BY BROOKE RENNA, NEWS EDITOR
They play in rain and shine, and sometimes even snow.
Susquehanna’s women’s rugby team played against Bloomsburg University in their first match of their spring season for the second-annual St. Patrick’s Day charity match for the SUN Area American Red Cross, even despite the snowy weather. By the end of the game, there was at least two inches of snow on the pitch with the lines being covered. Junior Jackson Giedgowd could be seen sweeping off the out of bounds lines throughout the game.
Freshman and student coach Emma Waite said, “The snow certainly made for an interesting challenge, especially when we couldn’t even see the lines on the pitch.”
Although the women’s team was defeated by Bloomsburg with the final score being 48-7, the team still was able to gain positives out of it.
Sophomore Briley Acker, president of the women’s team, said: “The game provided the team with an awesome bonding experience to start out the fresh season. I can’t imagine any of us forgetting the game where we were tackling in the snow.”
The game gave Waite her first try as a Crusader. She said: “I was so excited after the try. It was the first try I scored as a collegiate rugby player. It was definitely a memorable experience.”
Also, this game provided the Crusaders the first chance to show off their new forward line up. After losing players to graduating early, student teaching and going abroad, the women’s starting line-up consisted of nine players either entirely new to the game of rugby or playing a different position altogether. Acker said: “I’m really pleased with the unity and togetherness the girls brought to the pitch. The veterans guided and the rookies listened, which resulted in good team play.”
Sophomore Katie Benton, who used to be an inside center, was playing as a flanker for the Bloomsburg game.
She said: “For our first game with a substantial amount of new players and players new to their positions, I feel like we did well. I’ve never played in the pack, or a blizzard, so this game was very different. I feel like with more practice we can be an exceptional team again.”
Although the men’s team was also scheduled to play Bloomsburg to raise funds for the game, it had to be cancelled for safety reasons and has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 18, at 5 p.m.
Men’s rugby vice-president Alex Holderbaum said, “We were disappointed [that the game was cancelled] but excited to get another chance to play for the cause.”
The first charity game was held last year and was fundraised solely by the men’s team. This year the women and men combined their efforts. Holderbaum said: “We got the idea for the Red Cross game after the team volunteered to clean destroyed houses after the hurricane in the fall of 2011. What the American Red Cross has done for the community is amazing, and we wanted to thank them with this donation.”
The teams are still accepting donations for the American Red Cross. For more information on how to donate, you can contact Alex Holderbaum.