Women’s rugby falls to MIT in final match of the spring

The Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club (WWRFC) completed its final road trip of the season this Saturday when the hodgepodge caravan pulled up alongside MIT’s sandy, dusty pitch in downtown Cambridge. The White Dawgs decided to give the first half of play to their faithful Killer Bs, who had never gotten a chance to play together as a team and only had one returning player. But despite the newness of the opportunity and an undoubtedly more experienced MIT side, the Bs stepped onto the pitch without fear.

The WWRFC took some time to get settled; MIT snuck in a few tries around the edges while the Bs worked out some kinks. Midway through the half, however, the pack began to organize and ruck, and the line started to stick tackles and maintain spacing.

Alyson Hoffman ’10 led the line with some wonderful take-downs and also made sure the MIT line moved continually going backwards rather than up the field. Two locks, Aimee Webber ’11 and Casey Lyons ’11, led the pack.

The Dawgs eventually managed to drive the ball onto MIT’s side, and they maintained position and possession with nicely executed penalty and line-out plays. Nevertheless, it remained clear that the MIT players were veterans, and the half ended heavily in favor of the Beavers.

The second half began on a very different note as the traditional starting side took the field. The whole rest of the game took place in MIT’s territory, and strong rucking and punching by the pack kept the ball safe with the White Dawgs. Nice continuity along the line allowed winger Katie Zipps ’11 to waltz into the try-zone and finally put the WWRFC on the board.

A long, sailing kick by Sarah Franklin ’10 then upped the White Dawgs’ score. The WWRFC continued to apply pressure, and after a scrummy try, rolling punching from Leah Landsdowne ’11, Maggie Tucker ’09 and Maddie Jones ’09 advanced the ball to the five meter line.

From there, Xio Pinto ’12 received a gut pass, put her head down and barreled into the try-zone for her first rugby score. Later in the half, a penalty by MIT on its five-meter mark allowed Jones to take a quick tap and touch the ball down into the try before the Beavers could fully organize their defense.

The game ended with Williams on the bottom, but the team gave the game its full effort and improved throughout. This match was the last game for the WWRFC seniors, a small but committed group including Steph Reist ’09, Morgan Phillips-Spotts ’09, Jones and Tucker.

Though the team is graduating such key players, the WWRFC’s future remains bright.