Women’s rugby silences Amherst, 17-0

Last blistering, scorching Saturday, the Williams women’s rugby football club (WWRFC) arrived at Amherst ready for battle. Six hours later, Amherst rued the day they chose to secede from the mother institution: The White Dawgs took revenge for their lost library books in the form of decimating the Purps in Black 17-0.

The warfare began with a kick from the unassailable foot of co-captain Hannah Rosenthal ’10. Eight-man Bethany Baker ’10 was on fire as she pummeled four Jeffs to the ground, all of whom should have known better than to keep the ball from her. Fierce play was seen from second-row Colleen Fitzpatrick ’12, who charged up the field to barrel through Amherst’s flimsy defense line. Hooker Clair Embry ’11 helped the White pack plow through their opponents – her powerful right foot was crucial in winning several scrumdowns. Yet it was a ruck involving Leah Lansdowne ’11 and Aubree Stephens ’12 that allowed the White Dawgs to gain possession of the ball. Baker punched left and broke through the girls clinging to her thighs to plant the White Dawgs’ first try of the match. Within the first ten minutes of the match, the score stood at 5-0.

Taking advantage of their several talented kickers, the Jeffs quickly transformed the rugby match into a kicking competition between their full back and the White Dawgs’ fly-half Sarah Franklin ’10. One particularly far-reaching kick bounced into the arms of full-back Sara Plunkett ’10, and the gals clad in black did not know what was in store for them. Plunkett zipped up the middle and cut to the sidelines 30 meters from where she had initially caught the ball. Rosenthal then picked up the ball for fantastic continuity down the line. Franklin and inside-center Meagan Braun ’12 executed a flawless scissors play, with Mai Okimoto ’13 and Emily Maclary ’10 supporting from behind. Eventually, the ball made its way back into Rosenthal’s hands, and she slammed the ball into the tryzone. After a successful conversion by Franklin, the White Dawgs closed out the half ahead 12-0.

In the second half of the match, the White Dawgs inched ever further up the pitch with great continuity between the scrum support in rucks and quick passes out to the line. Braun was taken down within 10 meters of the tryzone, but not before she had passed the ball off to right-wing Brittni Micham ’10. Micham burst forward with three quick strides but was taken down as well. Suddenly, flanker Cat Vielma ’10 came out of the woodwork to dash to Micham’s aid with unprecedented speed. With three defenders ready to hold her back, Vielma aimed low with her good shoulder to ram in the White Dawgs’ final try of the game. The spectators had tears in their eyes as the seniors peeled off their rank white jerseys to don their hard-earned black jerseys with pride. Remarking on the seniors’ last game against Amherst, president Stephanie Brooks ’10 had a few words to say: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. I love playing rugby, with all of you.”
The WWRFC will play in their final game of the season on Saturday against Bennington’s Rugby Club at 11 a.m.

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