Beantown utilized the forward momentum and #13 Kat Phelan broke through the line with a hand off to #20 Miranda Wakimoto scoring a 2nd try for Beantown. An unfortunate call on the Zons resulted in a yellow card for Kathryn Johnson deep into the 1st half. With a strong kick by Shaena for a line out, the Amazons scored a second try brought in by Kelsey Coley. Finishing the 1st half with a score of 12 – 14, with Amazons ahead.

Well into the 2nd half, Kathryn Johnson delivered a beautiful try after a pick off a scrum. Beantown came on strong after the kick pushing the Zons within 5 meter of their try line. The Amazons held Beantown and forced a turnover off a line out. The Amazons powered down field with a sold break by LaNoira DuHart, brining the Zons to Beantown’s 5 meter. #9 Rachel Lentsch scored with some shifty moves off the scrum.

Both sides struggled to keep possession, but after a beautiful hand off to Kaelene Lundstrum off the scrum and an some fancy footwork and box kick by #10 Katana Howard led to her laying down a try. Zons held possession after the kick and Kaelene got a good break and scored another try. A forward pass from Beantown resulted in a scrum down to the Amazons. Bailey Johnson with a break and some sneaky moves from Rachel Lentsch through the line led to another try for the Amazons. Sylvia Braaten received a pop with a break through the gap and successfully handing off a last second pop to Rachel for the Amazon’s final try. Ending the game with a final score of Beantown 12 to Amazons 57.
Watch the Full Match HERE

Match reflection from long time Zon and hooker, Ashley Kastendick, “Our goals going into the game vs. Beantown were to connect, finish and continue to go forward. We knew that this was going to be a battle ‘til the end and we were hungry to fight, for ourselves and for each other. I don’t think the final score reflects the true battle of the game…. We were happy with the end result but we definitely aren’t satisfied – we know we have a mountain to climb and we are looking forward to continuing that climb.”

After this weekend results, DII is stagnant at 15 points and WPL is up to 19 points putting WPL at first place for the Red conference by a one point lead. Current WPL standings can be found here. Current DII standings can be found under the Midwest Women’s DII West Green section here.

As the Amazons move forward, both sides will have their last home matches of the season this weekend. DII will play against Palmer on Saturday and WPL will play the Harlequins on Sunday. Sunday will be our Collegiate Athlete Appreciation Day, snacks and refreshments will be available!

 

DII MVP: Julie Bode
DII Hit of the Match: Jenn Bowen
WPL MVP: Rachel Lentsch
WPL Hit of the Match: Sylvia Braaten

Below are the details of the point system  used for standings.

 

STANDINGS
Win = 4 points
Tie = 2 points
Loss = 0 points
Score 4 or more tries in a match = 1 bonus point
Lose but score within 7 points = 1 bonus point

Read more about WPL news at http://wplrugby.org/.