Women’s rugby drops one to Smith

Late Saturday morning, the Lady White Dawgs faced Smith College in a grueling game at home. Unsure of what to expect from the opposition, Williams came out strong, but fell to Smith, 24-0.

Early in the first half, Smith came charging at the Williams’ try zone. Despite efforts by Erin Dempsey ’01 at spoiling their lineouts and great defensive kicks by Julia Cianfarini ’01, Smith tenaciously stayed near the try zone. However, Williams made Smith labor for their first try.

With the quick defense of Cianfarini, Tegan Cheslack-Postava ’00, and Clare Newman ’02, Smith scrambled to bring the ball back upfield. Cianfarini saved one effort by getting her hand underneath the ball, but Smith would persevere and eventually score, making the game 5-0.

Williams was able to get into Smith’s defensive half when Lynn Lim ’01 jumped up for the catch off a Smith kick and rushed the opponents for a long run before setting up a ruck. Unable to regain possession of the ball, Smith took it only to be stuffed by Roshni David ’01 and Devon DiClerico ’01. Lizzie Jacobs ’01 and David would show Smith getting the ball would not be easy, breaking off and charging the fly half.

The game seemed at a standstill, despite scrummie runs by Dempsey and Amy Balas ’01 and powerful tackling by Moira Shanahan ’01. Williams would tie up the ball and regain possession, thanks to the hustling of Susie Fyrberg ’00 and Rebecca Rehm ’00, but Smith’s quick pressure on the scrumhalf-flyhalf connection prevented the ball from getting outside to the wings. The Lady White Dawg line continued to step up on defense and kept Smith looking for openings.

Despite the tackling of Kamille Richards ’00, Newman, DiClerico and Kaitlin Rahl ’02 and Lim’s runs, Smith would break through again early in the second half, making the score 10-0.

The Williams’ scrum dug deep and used their strength to drive them for extra yards before getting the ball out. But Smith kept up the pressure and the ball stayed inside. Looking for anyway to get it out, Cheslack-Postava tried kamikaze plays, running the ball out by herself and looking for holes in the defense. However, Smith was everywhere, and the Lady White Dawgs were unable to move the ball.

Not about to give up, Williams stood tough, with the great defense of Cianfarini and DiClerico. Smith would score twice more, though, before the game was over. Despite the score, the hard playing of David drew a compliment from referee Don Friedman.

“For a player without experience before playing at the collegiate level, (David) has great ball sense,” Friedman said.

Shortly after the A-side game, the Killer B’s took the field against Smith’s B-side. From the first second of the game, Williams’ speed, ball handling and quick thinking left Smith on the defensive.

Smith brought the ball out to midfield only to have Lauren Flinn ’03, Evelyn Mahoney ’03 and Tameika Murray ’03 hustle and tie it up in a maul. Since Smith had brought the ball into play, Williams was rewarded with a scrumdown. Williams drove over Smith, getting the ball to flyhalf Kim Quigley ’03, who ran weak, dishing it off to DiClerico. Breaking tackle after tackle, DiClerico passed the ball back to Quigley for a 45 yard run before setting up a ruck. Quigley picked up the loose ball and passed it to Cathy Szpunt ’03. Szpunt held off a swarm of defenders until she was able to hand the ball off the Rahl, who ran downfield before sending it to Richards for the try.

Williams would score again in the first half, thanks to good pressure on Smith by Leah King ’03 and Carolyn Adams ’02. Kate Figge ’01 would also give Williams possession of the ball often on lineouts from Colleen McNamara ’03, or by stealing the ball from Smith.

Early in the second half, Williams scored again. Quigley’s pressure on the Smith line caused a botched pass that Richards intercepted before taking it to the try zone. Cianfarini made the conversion to make the score 19-0.

Minutes later, Szpunt again got the ball before dishing it off to Richards who sent a long arcing pass over the defense to Cianfarini, who outran Smith for the try.

Williams kept up the pressure till the last minute of the game. Lauren Aronson ’03 charged the ball as it came out of a ruck, causing a desperation pass by Smith. As soon as the pass was made, Jasmine Klatt ’03 was there to take the opponent down, causing a loose ball. Figge was there for the pickup and she dished it to the line for another score. The game ended in Williams’ favor, 31-0.

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