On the weekend of November 18-19, the UCSD Women’s Rugby Team hosted one of its most anticipated events of the year, the annual Scrum by the Sea tournament. The fundraising event is held on Warren Field and sees teams from California and Arizona playing rugby at both the competitive and social levels. It’s an exciting gathering of players and an excellent way to start off the season, providing plenty of game experience for newcomers and seasoned players alike.
On the first day of the tournament, UCSD played against CSUN and Claremont. Our first match against CSUN was a close one, but ultimately, we won 12-10. Allison Gomez and Mack Caldwell had great runs that scored our tries in this match, while Kelly Dory made a beautiful kick for the conversion that put us ahead of CSUN. Our second match of the day was against Claremont, who proved to be a worthy adversary. It was a tough game that we lost 0-42, but our team put up a strong fight against these powerhouse players.
On day two of the tournament, we played against SDSU in a close match. Although we lost 12-15, our team played well, and it was a special match for one of our players. This was Rebecca Stiling’s last rugby game as a Triton, and she’ll have an amazing try to remember her last game by - she scored on a turnover, skillfully dodging as the other team’s defenders desperately tried to put a stop to her efforts. After this, Kelly Dory made another clean conversion. Then, in the last few moments of the game, Sara Tsai scored our other try, breaking through several defenders on her way to the try zone, too fast and too powerful to stop.
The final match of the tournament followed soon after ours concluded. Claremont and GCU rose to the top of the competitive bracket, and it was a close matchup between these two teams. While both teams were full of skilled players, Claremont walked away with a 6-0 victory, scoring on two penalty kicks toward the very end of the game and becoming this year’s Scrum by the Sea champions.
While the matches themselves might have taken the spotlight, this weekend provided UCSD the opportunity to fundraise by selling merch and holding our first ever Tackle-a-thon. The merch featured designs by our very own Sara Tsai and Sarah Overington’s brother, Josh Overington (@clearly_confuzed on Instagram!). Our Tackle-a-thon was also a success, as friends and family could pledge to donate money for each tackle a player of their choice made. Emily Salz made the most tackles this weekend at 21, while Mack Caldwell earned our team the most with their tackles. Soobin Jones, Lina Luedi, and Chantal Earl also impressed onlookers with multiple consecutive tackles, giving us barely any time to breathe between tallies.
Overall, Scrum by the Sea was a satisfying success and a great start to another season. Our team was able to get a taste of the level of gameplay we have to look forward to during Winter Quarter, and it was a fulfilling experience for the many first-timers who were able to lay the foundation for their understanding of the game and earn confidence in their new skills.