Lady Ruggers: Champions

by Lois Schonberger | 11/13/01 6:00am

This past weekend in Amherst, Mass., the undefeated Dartmouth Woman's Rugby Club became the 2001 Northeastern Champions. The team slugged Cornell on Saturday and the University of Massachusetts on Sunday by an extremely impressive combined score of 87-10. The title earns the club a bid to the National Championship Tournament this coming spring.

The first of the two matches saw Dartmouth going up against the distinctly larger Big Red pack. Despite this apparent disadvantage, Dartmouth came out strong, putting points up early with tries by Amanda Behm '04, Joyce Fu '03 and Kathy Grayson '02. Great defensive efforts from Sonia Tarantolo '04 and Catherine Dale '04 kept Cornell scoreless going into the half, down 36 points.

Adding a number of substitutes at the half, the Big Green failed to adjust quickly enough to prevent a try by the Cornell 8-man, but the brief letdown did little to curb Dartmouth's scoring efforts and it was 46-7 at the end of 80 minutes.

The Championship match the next day against rival UMass started out closer than the end result (41-3) would indicate. The Minutemen actually scored the first points with a field goal early on, putting them up 3-0.

The Big Green countered immediately with a combined effort that began with co-captain Bridget Waitkus '02 and ended with a diving try by senior 8-man Betsy Super to put Dartmouth up 5-3.

Strong defensive efforts from prop Christine Coldiron '03 and center Cate Macomber '04 halted the UMass offensive leaving the score untouched going into half time.

Dartmouth rallied in the second half, pouring on the offensive pressure with efforts by Senior winger Nina Markey, who outran the majority of the UMass squad for an open field try, and Behm, who finally scored off of a team effort involving most of the back-line.

The remainder of the second half was a virtual scoring feast for the Big Green ruggers, eventually ending in a 38-point differential (41-3) between Dartmouth and UMass.

The last two matches of the Fall season saw the Dartmouth Women's Rugby Club continue to demonstrate the dominance that has led it to an unprecedented undefeated season (9-0). Faced with the prospect of losing a number of key players for the spring season, the DWRC will look to change its line-up to accommodate new personnel. Under the continued leadership of senior co-captains Waitkus and Karin Ljungquist '02, the Big Green women hope to ride the incredibly successful efforts of this season into next season's National competition.