UCSD CLUB SPORTS

    Women’s Rugby

    On her first day as coach of the UCSD womens rugby team, Hoova Smith told her players that they were going to make it to nationals. A few veterans thought this was too optimistic, while a few concerned rookies whispered that they still didn’t understand the rules. After a month of practice, however, UCSD made its presence known by winning its own annual “”Scrum by the Sea”” tournament. The women of UCSD rugby never looked back.

    After a season of hard fought games, UCSD sat atop the SoCal division with a perfect record of 10-0. The team would go to nationals as promised.

    The women of UCSD traveled to Orlando, Fla, in mid-April to compete among the top collegiate teams in the nation. Aside from the searing heat and humidity, UCSD faced low expectations since “”Southern California rugby is just not that strong.””

    On Saturday, UCSD, as the No. 13 seed, played the University of Virginia, ranked No. 4 in the nation. UVA wasted little time and notched its first try after overpowering UCSD in a maul which drove the ball into the try zone.

    UCSD answered back in the first half with tries by Tiki Hayes and Kristin King. Kirstin Hartos would contribute three penalty kicks by the game’s end, slamming the door on UVA with a final score of 21-15.

    On Sunday, UCSD competed in the Elite Eight, the first time ever that a SoCal team had advanced this far. Though a tough fought game, the Air Force defense managed to silence UCSD’s usually explosive offense. A three point kick by Hartos would stand as UCSD’s only score in the defeat by Air Force. Solid defense by Sarah Davis and Abby George, along with phenomenal kicking by co-captain Jenny Menke, highlighted the Triton performances both days. The Air Force Academy went on to win the national championship, and the UCSD womens rugby team would claim the No. 5 spot in the nation. It was an unforgettable season for all involved.

    With a brigade of talented rookies and only a few graduating players, UCSD looks to go even further next year. Their positive team dynamics and camaraderie both on and off the field will serve them well as they strive for the top in the 2002-2003 season.

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