Women's Rugby Leads Pack

    The UCSD women’s rugby team turned its annual Scrum by the Sea tournament into a vicious display of dominance, trampling several conference foes, including Arizona State University and UCLA.

    If the team’s performance on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5 was an accurate indication of the team’s strength, the season outlook appears very bright.

    “”I thought our main rival would be [UC] Santa Barbara, but they’ve dropped out this tourney and are in a rebuilding process,”” head coach Carla Smith said. “”However, UCLA and [Arizona State] have been looking really good.””

    In its first two games, the team completely dominated opponents Sacramento State and UC Davis, beating both handily, 32-0 and 20-0, respectively. Senior outside center Monica Ziggler and sophomore inside center Julia Anderson were seemingly unstoppable, as they scored multiple tries in both games.

    Smith was full of praise for the two players and the rest of the team.

    “”Monica and Julia pretty much scored at will,”” Smith said. “”Having said that, they don’t play well without the forwards. … They were one of the most aggressive packs I’ve seen since I’ve been here.””

    However, UCSD’s last game during round robin play was a completely different story, as the team fell to UC Berkeley, 0-21, mainly due to fatigue.

    “”We had a lot of dropped balls and weren’t as sharp,”” senior captain and fly half Marea Blue said.

    Due to their otherwise excellent performance, the Tritons were given a chance in the playoffs the next day, and they faced UC Davis again in the quarterfinals.

    The Tritons were able to convert a kick off of a penalty and the team was able to scrape by UC Davis, 3-0, in sudden-death overtime. The semifinals pitted the Tritons against Arizona State, a division rival, and they came through again, beating their rival 17-7.

    Fittingly, the Tritons ended up facing UC Berkeley in the finals. However, this time — unlike the round robin game — the Tritons came out on top in the more important of the two games, scoring 24-7.

    According to Smith, the Tritons had the looked forward to a rematch against the Golden Bears.

    “”I knew that if we did well on Sunday, we could face Berkeley sometime,”” Smith said.

    The victory over Cal gave the Tritons much reason to be confident about the season ahead.

    “”We know what it takes to win.,”” Smith said. “”We have to show up every weekend and do what we did this weekend.””

    After placing second in the division last year — the first time in the past five years they did not come in firrst — the Tritons are eager to get the season rolling.

    Smith admitted that the league would be quite competitive this season.

    “”[Arizona State] and UCLA are extremely fast, but we have the advantage because we have size,”” she said. “”We have to be careful that the ball does not go out to their fast girls.””

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