Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club became the Division II champions this weekend, after defeating both Norwich and Plymouth State rugby clubs, with a total score of 65-5 for the weekend. The Lady White Dawgs’ hard work and multitudinous victories of the season led up to this stellar weekend, in which Williams defeated the toughest opposition of the division. Having earned their rightful place as champs of the New England Rugby Football Union, the Lady White Dawgs will go on to the Northern Rugby Union Championships next weekend in an attempt to regain a spot in Division I.
In the first game of the weekend, the Lady White Dawgs faced the only team to defeat them all season, Norwich College, and went out with intensity and determination that had been building since that loss. Early on the WWRFC let Norwich know who would be victorious this time, as Maureen Brudzinski ’99 dodged multiple large Norwich defenders to run into the try zone early in the game. Her try was followed up by an absolutely spectacular conversion by Arlene Spooner ’99, from a difficult angle, setting the lead early on at 7-0.
Much rucking ensued, as Williams continually drove over Norwich, sending them back upfield. Consistent tackles by Christine Chan ’99 and Spooner prevented Norwich from gaining ground. Norwich eventually managed to approach the Wiliams try zone, but their efforts were repeatedly frustrated, as the Williams scrum consistently drove Norwich back, and both Laura Jacobs ’99 and Laura Moberg ’99 blocked try attempts. Despite these efforts, Norwich managed to run in a try off a penalty play. After an unsuccessful conversion attempt, the score at the half was still in Williams’ favor, at 7-5.
As they have all season, the Lady White Dawgs returned after the half with renewed intensity. Immediately Williams gained yardage with big runs by the line, assisted by Tracy Saylor ’99. Chan put forth a huge run, dishing off to Brudzinski, who passed off to Kamille Richards ’00, who burst down the pitch into the try zone. After another brilliant conversion by Spooner the lead was raised to 14-5.
Norwich would not recover, as Williams continued to rack up points. A huge run of 60 meters by Jacobs got Williams into Norwich territory once again. Jacobs quickly answered with another burst through traffic, past multiple Norwich defenders, into the try zone. Spooner’s foot was on fire as she converted her third attempt of the day. Williams continued to dominate, with excellent scrummie support on a ruck near the Norwich try zone, allowing Beth Friedman ’01 to burst into the try zone.
Williams kept Norwich in their territory, with flawless kicking and powerful rucking. One such ruck lead to a beautiful line, with a huge run by Jacobs, dishing to Moberg for another Williams try. Spooner converted yet again, upping to score to 33-5.
Moberg and Jacobs teamed up again, as Moberg threw a gorgeous pass around a Norwich tackle, out to Jacobs were ran through the defenders as if they were not there, scoring yet another try for the WWRFC. Moberg repeated her beautiful flip pass, this time out to Richards who sprinted an incredible 60 meters straight into the try zone right before the whistle, leaving Norwich with the memory of a spectacular 45-5 defeat.
Saturday’s victory sent Williams into the finals on Sunday against Plymouth State. Despite Plymouth State’s efforts and skill the Lady White Dawgs played an outstanding game, shutting out Plymouth 20-0.
Both Williams and Plymouth went out hard, but Plymouth could not gain yardage, held back by key lineout steals by Erin Dempsey ’01, and crucial tackles by Chan, Saylor, and Devon DiClerico ’01. Spooner touched down a kick by Plymouth in the Williams try zone, allowing her to kick far upfield off a 22 meter drop.
A scrumdown at the 50 ensued, from which the ball quickly went flying down the Williams line. Spooner had a great burst forwarded, supported by Jacobs who dished out to Richards, running in the first Williams try of the game. Spooner’s foot was as good as ever, successfully converting her kick. The Williams scrum, lead by props Rebecca Rehm ’01 and Yana Dadiomova ’01, continually plowed over Plymouth State. A scrumdown near the Plymouth 22 meter line got the ball out to the line, whose quick passes and even quicker looping allowed Jacobs to score another try before the half, setting the lead at 12-0.
The Lady White Dawgs knew the fight was not over, and returned from the second half set on grabbing the Division II title. Brilliant tackles by Richards and bursts by Brudzinski pushed Williams back into Plymouth territory yet again. Relying on the skill of Spooner’s kicking, Williams went for a free kick for points, which Spooner successfully completed, upping the lead to 15-0.
A lineout steal by Chan and great burst by Dadiomova set Williams once again near Plymouth’s try zone. A key lineout steal by Dempsey off a huge lift sent the ball out to the line. Brudzinski took advantage, and Moberg quickly looped to receive the pass, bursting into the Plymouth try zone, and upping the lead to 20-0. Williams kept Plymouth upfield for the rest of the half with heatfelt efforts by both line and scrum in tackles and rucks. Plymouth played well and put forth a strong effort, but their desire and skill simply did not match that of Williams.