Women’s rugby traveled five hours in a bright yellow school bus to face the women ruggers from Bowdoin last Saturday, only to come up short. Williams was excited to be in the playoffs, but the team recognized that it had a hard road ahead. Bowdoin – where rugby is a varsity sport – is the undefeated leader of the Down-East Division.
From the beginning of the match, Williams was clearly on the defensive. Although they received the kick, the women could not pound it out of their own half. Bowdoin was well-organized with fast, strong runners on their wings. Despite Williams executing many nice, clearing kicks by fullback Steph “Gimpy” Brooks ’10, Bowdoin’s fullback used the wind to her advantage and kept sending the ball back towards the Williams try zone. After 20 minutes of hard-fought defense and powerful rucking by rookie Clair “Pocahontas” Embry ’11, the Polar Bears broke through and tapped down a try. By the end of the half, Bowdoin had managed to score three tries and convert one, leading to a 17-0 score.
Knowing they could do better, the women came out in the second half with a renewed commitment to their game plan. The second half featured some impressive line-outs thrown by Caitlin “Dee-Dee” Cain ’11 which the pack successfully mauled down the field to gain precious meters. Williams also focused on a scrum-dominated game and tried to jack-hammer the ball forward by punching up alongside formed rucks. Strong running by Maggie “Energizer-Bunny” Tucker ’09 and Jesse “Birthday Girl” Herzer ’11 brought the ball closer to the try zone, but the team was unable to capitalize on any scoring attempts. Bowdoin was held to a penalty kick the entire second half until the Polar Bears broke through and scored in the final seconds of play. The game ended with a final score of 25-0.
Although the fall season has ended for the White Dawgs, they left the game proud of a great season and are looking forward to the spring.