Lady Dawgs rumble past UConn; Amherst Next

The Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club added one loss and one win to its season record last week. Facing a tough match against Brown, the Lady White Dawgs scored early, only to fall in the second half. Williams, however, came back this past weekend to defeat UConn.

Two weeks ago, the Lady White Dawgs traveled to the warm sunny South. Amy Balas ’01 caught Brown’s opening kickoff. The Williams scrum rushed in and surged forward, thanks to the punching of Susie Fyrberg ’00 and Roshni David ’01. Brown was caught off guard by this strategy and Williams capitalized, driving upfield. Kamille Richards ’00 was able to get a hand on the ball to score. Williams’ second try came soon after. Beth Friedman ’01 sent the ball down the line, with Newman looping to receive the pass from Lynn Lim ’01. A Brown defender bobbled Lim’s pass into the hands of Devon DiClerico ’01 setting up the try by Richards. Julia Cianfarini’s ’01 conversion was good, and Williams was up 12-0. However, Brown came back to score twice before the end of the half, to pull within two points, 12-10.

In the second half, Brown would score four more times. Hampered by frustration, the Lady White Dawgs seemed to be in a rut but rallied in the last quarter of the game to hold Brown scoreless. Said coach Gina Coleman ’00, “We played the best rugby I’ve seen this year. We had a 20 minute blip where we lost it, but for 60 minutes, we had them scared.”

Saturday morning, Williams faced inclement weather and an unpredictable UConn team. Williams came out hard, scoring early thanks to a run by Richards. Richards would soon strike again, off a pass by Newman. Before the end of the half, Williams was deep into UConn territory again, thanks to the mauling of Lizzie Jacobs ’01 and the deft passing of Cate Williamson ’00 and Kaitlin Rahl ’02. Two scrumdowns ensued; Erin Dempsey ’01 held on to the ball as the scrum powered forward before releasing it to Friedman. Newman took the pass and cut through a wall of defenders to score.

In the second half, the tackling of Thompson and Jasmine Klatt ’03 prevented a UConn offensive. However, UConn regained possession only to have Richards intercept a botched pass and run through the wading pool to score. The final score of the game came when UConn was called offsides inches from their own try zone. Rebecca Rehm ’00 took the ball and charged through the defenders for a scrummie try.Williams ended the game with a 25-0 win and the season with a 3-2 record.

The Killer B’s may not have won any games in the past two weeks, but in racking up a tie against Brown and a loss against the UConn A-side, they showed their progress.

Despite a game that did not last the agreed 60 minutes, the Killer B’s dominated Brown. Audrey Herzig ’03 and Leah King ’03 presented many a scoring threat, as did Williamson and Rahl. Sara Hausner-Levine ’02, in her breakthrough game of the season, had key plays on offense to keep the Lady White Dawgs moving forward. Rahl nearly scored off a long run by Herzig, but was stopped short by Brown. The opposition never had a chance to score, though, thanks to key tackles by Klatt, Lauren Flinn ’03 and Evelyn Mahoney ’03. Flankers Kate Figge ’01 and Lauren Aronson ’03 also kept Brown at bay with their quick ball sense, charging the Brown flyhalf.

The Killer B’s played the UConn A-side this weekend in a shortened game. Tamika Murray ’03 had a standout game, making numerous tackles and running the ball for yards. Aronson also exhibited much finesse in her tackling skills, as did Herzig and King.One scoring opportunity arose when Herzig received the pass from Tegan Cheslack-Postava ’00 and passed it off to Williamson for a long run. However, she was left unsupported, and UConn regained possession. Evelyn Mahoney tied up the ball and set up a beautiful maul, only to have the whistle blow for the half, with UConn up 5-0.

The second half saw nice runs by Herzig and Julia Balduzzi ’03. Virginia Despard ’02 went in for key tackles, as did Lashawn Mays ’03 and Cathy Szpunt ’03. The support of Hausner-Levine was also key for setting up rucks to maintain possession. However, UConn somehow broke though in the final minutes of the game to make the score 10-0. Next weekend, the Lady White Dawgs will put their jerseys on the line as they face Amherst at home.