One week after defeating rival Amherst, the Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club (WWRFC) was poised to claim a spot in post-season contention with a win against Bentley. Saturday’s winner would enter the playoffs while the losers would watch taheir season end.
As the first kick sailed through the air, the WWRFC struggled to maintain possession. After 20 minutes of back and forth play, Bentley used its widely set line to dish out a pass to its wing, who evaded a pair of White Dawgs for a try to put Bentley up 5-0 after a missed conversion attempt. The WWRFC’s forwards, who are accustomed to mowing over opponents, found themselves overpowered in scrumdowns and line-outs throughout the rest of the half and were unable to break through. At halftime, the score was Bentley 5, Williams 0.
The second half brought a quick and demoralizing Bentley try. However, that soon changed. With the score 12-0 in Bentley’s favor, a Bentley line-out at the 10 meter line was bobbled, recovered by flanker Cat Vielma ’10, set to prop Xio Pinto ’12 and passed onto scrumhalf Hannah Rosenthal ’10, who scored the White Dawgs’ first points of the game. The Williams women erupted with joy, knowing that the floodgates had opened. After a made conversion, the White Dawgs were down only five. Minutes later, Rosenthal would make yet another miraculous run up the right side of the field, touching down the ball and tying the game at 12-12 when the conversion could not be made.
Bentley’s players were clearly shaken by the back-to-back tries, and with eight minutes left in the game, the WWRFC was energized. Another mishandled Bentley line-out was secured by Colleen Fitzpatrick ’12 and scrumhalf Rosenthal dished the recovered ball out to flyhalf Meagan Braun ’12. Braun teamed up with her counterpart Katie Zipps ’11 for the most dazzling scissor pass in the history of the world. Zipps burst through Bentley’s surprised defense and touched it down between the uprights. Sarah Franklin ’10 capped yet another spectacular day at fullback with the conversion kick. With six minutes left in the game, the score was Williams 19-12.
The Williams women continued to keep the play within Bentley’s 10 meters, frustrating the already shocked Bentley players. As the ending whistle echoed through the pitch, the White Dawgs huddled around ecstatic coaches. “I will never doubt you again,” Head Coach Gina Coleman said, referring to the unbelievable three tries scored within 12 minutes. Some had vomited in scrumdowns and others played in blissful ignorance, but all somehow played the best 15 minutes, of their lives.
“Victory belongs to the most persevering,” President Steph Brooks ’10 said. “On Saturday, that was us.”
The WWRFC will play Stonehill College in the first round of playoffs next weekend.