Editor’s note: Joelle Milholm and Laura Epple are both Collegian
employees, but they were not involved in the writing or editing of
this story. Milholm is the sports editor and Epple is a volleyball
There are two teams in soccer-like jerseys.
There is a ball, goal posts and a referee.
The players tackle each other with a vengeance.
No, this isn’t the CSU football team. It’s the recently reformed
women’s rugby club.
After six years without a team, the club team hopes to have some
of the same success as the men’s team.
“Our goal is to make it to the Sweet 16 of our league (Eastern
Rockies Rugby Football Union/USA Rugby) and get some recognition as
a team,” said Amanda Keymeir, freshman prop. “We also would like
more community support so we can grow as a team.”
Rugby, a sport known for aggressive, heavy contact, is most
easily recognized by the scrum, in which eight players from each
team drive against each other, creating a tight clump of players on
the field. Scrums are similar to a toss-up, in that they allow both
teams the chance to fight for possession of the ball after an
Three players head up each team’s scrum – one hooker and a prop
on either side. The props, which is the position Keymeir plays,
support the hooker and initiate contact with the other team, while
the hooker attempts to kick the ball back to her teammates.
The women’s team, lead by many veteran rugby players, currently
posts a 2-2 record for the year.
One of these veterans, Joelle Milholm, serves as coach and
president of the team and can be seen on the field barking orders
at other players.
Fifteen players are on the field at one time in rugby attempting
to score a “try,” which is similar to a touchdown and is worth five
points. Conversion kicks after a successful try are worth two
additional points. The ball resembles a football with rounded edges
and can be advanced down the field by kicking, running or passing
backwards. Passes up the field are not allowed.
The women’s game greatly matches the men’s.
The contact is the same. The rules are the same and the desire
to win is equally strong. But with a new team, the women will
certainly face challenges this season.
“We are all learning pretty quickly out there,” Keymeir said.
“The fact that we haven’t played together for very long is a
downside, but we have seen some improvement since the first couple
The lady Rams won their matchup with the Eastern Rockies Rugby
Football Union Under-19s team by a score of 19-10. Milholm scored
two tries and made two conversions while Paige Fitzgerald-Smith
scored the other try.
CSU will next face Air Force on Oct. 10 at 11:30 a.m. Air Force
was the national champion two years ago and ranked fifth in the
nation last season,.