Women’s rugby proves to be a powerhouse out on the pitch

On Sept. 26 the University of Vermont women’s rugby club will take the pitch for their first game of the ’09 – ’10 season, where they will be competing against UMass -Amherst.

After qualifying for the playoffs last fall and succeeding in making it to the Regional Final Four, junior president Katie O’Rourke is confident that the club can respond with another great effort and performance.

“We would love to make it to the playoffs and further,” O’Rourke said. “We are practicing every day, and we’re working our butts off.”

Though it is a club sport, the team is as serious as any other.The women were already at school working hard before the rest of campus arrived.

“We were up here the week before school and started having two-a-days,” O’Rourke said.
Although the women’s rugby club practices and competes year-round with various scrimmages and tournaments,  the fall is their most competitive season, featuring the postseason playoffs.

With close to 50 players on the roster, the team keeps their competitive edge by maintaining close friendships.

“We are a competitive team year-round so we do become close as a group, We call ourselves the rugby family,” O’Rourke said.

Although they are training hard and staying competitive the club isn’t necessarily looking to improve their performance on the field, as they are more inclined to improve it off the field, following last

The team has limited funding from the school so they must rely on the community for financial gains.

“We would like to improve on our fundraising, we need more of it this year,  we would like to get new equipment and with an increase in funds it would be possible,” O’Rourke said.

But the club, while looking to raise money, can also give back.  They work closely with the Women’s Crisis Center and host a tournament aptly named “Ruggers Against Rape.”

With the fall season just a week under way the club is gearing up for another good year.  “We just want to get ourselves out there and play,” O’Rourke said.