Author: Sant Kumar
On Nov. 5 and 6, the women’s rugby team played in the Scrum by the Sea tournament, held at University of California at San Diego (UCSD).
During the tournament, the Tigers played notable Division I schools like University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Claremont and University of California Santa Cruz, as well as Division II schools such as University of Southern California (USC) and University of Arizona. Occidental capped a well-played tournament with a dominating performance over Claremont, 36-0.
The Tigers were powered by a core of strong first-years, such as Ris Booth, Marlys Larson, and Stella Keck. While Booth excels defensively as an exceptional tackler, Larson has rapidly developed her kicking and decision making skills. Keck is learning to play the fly-half position, as she has great field vision.
Though the team played three Division I schools in the tournament, it never lost by more than two tries, which is equal to ten points. Additionally, according to Keck and captain Candace “Candy” Lubar (senior), rookies played many of the games.
The team emerged from the tournament with Claremont as a new rival. On the second day of the tournament the Tigers played a very competitive and close game, losing only by a few points. However, the team used this as motivation when they played Claremont again, shutting them out behind a strong showing from its defense.
Though Occidental beat Claremont in the tournament, Keck admits that the offense needs to improve if the women’s rugby team is to develop into a championship team. As a result, the team has started working on a number of different plays to improve their offense and confuse opposing defenses.
“We have started running set offensive plays that focus on us drawing in the other team’s defense while allowing our offense to take control of newly opened space on the field. We are also working on plays that will be used immediately before scoring to assure our tries will be good,” Keck said.
After a 20-10 loss against UCLA’s b-side on Dec. 1, the Tigers may be seen next semester as they have a jam-packed schedule, which includes multiple games on weekends against prominent teams like USC, California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Northridge.
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