Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Middlebury Campus
Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

The special moments of a difficult season for women’s rugby

The women’s rugby team celebrates their first try of the season. Courtesy of Jacqueline Tran.
The women’s rugby team celebrates their first try of the season. Courtesy of Jacqueline Tran.

Women’s rugby faced a difficult, albeit gratifying, season of rebuild this fall. With a 1–5 finish, Captain Emma Doubman ’22 said it felt like an in-between sort of season. 

“We didn’t have a lot of strong results,” Doubman said. “But our improvement throughout the year, from the first game to the last — there was a huge difference.” 

Half the squad this year was comprised of rookies, making growth the Panthers’ primary focus this season. The team faced additional struggles with the format of play in the fall, often competing with barely enough players to meet the roster requirement following a slew of injuries. Looking forward, Doubman expects that the seven-a-side format of play in the spring season will allow the team to better overcome injuries than this season.

Although the many injuries posed obstacles for the team, it paved the way for rookies to establish themselves on the team and make many older players, like Doubman, forget it was their first time playing rugby. 

“Scoring our first try was very exciting,” she said. “It’s really [special] to watch people score their first try.” 

The Panthers faced some tough opponents in their opening fixtures, failing to score in the first two matches. In the third game of the season, however, despite going on to lose to St. Michaels, the team was finally able to celebrate their first try as a team, showing their determination in the face of a difficult season. 

On a small team like women’s rugby, moments like these can go a long way to build the team’s chemistry. Doubman was quick to highlight the team’s positivity and cohesive nature, making every bonding moment that much sweeter. Now, with the fall season firmly in the past, the women’s rugby team is looking ahead to their winter training, where they hope to continue their close relationship with the men’s team as they strive for big results in the spring season.

Ryan Heinzerling

Ryan Heinzerling '24 (he/him/his) is one of the Sports Editors!  

He's studying English and Political Science. Outside of his studies, Ryan is also a member of the Middlebury College Ski Patrol, has a radio show at WRMC, and spent this previous summer working as a Corporate Partners Intern at the New York Mets!