The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Women await rival Marquette

    Spectator file photo

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s rugby team has a big weekend ahead of them. They have rival Marquette in town.

    “This weekend is the biggest match of the season for us,” senior Sara Schmidt said.

    The match is against Marquette, the only other Div. I women’s team in the conference.

    Not only is it an important match for the team’s records, but it’s also parents’ weekend. This is the first time invitations were sent out to all the parents, Schmidt said. The rugby match is at 11 a.m., followed by a barbeque.

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    “I expect that we will play well this weekend, regardless of what the outcome will be,” she said.

    At the barbeque, the women’s team will not be the only team there. The men’s team, which will have a match at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be there as well, Schmidt said.

    In rugby the hosting team is required to feed the visiting team after the match, she said. This is why rugby is unique, she said, adding that it is okay for them to be friends with their rivals after they leave the field.

    Having home field advantage definitely will be helpful, senior inside center Timoly Sommer said.

    The Blugolds’ rugby field is the best in the state, Sommer said, being regulation size with real grass.

    With this weekend to look forward to, a lot of what has occurred this season thus far will influence their strategies in the future.

    Last weekend the team suffered a loss to La Crosse, Schmidt said. La Crosse is an excellent competitor, she said.

    “It was fun, clean rugby,” Schmidt said.

    Sommer felt the same going into the competition.

    “We thought it would be a pretty good match,” she said.

    The team has already played three of their toughest opponents this season.

    Schmidt and Sommer are playing their last season for the team. Sommer said she will be graduating in December and Schmidt will not be eligible after this semester.

    Both started on the team together and will finish together, Sommer said. For her last season Sommer wants her teammates to learn from what she shows them – to learn from her examples.

    Since the team lost a lot of players who helped bring them to the playoffs in the past, their goals have changed from winning to focusing on improvement, Schmidt said.

    “Support, support, support, that’s our biggest problem,” Sommer said. “I just want to win.”

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    Women await rival Marquette