It was a bittersweet journey as the Lady White Dawgs set off to Amherst with the vision of thirty black and purple jerseys dancing through their minds. This dream was half-realized, as the A-Side fell to the Lady Jeffs while the indomitable B-Side prevailed over their arch-rivals and stripped them of their uniforms.
The Williams A-Side started their game by coming out and dominating the Amherst club with a breakaway run by Jess Green ’98 and a quick pass out to Arlene Spooner ’99. Threatening early at the Amherst 10-meter line, the White Dawgs unfortunately committed a penalty resulting in a long kick by the Lady Jeffs. In an absolutely brilliant play, Spooner called “mark” and caught the kick, which was rewarded by a free kick of her own.
Facilitated by quick-thinking and dynamic play by scrumhalf Beth Friedman ’01, the White line once more advanced downfield with penetrating runs by Leigh Winter ’99 and Green. Reading the Amherst line’s intentions, Laura Moberg ’99 intercepted their pass and quickly handed off to Emily Eakin ’99 whose support was perfectly timed.
The Williams scrum was led by solid tackling from flankers Christine Chan ’99 and Tracy Saylor ’99 who prevented many a Lady Jeff from escaping downfield. Although the Lady Jeffs were able to slip into the try zone late in the first half, the White Dawgs remained undaunted and came out even harder following the score. The score was left at 5-0 at half-time.
The second half opened with a phenomenal kick by Spooner, the reception of which was subsequently flubbed by the Amherst pack. Deep in enemy territory, the White Dawgs came close to scoring only to be foiled by another penalty.
The second half was marked by much back-and-forth kicking between the teams by Spooner, Moberg and Winter and by solid support from all team members. Chan and Saylor again stood out as clutch tacklers. Not to be shut out the White Dawgs concluded the game with Spooner’s converted penalty kick for try, leaving the final score in Amherst’s favor 19-3.
After the game, the A-Side relinquished their jerseys to the Amherst girls and gave the pitch to the B-Side hoping they would avenge the A-Side loss. And avenge they did, thanks to unflagging intensity from the line.
The game began with a beautiful tag-team-tackle by Karen Allen ’01 and Kathleen Reardon ’00. The scrum, powered by Sargent Donovan-Smith ’99, drove forcefully upfield setting up a quick line which allowed the lightning-fast Kamille Richards ’00 to sprint past the Amherst opposition into the try zone.
Within the first 20 minutes of play, Williams had scored ten points. Spirited tackling by Natalie Marchant ’01 and Devon DiClerico ’01, kept the Amherst pack and line at bay for most of the first half. However, the Lady Jeffs were able to cross the Williams try line once during the half leaving the score 10-7.
During the second half the game began to get rowdy. However, the Lady White Dawgs were able to rise above the rabble and play their game. Richards continued to awe the crowd with her speed and her tackling, while Donovan-Smith and Yana Dadiomova ’00 lifted Roshni David ’01 to win every Williams lineout and a couple Amherst ones to boot.
Clean tackling by Lynn Lim ’01 and fantastic teamwork between Allen and Marchant put the Amherst line to shame, while the Amherst pack was never a match for the Williams scrum. When the final whistle blew, the Williams B-Side collected their much-deserved Black Jerseys, a fitting close to a phenomenal season.
Captain Tracy Saylor commented that, “We win as a team and we lose as a team. There is no reason for us to feel anything but pride at the accomplishments we have made this season. Both A and B-Sides played their hearts out and that is the most important thing.”