Lady White Dawgs fall short to Radcliffe

Saturday afternoon, the Williams women faced Radcliffe for a grueling 80 minutes. While the game did not end in a Lady White Dawg victory, Williams gave Radcliffe a run for its money, standing tough with sound defense and offensive runs.

Radcliffe started off strong, with a penalty in Williams territory soon after the kickoff. Williams held them back, thanks to the strong tackling of Devon DiClerico ’01, Kaitlin Rahl ’02 and Virginia Despard ’02 until Julia Cianfarini ’01 kicked the ball out to midfield.

Radcliffe made it back dangerously close, only to be denied by Rebecca Rehm ’00, who got her hand under the ball before it could be touched down. Beth Friedman ’01 got to the ball before getting pushed out to set up a lineout; Erin Dempsey ’01 stole the lineout and batted the ball to Friedman who touched it down defensively.

After the five meter scrumdown, Radcliffe finally scored, but failed to convert the kick, leaving the score at 5-0.

Williams would answer back quickly. Off a Katherine Belecki ’01 maul, the Williams scrum stripped the ball cleanly, sending it to flyhalf Clare Newman ’02, who passed it to DiClerico. Williams won the following lineout, sending the ball out to Kamille Richards ’00, running through numerous defenders to score. DiClerico converted the kick to make it 7-5.

Radcliffe scored twice more after the kick on a couple fast breaks, but again, failed to make the kicks. The Lady White Dawgs came back when Lynn Lim ’01 picked up a loose ball for a long run, passing it off as she was tackled to Richards, who ran it in to score.

Somewhere in the haze of Lim’s memory, Radcliffe scored four more times and Williams twice more. One of Williams’ scores came again on a solo Richards run, this time on a dive into a “puddle” in the try zone.

“I’m really glad it was Kamille and not me in that puddle. I’m not sure I could have made it out of there. I failed my swim test, you know,” said coach Gina Coleman ’90 .

When asked the score, she answered “I believe it was 41-24, but I’d ask Radcliffe.” When asked, Radcliffe replied, “We don’t know either.”

The Killer B’s took the field next against a B-side that consisted of half of Radcliffe’s A-side players. Radcliffe scored one of many times in the opening minute of the game, but exhibited poor conversion kicking ability time and time again.

The loss was not without glorious moments, however. Maria Drinane ’02 sped downfield for many beautiful runs. Victoria Goldman ’01 also showed her speed on several occasions when she and Drinane bolted halfway across the pitch to catch an opponent about to score on a fast break. Katie Gortz ’03 exhibited excellent ball sense, picking up loose balls out of the scrum and trucking through opponents.

A cameo appearance by alum “Christini” Chan ’99 fortified the Killer B defense, as did the excellent tackling of Jasmine Mitchell ’03, Goldman and Caroline Messmer ’02. Farrah Musani ’00 hinted at her beefy prowess when she hurled an opponent out of bounds to save a try. Tegan Cheslack-Postava ’00, in her debut after an injury during Spring Tour, returned with a vengeance, aggressively picking up loose balls and running for long yardage.

Despite the valiant efforts of the Killer B’s, Radcliffe’s “B”-side won, 50-something to 0. Next week, the Williams women will play in the Ruggers Against Rape tournament at UVM, with the first round game against Amherst.

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