Robin Glynn – General Assignments Reporter –
It’s not football or baseball, but rugby is a sport that the SCSU women’s team says is one of the fastest growing sports in the country.
“We have been around a while,” said Sarah Pucci, co-captain of the women’s rugby team, which competes in Division II.
“We are a diverse group of girls,” said Pucci. “Ones you wouldn’t expect to play are on the team. The girls love to tackle in the mud, but dress up after.”
According to the women’s rugby team website, the purpose of the club is “to promote growth in women’s rugby while offering an opportunity for practical and realistic experience in the game.”
Pucci, along with captains Missy Outner and April Schmaltz, said that what makes their team special is how accepting and close they are.
“Everyone has different personalities,” said Outner. “Rugby brings everyone together.”
All three said that they see the team getting together as a social escape and a way for them to become closer. Pucci said that whether the team wins or loses, they always have a reason to celebrate.
“We have a party after every game,” said Pucci. “It is a way for us to celebrate, win or lose.”
While other sports might have different rules between men and women’s team, rugby is a sport where the rules are the same.
“The rules are not different,” said Pucci, “If anything, the women are more chaotic.”
Outner said that rugby is an all-contact sport and that they do not wear any pads, only mouth guards. Outner said that rubgy is a sport that is learned by doing.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” said Outner.
Southern women’s rugby has had issues in the past. At one point, they got rid of their old coaches, and for a time, the captains also took on the responsibility to coach. This is no longer the case. Today, Pucci said the team is closer thanks to coaches Bren Harrison and Chris Fountain.
Schmaltz said that this year, they had more people sign-up than usual.
“Half the team is freshman,” said Schmaltz. “It takes a year to a year and a half to get the game.”
Schmaltz said that by the time players would get the game, they would be seniors and would graduate. She said now they have more time to play starting as freshman.
Pucci said that many believe that rugby is a men’s sport, but she suggests that girls try rugby.
“It is a sport that you can fall in love with,” said Pucci. “Girls will not become less feminine.”