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Gabby Cantorna Becomes First Penn State Rugby Alum To Sign Abroad

Women’s rugby star Gabby Cantorna made history as the first Penn State alum to play professionally overseas after signing with the Exeter Chiefs in England last week.

Cantorna’s time at Penn State saw her cement her legacy in Happy Valley. As a captain for the Nittany Lions, Cantorna was a four-time national champion and earned collegiate All-American honors.

Cantorna is well known for her performance as a center who often acts as the quarterback for the team. Her strong domestic play has earned her a trip overseas to play in the highly competitive English league.

“I’m excited to be immersed in such a high level training environment and I am looking forward to growing and learning under the two excellent head coaches here,” Cantorna said. “This is the perfect year for me to be heading overseas, as 2021 is the next Rugby World Cup, and I am hoping to represent the United States at it.”

Since arriving in England, conditioning and perfecting skills has been her top priority before stepping onto the field. Entering a new phase of her life with new faces and teammates in an entirely different country, Cantorna reflects on the foundation from her alma mater.

“Penn State was great preparation for this moment, the facilities at school as well as the access to a high level strength coach is what has given me the physical basis to be able to perform at such a high level,” Cantorna said. “My biggest takeaway from playing with the Penn State women’s rugby team is that hard work and community will dictate how far you go in just about anything.”

Cantorna will embark on her new journey in England with the dual goal of performing at the club level with an eye on next year’s World Cup. No matter what happens in the next decisive season, Penn State will have shaped her for success.

Cantorna signed a one-year contract with the Exeter Chiefs women’s team. Its first game of the 2020-21 season is scheduled for October 10.

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About the Author

Larkin Richards

Larkin is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. The only words that leave her mouth are "yinz" and "dippy eggs." Luckily, her writing has much more substance than that. As a Steelers and Pirates fan, sports can become a hot debate. Share your thoughts on dogs (specifically Boston Terriers) with her at: [email protected]

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