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Get to Know the Sorensen Finalists: Sarah Skinner

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Get to Know the Sorensen Finalists: Sarah Skinner

Skinner is a go-to attacking threat for Navy.

Sarah Skinner not only led her US Naval Academy to a national fall D1 championship, she is now a Rhodes Scholar and is set to attend Oxford University in the fall.

Skinner, who is a two-time Sorensen Finalist, is a superb leader, a powerful runner, and her leadership and the impressive image she projects has helped the Navy rugby programs, both of them, raise their profile on campus. Raise it so much that both programs will be officially varsity programs in the fall.  

"Navy Women's Rugby has come a long way from being a little club that had to use the men's club jerseys for games—after the men's team had played in them—to 25 years later, officially getting green light for going varsity," Skinner told Goff Rugby Report. "I knew nothing about rugby before I joined the team, so everything I've accomplished in rugby is a direct result of what this team has taught me and how hard the girls next to me have pushed me to become better. Our team motto is 'love the legacy,' and I would like to think that the I am living the legacy that the women before me have left, and I am also establishing a legacy for the women after me to follow."

And that has all led to her second Sorensen finalist spot.

"Being selected as a finalist has reflected all of this," she said. 

Skinner entered Annapolis knowing nothing of the sport. On Induction Day, the first day of Plebe Summer, which is the Naval Academy's version of boot camp, she was approached by an officer who suggested she try rugby.

"A couple of weeks later, I took her advice, and first fell in love with the women on the team, and then I fell in love with the sport," she said. "Since then, I have had amazing experiences that have forged me as the player I am today, that I have also been able to bring back to the team: 15s Junior All American Camp and two USA Rugby Olympic Development training camps. These were difficult and high-intensity camps that I wasn't necessarily used to before, but they reinforced in me the value of grit and toughness, values we try to emphasize at Navy."

She has brought those experienced back to the Navy side, and that was a big reason why they were able to get over that hump and beat Davenport for the 2021 Fall D1 title.

"I remember all of us binding up together after we won the D1 National Championship and singing our alma mater, The Navy Blue and Gold. Once we sang the line: 'Have proved the sailor’s right to wear the Navy Blue and Gold,' I couldn't stop the tears that came to my eyes. We like to joke at the Academy, that the best way to create bonds within a group is laughter and mutual suffering. It can get pretty tough at times, but this particular moment after the Championship, made it all worth it."