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Get to Know the Sorensen Finalists: Kaitlyn Schwarting

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Get to Know the Sorensen Finalists: Kaitlyn Schwarting

Kaitlyn Schwarting in action for West Point. Photo Mark Washburn.

Kaitlyn Schwarting's leadership and broad range of talents has seen her make it to the list of finalists for the MA Sorensen Award.

She doesn't do it with power but she does do it with strength, throwing herself into the defensive responsibilities of being a center on one of the best teams in the nation, and facing up to some imposing defenses.

It's not hard to see the parallels. 

"My team is never the biggest, but we put in the work and we have unmatched fitness, grit, and aggression," Schwarting told Goff Rugby Report. "We use every piece of the game and every person to accomplish the end goal, because we cannot win this game alone. I am extremely grateful to be selected as a finalist for this award. I believe it reflects the amount of trust my team put in me this year."

Trust is a big thing in rugby and Schwarting is certainly someone who earns trust. She is perhaps at her best under pressure, tackling, running, setting up teammates, and kicking, she takes smart options, always. And while the West Point coaching staff did a lot to help mold this player, she also had a good start in her youth program.

"My first ever rugby game was at Surfside Sevens, when I was 12, for my high school team North Bay," she said. "I was about 85 pounds and I learned very quickly that I would never be the kind of player that could run through people. I had to be fast, cheeky, aggressive, knowledgeable and I had to know that when I inevitably get hit hard, I would have to get right back up."

Schwarting played with Atlantis and grew up as a player with North Bay.

"North Bay and the girls I played with on that team set me up to play at West Point," she said. "The coaches at North Bay and the girls I had the pleasure of playing with and against in high school enabled the development of my rugby knowledge and foundation."

West Point made the NIRA final against Dartmouth last fall, and Schwarting was a key part of that run.

"Getting to play in high-level rugby matches alongside my teammates is the greatest pleasure an athlete can have," Schwarting said. "Watching our team click together, work hard for each other, and support one another is why this game is so incredible. We are regularly recognized as the smaller team, so watching my teammates dominate on the field, regularly against bigger teams, and doing incredible things together is an amazing experience. All I have ever wanted to do is share my love of this game with others. West Point has given me a perfect opportunity to play high-level rugby, while also helping develop new rugby players.

"Our team is unique with the number of walk-ons we take as our Academy is gifted with athletes; therefore we just get the joy of watching them fall in love with this game each year."