Women’s rugby gears up for Jeffs with a win against Middlebury

The Williams College Women’s Rugby Club once again proved their athleticism by dominating Middlebury on Saturday. The White Dawgs played a fantastic game despite the cold and wet rain that descended upon Cole Field. The A-side began the game with a terrific run by Karen Allen ’01 that resulted in their first try.

The game remained firmly in the hands of the Williams team from then on, with fabulous play by both the line and the scrum. The great lineouts of Erin Dempsey ’01 and Tracy Saylor ’99 helped lead to another Williams try by Allen, making the score 10-0.

The offensive play focused on kicking by fly-half Emily Eakin ’99 and the speedy chasing of Maureen Brudzinski ’99 and Laura Moberg ’99. Also impressive on the Williams line was the amazing tackling of wing Julia Cianfarini ’01.

Perhaps what was most impressive about the 25-5 victory over Middlebury was the cohesive play of the line and the scrum. Their hard work over the last two weeks, focusing mostly on rucking and mauling, truly paid off during the game.

The terrific line support of Saylor and Rebecca Rehm ’00 and the great rucking of Devon DiClerico ’01 were illustrative of the intelligent play and hard work of the scrum. The Williams rugby team really looked like a united team, with improved communication and many of the players exhibiting great game sense.

Following several terrific kicks by Arlene Spooner ’99, the line was able to run some beautiful plays and show off their amazing support of one another and the familiarity of playing together that has created terrific continuity amongst the line.

Christine Chan ’99 ran down and played the ball perfectly off of a fumble by Middlebury and successfully scored another Williams try. This was by far one of the most impressive games for the WWRFC and served as a perfect prelude to their contest against Amherst next weekend.

The B-side also played an amazing game, dominating Middlebury 27-0. The fabulous play of the prop rookies Virginia Despard ’02 and Moira Shanahan ’01 was clearly one of the highlights of a terrific showing by the promising B-side.

Terrific tackling by Kate Williamson ’99 helped keep the young Middlebury team flat on their backs. Beth Friedman ’01, playing in her second game that day, had another excellent game at scrumhalf, disrupting any potential offensive effort by Middlebury. Led by fly half Clare Newman ’02, the B-side line had one of the best lines ever run by the Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club. Cianfarini, also in her second game, ran up the field and passes to the ever-versatile Natalie Marchant ’01, who then gave the ball to the speedy Lizzie Jacobs ’01.

The terrific passing and wonderful support resulted in a fabulous try by Marchant. The Killer B’s got their second try following a terrific lineout and great runs by Allen and Caitlin Rawl ’02.

One of the highlights of the day, however, happened during the second half when rookie prop Shanahan had another terrific run, this one for about 20 meters, and scored a scrummie try. Many on the sidelines were arguing that Shanahan could be the “best recruit ever” and her efforts Saturday clearly showed the important role she already plays on the B-side.

The final two scores were results of amazing runs by Friedman and Newman. The game ended with a terrific kick by Allen, marking the conclusion to a very successful day for the WWRFC.

Williams is looking forward to their match against Amherst on Saturday April 24. If the WWRFC continues to play as well as it did against Middlebury, then they will have many more successful games to come.

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