The first time I ever saw Hope Wasserman she was eight years old and playing goalie for the Green Hornet’s Twisters. She wasn't the tallest girl on the team, nor was she the broadest. But she had the most important quality needed in a goalie - fearlessness.
Hope showed absolutely no fear, whether the ball was heading at top speed in a direct line towards her or whether it was being followed by another player heading straight for her.
That same year, Hope started playing rugby through the Green Hornets touch rugby program. And though she still plays soccer, batting the balls out of the air and protecting that goal with all that she has, rugby seems to have stolen her heart.
Since eighth grade she's played with the Severn River Women’s Rugby team but until this year, the other players had been given strict direction not to hit her. Now for the first time, Hope is able to play full contact rugby.
In her second year as a Severna Park High School goalie, Hope is finding herself juggling her schedule to fit everything in.
“It is a lot of work,” Hope said, “But when you really love something you make it work.”
For Hope this means practice every afternoon with the SPHS soccer team, followed twice a week by practice for the rugby team and because she plays soccer year round for her club team, games on the weekends for both the rugby and club soccer teams.
Juggling all of her athletics with family time and her studies is not easy but once again, Hope is on target to be an Honor Roll Athlete.
Asked whether the hitting scares her Hope said, “No, it is a very physical sport but because of that any stress I get from trying to juggle so much is relieved by the hitting.”
In addition to enjoying the more physical game, Hope says she enjoys having something that is exclusively her own. Both her brother and sister swam for SPY and Hope did give swimming a try but found she really prefers team sports to the individual focus given in swimming.
As the youngest member of the Severn River Rugby Team, Hope has also enjoyed the opportunity to relate to people who are older than she is.
“Two of my teammates actually work at Severna Park High School. Coach McAlister is the softball coach and Ms. Hicks teaches math,” Hope said, “It was kind of funny at first but I am used to that now.
Currently the Severn River Club is in the process of recruiting younger girls to play for the club. They are hoping to start a U19 team. For Hope this will be a chance to step up as a leader, both while recruiting players and as the team develops. She says she is looking forward to the process.