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Reedie Claire Siepser ’08 defends the ball from attack by opposing players for Whitman College in a match last fall.

 

 

Rough and Tumble on the Rugby Field

The determination of the Reed women’s rugby team paid off in a big way this spring: The women placed second in the Northwest Division I Women’s League—right behind archrival University of Oregon —and earned an invitation to the Pacific Coast Tournament at Stanford in April.

Reed has attended the tournament twice in the recent past. “At Stanford, we were competing with large universities that have 10 times the number of women we do,” explained physical education director Ann Casey. “Our team is physically smaller than most teams. However, we are very talented, smart, and play with a lot of heart.”

The Reed women fell to UC Davis in their Pacific Coast Tournament match, 31–5. “It was an intense and well-played game,” said Casey.

This year’s players came together well, said flyhalf/utility back Robin Woods ’06, most notably in their February 11 victory against the U. of O. “It demonstrated the strength of our team, which is our team,” Woods said. “We aren’t dependent on any one player, and present a strong and united front on the pitch. Our defense is the best I’ve seen. We have very strong offensive play off of scrums and on the loose.”

The tournament at Stanford was a closing act for longtime coaches Peter Carmine and Zeke Martinez. Going into the tournament, rugby webmaster and men’s team flyhalf/utility back Will Landecker ’06 summed up the team's spirit. “My favorite moments are when the freshmen catch the rugby disease,” he said. “It’s not a slow learning process—it’s a moment of rapture. Someone will get knocked to the ground and stand up baring her teeth.”

—Emily Mentzer ’08