Rugby Looks for Support

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Author: Sam Byrne

The Women’s Rugby team has both a new captain and new outlook this year. Although the team has been unlucky in their previous matches this season, captain Danielle Siegler (senior) foresees a bright outcome for the team. The Tigers will have a chance to prove themselves in their upcoming game against Claremont McKenna on Feb. 26.

Siegler’s excitement about the team’s potential victories stems from the women’s admirable work ethic. The players devote two hours twice a week to practicing and compete almost every weekend. “We encourage girls to do conditioning outside of practice,” Siegler said, mentioning activities such as going to the gym and doing yoga every week in addition to the scheduled practices.

With the budding success of the team, Siegler hopes to see more students coming to the home games and showing their support for the rugby women. “There’s a decent amount of fans,” Siegler said. However, she also pointed out that there’s a “funny turnout,” where a lot of the support for rugby seems directed towards the men’s team. She did add, however, that she appreciates when the “guys and old boys come out to support,” explaining that some of the team’s greatest fans are their male counterparts.

Hoping to increase the level of play and amount of support, the team has been doing a lot of recruiting and getting a lot of publicity. Siegler is excited about the team’s efforts thus far. “All in all, I am so confident about these girls,” she said.

The women on the team are equally confident about the program’s potential for the rest of the season. “We go into every game thinking we’re going to [win], which is great,” Liz Wells (first-year) said.

She acknowledged, however, that the experience is about more than the wins or losses. It’s about what she’s gained as a member of the rugby team. “I get to play with some of the coolest people ever. Playing rugby is probably the most fun I’ve had at Oxy so far. All the girls are fantastic, the team vibe is great,” Wells said.

Dominique Ross (first-year), a talented varsity athlete in high school, has found the transition to this club sport rewarding. “We get to take out girls from other schools,” she said.

Still, Ross isn’t solely focused on the competitive aspect of the game. “[Rugby is also] based on camaraderie [and] we socialize with the other team after each game,” she said.

Siegler also said that the team is very family-oriented and that the rugby community opens many doors after being emerged in the world-wide rugby network.

Occidental students, beyond attending the games, can also show their support for the team this Friday, Feb. 25, at the $1 Swap Meet Fundraiser, where T-shirts, hats, sunglasses and various other items can be purchased for only a dollar. The proceeds will go to supporting the U.S. National Women’s Rugby team in their quest to make it to the 2016 Olympic Games.

“Anything and everything you can find is just one dollar. It’s a way to spring clean your closet,” Siegler said. 

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