The WWRFC’s fall season culminated this weekend with the acquisition of the Division II Northeastern Championship title, sending the team to fight for the Division II national title next spring. The Lady White Dawgs pulled out two solid victories against Marist College and Plymouth State College this weekend. In doing so they allowed only 10 points, while racking up a total of 126 points.
Saturday brought a match-up between Williams and Marist College, who gained the second place title for New York state. Marist proved to be no match for the WWRFC, who shut them out to the unprecedented tune of 111-0. The Lady White Dawgs racked up at total of 19 tries and eight conversions in the game. Especially outstanding were the multiple hat tricks achieved, as Laura Jacobs ’99, Kamille Richards ’00 and Maureen Brudzinski ’99 all scored at least three tries. Julia Cianfarini ’01 also made important contributions, with both a try and outstanding conversion kicks.
Richards scored her first try of the game after a big burst through traffic within the first two minutes. Yana Dadiomova ’00 quickly responded with a stellar scrummie try, grabbing the ball off a maul and charging through the Marist defenders.
Immediately, Laura Jacobs ’99 received the ball off the Marist dropkick, and sprinted all the way upfield to score a try. The WW did not allow Marist to gain yardage, driving over them in scrumdowns, quickly tackling runners, and stealing Marist lineouts.
One such lineout steal was by Erin Dempsey ’00, who got the ball out to the line and whose quick passes ended on Laura Moberg ’99, who chased her kick of the ball, jumping on it in the Marist try zone and raising the lead at that point to 48-0.
Another particularly beautiful try, created by scrum and line working together, was scored by Natalie Marchant ’01. A strong tackle by Roshni David ’01 set up a ruck, out of which the ball shot down the line, with the help of cowgirling by Rebecca Rehm ’00, out to Marchant who charged into the try zone.
After a scrummie try by Tracy Saylor ’99, receiving the pass after the quick looping of Jacobs, the final score of 111 was achieved by a beautiful conversion kick by Cianfarini, sending the WW into the NRU finals the next day.
In the finals the WW faced a rematch against Plymouth State, whom they defeated in the New England finals the previous weekend. The victory was a well-earned one, as the Lady White Dawgs had to fight every minute to ultimately gain the Division II Northeastern title, after a 25-10 win.
The first try for Williams was scored early on, after a lineout at the Plymouth State five meter sent the ball off a ruck out to the line. Quick passes by Emily Eakin ’99 and Cianfarini got the ball out to Jacobs who darted weak, right into the Plymouth try zone.
A few minutes had barely passed before Moberg intercepted a Plymouth pass, setting up a line of passes out to Richards who darted in for the try to establish a 10-0 lead early on. Richards subsequently scored two more tries in the game, after strong rucking and deft line passes, to give Williams a 25-0 lead. The rest of the game was marked by excellent line runs and excellent tackling, often led by Christina Chan ’99.
Plymouth did manage to break through Williams defenders twice, scoring two tries before the end of the game. The WW kept them at 10 points, ending the game with a 25-10 victory and winning the NRU tournament.
Before they begin to focus on Nationals in the spring, the Lady White Dawgs are set to play a challenge match next weekend against the University of Vermont. They hope to mark the end of their fall season by gaining a place in Division I, and the opportunity next year to show even more teams the awesome skill and desire of the Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club.