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The Dartmouth
March 4, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Women’s rugby dominates Mount St. Mary’s, extending this season’s win streak to four games

Dartmouth coasted to a 79-0 shutout victory, scoring over 70 points for the sixth time in program history and remaining undefeated on the young season.

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Dartmouth (4-0) cruised to its 13th win in a row — including last season — after dominating Mount St. Mary’s 79-0 on the road in Emmitsburg, Md. on Saturday. For only the sixth time in women’s rugby history, Dartmouth scored over 70 points. 10 different players entered the try zone, helping the team record its first shutout win since the 2021 season, when Dartmouth last beat Mount St. Mary’s 70-0. 

The team has had a successful start to the season, cruising to victories in the first four games. Allie Amerson ’25 said that the team has found success after the cancellation of earlier games in the initial part of the team’s schedule. 

“We had pretty high hopes coming off of last fall and spring season,” Amerson said. “We had a few bumps in the road when the scrimmage and game [at Long Island University] got canceled. But as soon as we had our first game against Sacred Heart [University] under our belt, we were feeling ready to roll.”

Anjali Pant ’24 once again had a standout performance in her first game since being named Dartmouth Female Student-Athlete of the Week after the Big Green’s last game against United States Military Academy, West Point. Dartmouth took down West Point 24-15 at home on Oct. 1. 

Pant was the first to score for the Big Green for the second week in a row. Josie Harrison ’25 continued the scoring streak with her first collegiate try, extending Dartmouth’s lead to 12-0. 

Katelyn Walker ’26 ran for 30 meters and passed to Kristin Bitter ’23, who scored a try, which was followed by an additional try just over five minutes later, putting Dartmouth ahead 22-0. Following a successful two-point conversion from Bitter, Cassie Depner ’25 had her first career try, adding seven points to Dartmouth’s fast-growing total. 

Sia Meni ’25 followed up yet another two-point conversion from Bitter with a try of her own ,—  bringing the score to 36-0. Bitter had two more conversions in the first half and would ultimately finish with six conversions on the day, while Nicole Ihensekhien ’24 and Harrison also each scored a try. The Big Green ended the first half 50-0, which is the most points the team has put on the board in the first half since the 2021 season opener versus Long Island University.

Amerson said that even with the commanding lead, the Big Green did not come out of halftime complacent. She pointed specifically to how the team’s recent National Intercollegiate Rugby Association  15s National Championship has impacted the team, putting a target on its back.

“Our Coach will often remind us that everybody else is doing the work to catch us,” Amerson said. “So we got to do the work to keep the distance between us. That has been our mindset as we push forward.”

The Big Green continued its dominating streak into the second half. Newcomer Jordan Duncan ’26 had a try just two minutes into the half followed by another Bitter conversion, upping the score to 57-0. Abby Kayser ’24 had her first career try seven minutes later, finished off by a Taylor Sadek ’26 conversion. Walker followed with her first ever collegiate try. In the final 20 minutes of the game, Meni scored a try, followed by a drop goal — worth three points — off the leg of Kayser.

Vanessa Ortiz-Pallen ’26 noted that the drop goal from Kayser was the first of the season.

There are just so many awesome moments in the game,” Ortiz-Pallen said. “After Meni’s try, we could have kicked a conversion, but we were close enough to where we didn't have to score it. Kayser did a drop goal worth three points; we hadn’t yet done it in a game this season, so it was exciting that we were able to do it successfully.”

Heading into the rest of the season, Depner said that the team is confident in itself, but still has to continue honing the technical aspects of its game.

“The rest of the season, we're really just going to be focusing on the fundamentals and chasing all the little things: playing really smart rugby and working on more of the tactical side of things,” Depner said. “We already know that we're fast and that we're strong, but we need to keep working on being the smartest team.”

The Big Green will look to carry its momentum from this crushing victory into a matchup with Harvard University on Oct. 15. This matchup will be a test for the Big Green, as the Crimson also stand undefeated on the season at 4-0.