This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Maryanne (MA) Sorensen, three-time Rugby World Cup performer, 1991 Rugby World Cup champion, and 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee.
MA was born in San Antonio, Texas, and moved around a good amount in her childhood. Her high school didn’t offer very many organized sports for women, but MA swam, rode horses, sailed, and bowled. She discovered rugby in college and was part of the first-ever women’s team at the College of William & Mary.
MA started playing for the Philadelphia women’s RFC in 1978 while going to medical school, and she later played for the Molly Maguires and the Eagles. On the U.S. Women’s National Team, MA played in the first-ever Women’s Rugby World Cup in the UK. After her playing days, she began coaching as a way to give back and stay involved with the rugby community.
0:35 – Brian introduces Maryanne Sorensen, three-time Rugby World Cup performer and 1991 Rugby World Cup champion.
1:30 – Can you tell us about where you grew up and the sports you played as a kid?
2:50 – How did you get involved in rugby?
3:36 – What were your first few years playing rugby like at William & Mary, and what were some challenges your team faced?
5:00 – Why did you choose to move to Philadelphia after graduating?
5:47 – Tell us about some of the accomplishments you made with the Philadelphia Women’s RFC.
6:55 – How tough was it to juggle medical school, internships, and rugby at the same time?
9:08 – Where are the Molly Maguires based, and do you have any stories from your time with them?
10:54 – Did you enjoy playing the ITTs?
12:25 – Tell us more about making the Eagles squad in 1990.
13:20 – What was it like to make history at the first-ever Women’s Rugby World Cup?
15:20 – Did you suspect before you left for the Cup that the Eagles would be a real contender?
17:12 – Can you share the story of using your medical training to aid a team member at the World Cup?
18:35 – What do you remember from the celebratory experience at the White House after your victory?
20:35 – What are some memories from the other World Cups you attended?
24:10 – Is there someone you enjoyed playing against more than others?
24:50 – Who is the toughest team you have ever faced?
25:53 – Who are two or three of your favorite teammates, and why?
27:10 – What did you enjoy most about your coaching experience?
28:30 – Do you have one rugby memory that stands out above the rest?
29:50 – What’s your favorite tour you’ve been on?
31:40 – Looking back on your career, what are you most proud of?
32:20 – How difficult has it been to be a frontline worker in the medical field over the past few years?
34:35 – How do you feel about the Washington Athletic Club naming an award after you?
36:20 – What does it mean to you to have been inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame?
In this episode of the With You! Rugby Podcast, we heard from Maryanne (MA) Sorensen, a former player on the Women’s U.S. National Team, Rugby World Cup champion, and three-time World Cup performer. In addition to her success in rugby, MA has a successful career in the medical field and works on the front lines to help save lives. MA was inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame on July 15, 2022.