Women's rugby club defeats Brown for first home win

by Christina Duncan Evans | 10/17/05 5:00am

The Dartmouth Women's Rugby Club matched up against Ivy foe Brown this weekend at the Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse After a hard fought defensive battle, it walked away from its brand new pitch with an 8-5 victory over the Bears.

In the kickoff, Krystal Elkins '08, playing in a new position, provided a powerful kick that the forward pack aggressively chased. Brown recovered the ball, but was soundly tackled by Captain Erin Garnet '06, starting off a day of aggressive contact for both teams. Brown's forward pack came out hard in the first minutes of the game, consolidating and driving the rucks. Our defensive forwards were mobile off the ruck, and a great tackle by Sinny Wang, '08 recovered the ball for Dartmouth. Wang made amazing runs and plowed through the Brown defense while keeping the ball safe for Dartmouth. The ball was quickly spun out to the backline by scrumhalf Lily Lei '06, where Elkins kicked upfield.

Offsides play by Brown resulted in multiple penalties that Dartmouth was able to exploit with excellent kicking. In the middle of the first half, Brown attempted to kick back to Dartmouth to regain yardage, but was frustrated by great catching from Dartmouth's fullback, Diana Geisser '06, and wings, Meg Rast '06 and Elkins. The first half closed with both teams scoreless.

In the second half, determined to keep up the determination and intensity of the first, Dartmouth received the kick and immediately pounded it upfield. "We didn't need fancy or brilliant, we needed to control the ball, keep possession and keep jamming it up the field right at them. We kept them under constant pressure on the inside," said Garnett of the team's play.

The tenor of the game shifted somewhat, and the second half of the match was more marked by backline continuity. Great passing by the backs, and dynamic cutting on the inside allowed the Dartmouth forwards to break through Brown's centers several times. Both teams worked hard to keep the ball in bounds, and in the early minutes neither team was able to stay near the try-zone for long.

Dartmouth, seeing the need for points, attempted a kick through the posts but was not successful. Brown touched the ball down in the try-zone and was awarded a kick from the 22-meter line. Geisser recovered the kick and running hard made an excellent counterattack with Rast, who took the ball into contact. Erin Garnett recovered the ball, kicked it downfield and ran up quickly enough to tackle the player who scrambled for the ball. The ball went out to the Brown backline, but forwards Amelia Alvarez '08 and Alyssa Caballero '06 put pressure on Brown and were able to recover it.

Gifty Ampadu '06 then made one of the most dramtic runs of the game when she gained 20 yards for Dartmouth, stiff-arming a few Brown players along the way.

Dartmouth, edging closer to its tryline once more, decided to kick through the posts for points. Elkins kicked from the center of the field and the arc was picture perfect. Dartmouth was up by three points. Brown rallied but the DWRC was determined to keep their lead. Great handling and aggressive running from both the forwards and backs resulted in the first try of the game by Wang.

Brown rallied and kicked off to Dartmouth, and was able to push toward their own tryzone in a few short minutes. Its wing attempted to score on the outside, but was out of bounds before she was able to complete the play. Brown was awarded a five-meter scrum and spun the ball out to their backline, who penetrated the Dartmouth defense and scored a try with only five minutes left.

At the close of the game, Dartmouth was ahead on the scoreboard, thus securing their first home win of the season. "It was the best game we've played so far " every player was outstanding, and our team had so much fun playing in the rain. It was a great day for rugby," concluded Geisser at the end of the game.

The club's next match is next Saturday, Oct. 22 on the road at Boston College.

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