Arriving in Brockton, Mass. on a rainy Friday night, the Williams Women’s Rugby Football Club (WWRFC) looked forward to its first-round playoff match against Stonehill. The winner of the match would continue on to New England Rugby Football Union championships, while the defeated team would find its season come to a close. Missing some key players due to injuries, the WWRFC knew that its level of play would have to increase dramatically in order to keep the season alive.
As the White Dawgs drove to the pitch, a light drizzle descended upon them. The usually powerful Williams scrum was unusually depleted, as the flu, a flat tire and miscellaneous injuries hurt their strength. Within the first 15 minutes, Stonehill College showed its muscle through wide passes and powerful runs. The WWRFC’s backs attempted to stifle Stonehill’s runs, but the lack of experience on the WWRFC line was reflected in their defensive attempts. A strong Stonehill run down the weak side beat the WWRFC line and fullback and gave Stonehill its first try of the day. Even as the WWRFC women gave it their all, Stonehill simply overpowered them. Various runs by Stonehill’s powerful outside-center created more tries, and at halftime the score was Stonehill 35, Willams 0.
The second half saw the continued power of Stonehill and the refusal to surrender by Williams. However, this second half did not contain a similar comeback to the WWRFC’s win over Bentley last week. As the referee blew the whistle to end the game, the final score was Stonehill 41, Williams 0.
While the White Dawgs knew that they would not don their claret and gold colors until springtime, they all left the field proud of never giving Stonehill an inch for free. “I’m looking forward to the spring, I’m looking forward to 30 black [Amherst] jerseys,” Head Coach Gina Coleman said in reference to the spring season’s grudge match with Amherst for bragging rights and jerseys.
WWRFC President Stephanie Brooks ’10, left the match with similar feelings. “This is not the end,” Brooks said. “It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”