SOPHIE Trott will never forget what turned out to be a memorable season for Oxford University Women.
The Dark Blues beat Cambridge to win the Varsity Match in December, before triumphing in the British Universities & College Sport (BUCS) Vase final.
Trott, who is in the second year of her chemistry degree at Wadham College, starred in both of those victories.
She was player of the match, making numerous carries and three try-saving tackles at Twickenham, while she was among the try-scorers as Oxford beat Newcastle to win the BUCS Vase for the first time.
The 20-year-old full back is revelling in her side’s success and is already looking forward to the 2017/18 season.
Trott said: “It’s the best year we’ve ever had, winning the Varsity and then to win the cup as well, it’s not something we’ve ever done before.
“I’m looking forward to next year, but not much will top this season.
“Everyone will remember this year, so we just need to try to build on it.”
Oxford will continue their league campaign in BUCS Premier South next season, where they will bid to improve upon their fifth-placed finish which earned them a place in the Vase semi-finals.
But more notable was the manner of their victory over Cambridge.
After the devastation of losing 52-0 to the Light Blues in 2015 – the first women’s Varsity Match to be played at Twickenham – a gritty Oxford display secured revenge with a 3-0 victory.
Under the guise of Gary Street, who also works with Harlequins Ladies and coached England Women to World Cup glory in 2014, the Dark Blues simply stunned Cambridge.
Trott said: “We’ve got some great coaches, but I think we have a particularly special squad.
“Everyone works so hard and we all really really wanted, because a lot of the girls played last year and it was heartbreaking, to redeem ourselves and show everyone how much better we had got.
“I don’t think we’ve ever defended that hard before – we made about 200 something tackles.
“The whole thing just dragged and dragged and in the second half we just could not get our hands on the ball.
“Every time their backs got the ball my heart was in my mouth and I thought ‘oh no’, but I managed to stop them.”
With women’s rugby making small strides towards becoming a professional entity, Trott is not ruling out a career in the sport, but is prioritising her two remaining years at Oxford.
She said: “Gary has asked me and he is trying to set up a link with Harlequins, so I reckon he will try to persuade a couple of us to carry on, but it’s a few years away yet.”