Women's rugby looks to be strong this spring

“The fall season was a rebuilding time for us,” said fullback Jeanne O’Neil ’01. “This season, we have a lot of great rookies, so it looks pretty solid and encouraging.” Although the Jeffs are strong, they are still trying to fill some holes left by the graduation and abroad status of many members. However, the influx of talented freshmen to the team in the fall season has compensated for the loss of seasoned veterans.

“The team is working hard to train a strong A-side for next fall,” said Sheila Graham ’03, who is the club’s president. The spring season will also serve as a training ground for these young players for the more important fall 2001 season, when several Jeff veterans will return from their junior year abroad to pack a powerful punch against opponents from around the Northeast.

According to Graham, the team has already had several indoor practices in addition to chalk talks-team meetings to go over strategy-and the Jeffs are getting revved up to take to the pitch after spring break. Led by Graham, as well as backs captain Diana Geseking ’03 and forwards captain Marina Reti ’01, the team faces a tough spring schedule. The season will feature traditional matchups against Harvard University, Boston University, Northeastern University and the all-important season-ending bout with Williams College.

The Jeffs play on the Division I level and are often matched up against much larger powerhouses. Despite such strong opposition on the spring slate, however, Reti said that she “feels confident that the team will win the majority of our games,” largely due to the addition of so many new players. Graham also noted that backs captain Geseking has been working hard with coach Tony Neverson in shaping a versatile, well-rounded offensive squad to complement the strong defense led by Reti.

The Jeffs will have to work hard to prepare themselves to face Williams for their last game of the season on May 5. Although the A-side team beat the Ephs in their match last fall, this game is always of exceptional importance due to the high stakes involved. The winner leaves with their pride as well as the jerseys of the other team. “As long as you win [the Williams game], you’re on top of the world,” said Nell Thompson ’01. “The rest of your season dosen’t seem to matter as much.”

“It’s always important to beat Williams. It’s gratifying for us to take their jerseys, and it’s embarrassing for them,” added O’Neil. “The Williams game is where you really put it all out on the field.”