This season proved to be a successful one for the Geneseo women’s club rugby team. Ranked 12th in the country, the DII team has made it to the top 32 playoff bracket three out of the last four years. Women’s rugby is just one of the many teams here that embodies Geneseo’s tradition of athletic excellence, even at the club level.
There are 30 players involved in the women’s rugby team, according to their roster online, making it a very popular club sport amongst women. There are technically three teams, in order to ensure that everyone gets playing time. This inclusive nature allows the team to welcome new players every semester. That being said, rugby experience is by no means a necessity to join.
“Some people know the team sport dynamic and other people have never had experience with a sport before, but no matter their skill level, everyone will catch up,” junior second row and forward’s captain Vickie Allen said. “We all learn together.”
This team dynamic is further built through practices every Monday-Friday, as well as group workouts that really enhance the players’ bonding experiences. These workouts help grow individual character in addition to team unity.
“I think one of our strengths is that it is such an open and accepting place to be,” Allen said. “We all come from different levels of experience, locations and friend groups, but we all become strong-minded together. It’s like making 50 best friends at the same time.”
The majority of the opposing teams are from SUNY schools, with a few private schools, such as Rochester Institute of Technology and Syracuse University. The team holds a 7-1 record in the regular season and is looking to continue that success in the upcoming playoffs.
After collaboration with the school, alumni and officers of the men’s rugby team, Geneseo rugby has finally been approved to use two fields on campus. This will allow rugby to have a home field, which they have been lacking.
For the last few years, they practiced on Onondaga field and played home games in Rochester. This made home games difficult to attend for both friends and fans. After construction modifications next semester, however, the teams will officially have a field to call “home” in the fall of 2017.
“It’ll be nice to wake up and to only have to walk a few minutes to the field, instead of driving half an hour in the morning,” Allen said.
Women’s rugby has an important presence on campus. Their open nature makes it a perfect club team for someone looking to learn a new sport or to even begin an athletic career in college. By having a home field right here on campus next fall, more people will be able to easily cheer on the women.