The Scrum by the Sea tournament is a kickoff event for many southern California-area women’s colleges, so many teams are still working through the offseason rust. When Cal State University Northridge entered the tournament, they focused on initiating the 20 new rookies who augmented the squad of 12 returning players, and wanted to keep the weekend fun. But under the guidance of tournament MVP Gillian Chance, CSUN did more than just have fun – they won the whole she-bang, ending with a 19-7 victory over Humboldt. And that’s why Chance is RugbyMag.com’s Rhino Rugby Women's Player of the Week.
|The Player of the Week Award is brought to you by Rhino Rugby, makers of high-quality, made-in-America rugby balls, rucking pads, tackle bags, and scrum machines.|
The 20-year-old junior has been playing rugby since she was 12, picking up the game through her father, Ron, and continuing with Mother Lode High School. After three years on the Nor Cal U19 All-Star team, she chose a university that didn’t have a rugby program, drawn to CSUN’s film department instead. But after two months, she missed the sport too much and began forming a team. CSUN experienced tremendous success in their first year, winning SoCal and going on to the DII championships. Chance was the catalyst to it all, so it’s no surprise that she’s still leading from the front.
As the most experienced player on the team, flyhalf is a good fit for Chance. She kicks, passes and reads the field well, and lays the groundwork for CSUN's strong passing game and ability to draw in opponents and pull a lot of give-and-goes.
“I had a fantastic team with me and truly had a blast,” Chance said of the weekend. “We came into this tournament with one simple goal: to have fun and get some experience. This positive attitude brought the whole team together. We were all dedicated to each other and refused to give up. We won because we don't just play for ourselves as individuals but for each other and our club.”
It’s always a pleasure to encounter someone who performs on and off the field, and Chance is a perfect example of a player who runs her team on the pitch and on paper.
“I work hard to be a leader for my team,” Chance said. “I have a lot of responsibility being president and captain of my club. I am so happy that CSUN has given us the opportunity to represent our university. Founding and playing for this club has made my college experience better than I could ever have imagined it to be.”