Pinson proves vital to CWU rugby

Samantha Pinson of CWU Women's Rugby

Courtesy of CWU Athletics

Samantha Pinson of CWU Women's Rugby

Observer Staff

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Courtesy of CWU Athletics
Samantha Pinson of CWU Women’s Rugby

When senior Samantha Pinson looks back at her college rugby career, she says one of her favorite memories was making her first trip to the national championship tournament in May of 2015.

“We weren’t expecting to get there, so we were humbled and really excited to see the outcome,” Pinson said. “It didn’t go our way, but it was a still a really good experience.”

Pinson has been playing rugby since 2009, so naturally when it came time for her and then-boyfriend John Hayder to choose a university, a school with rugby was a must.

Team captain Leah Ingold played against Pinson in high school before they joined forces in college. Pinson played at Fallbrook High School in Southern California while Ingold played at Kent-Meridian High School; they went head-to-head in national tournaments.

Ingold knows as well as anyone what a force Pinson is on the field.

Pinson “shows by example, she doesn’t need to use her voice. She rarely makes mistakes and when she does, fixes it right away,” Ingold said. “She helps the team in a hundred thousand ways. She is simply an amazing player.”

Fellow senior Ashley Rolsma is also amazed with what Pinson can do both on the field and in the weight room.

“We have this thing on our team called S.P. (Samantha Pinson) Goals,” Rolsma said, “it has to do with her lifting and how much of a [dedicated] athlete that she is.”

An S.P. goal doesn’t have to be a goal that is set in the weight room or on the field, but it can also be a goal outside of rugby. It can be anything to do with life, from eating to education to personal relationships, Pinson sets an example for the rest of the team.

“She’s been a great leader for us and embodies our team and what we stand for, she has a good life ahead of her,” head coach Trevor Richards said.

Richards also called Pinson dedicated, driven and an example for everyone.

“The thing with Sammy is that she is not much of a vocal leader, she is more of a leader by example,” Rolsma said. “Everybody looks up to her, so even if she doesn’t know that she is that much of a leader, it is only because she is not vocal, but her actions speak louder than anything.”

Rolsma believes that Pinson gives 100 percent to everything that she does, citing a training exercise that uses touches in place of tackles.

“She doesn’t believe in just a simple, nice little touch, she will blast you, and it is the funniest thing,” Rolsma said. “You want to get mad at her but you can’t. That is just how she plays, she goes hard at everything that she does.”

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Pinson proves vital to CWU rugby