Freshman #8 Colleen Carey runs the ball down the field with freshman outside center Emily Spangler supporting during Sunday's game against Colorado College at Kittredge Fields. CU beat CC 28-0. (CU Independent/Lee Pruitt)
Kittredge Field is almost quiet.
It is the first day of November and besides cars buzzing across U.S. Highway 36 in the background, there is no noise.
The group of women wearing striped socks and white jerseys huddle. They began chanting a familiar song before the rugby match. All of their voices are in unison as one collective resonance.
“Fight CU down the field / CU must win…”
When they finish, they cheer and take their places on the damp, muddy stage. There are about 30 people, mostly family and friends, sitting in the undersized bleachers.
There is no loud buzzer or deafening roar signaling the start of the game—this is not basketball or football. There are no mascots or cheerleaders at this event.
The referee blows his whistle and almost immediately, the ball is punted high into the sky. The sound of the first collision reverberates through the thin mountain sky. Now, the field is overcome by constant noise.
Cheers echo from the modest crowd following the Colorado Buffaloes’ first score of the game. These cheers came continuously as the game continued. Yet, rarely were there cheers coming from the opposition, Colorado College. They didn’t have much to get excited about as CU held them scoreless the entire game.
Defensively, CU used big hits and successful rucks—which is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on their feet and in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground—to keep the Tigers away from the goal line.
“It feels really satisfying,” junior outside center Emily Spangler said. “[It shows] we’re really great at defense.”
Though there may be no glory that comes with this little-known sport, it doesn’t mean these women don’t have any guts. This is women’s rugby and these ladies are tough as hell.
After 80 minutes of hitting, being hit, landing in mud puddles and getting tackled hard into the grass, the game ends. The team huddles again, this time to celebrate their shutout.
“Hip, hip, hooray. Hip, hip, hooray.”
Colorado College, who arrived 20 minutes late, actually forgot there was a game. This in turn gave CU the advantage with more time to practice while the other team was rushing to get there.
“We still had a good warm-up; it was longer,” senior wing Melissa Griffith said. “We had to wait a little bit, but it was fine.”
Both teams lined up to shake hands after their post-game huddles. Afterward, they dispersed into the parking lot and stands.
Kittredge Field is silent again. It will be so until the next whistle ushers in that unique and largely unheard of harmony known as rugby.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Michael Krumholtz at Michael.email@example.com.
- Womens soccer ties BYU
- Women’s rugby overcomes slow start to win
- CU beats CSU in men’s rugby
- How to watch women’s rugby
- Rugby prepares for Wyoming