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It was a beautiful day for rugby this Saturday as we headed south down route 7 for our season opener. The panthers were eager to get playing, especially those seniors returning from abroad. Because of numbers, both teams agreed to play 10’s instead of the usual 15’s, with four 15-minute quarters. This gave both teams some much needed respite throughout the game.


The panthers came out strong, with scrum half Ellen “MY COW” Colton ’19 scoring within the first few minutes. The panthers would go on to score four more times in the first quarter, with a spectacular first try ever for Jess “Showtunes” Garner ’19.5. Special shoutout to Brenda “Bridget” Li ’17, who held the backs down at fullback/wing, and also scored during the first quarter.


Under the fearless leadership of coach KO Onufry, the panthers shook it up for the second quarter and tried some new positions. This allowed us to get more creative with our plays, most notably a switch between Melanie “Jane” Pascual ’19 and Hannah “It’s Just Blood” Phelps ’18 that resulted in a beautiful try from Phelps. A try from Williams during the second quarter left the score 41-5 at halftime.


For the second half of the game, the panthers focused on working cohesively, with members of the forwards and backs moving together. Tries were scored, blood was shed. The panthers moved well as a unit and were very successful in their lineouts.


Huge shout out to Calla “But I’m a Flanker?” Rosenfeld ’19 who played her first game for Middlebury in the back line and to all the players who tried new positions! High scorers were Ellen Colton ’19 (29 pts) and Heather Tourgee ‘17 (20pts). We hope to see all of our amazing fans next weekend (October 1) at home against Colby at 11am.


First Quarter:

Ellen Colton ‘19 (5)

Jessica Garner ’19.5 (5) (Colton-2)

Heather Tourgee ’17 (5)

Brenda Li ’17 (5) (Colton-2)

Melanie Jane Pascual ’19 (5)


Second Quarter:

Jess Masinter ’19 (5) (Phelps-2)

Williams (5)

Heather Tourgee (5)



Third Quarter:

Heather Tourgee (5)

Ellen Colton (5)

Brenda Li (5) (Colton-2)

Jess Masinter (5) (Colton-2)

Hannah Phelps (5) (Colton-2)


Fourth Quarter:

Heather Tourgee (5)

Audrey Pan ’19 (5) (Colton-2)

Ellen Colton (5)

Julia Struzyna ‘19.5 (5) (Colton -2)

It was a great day for rugby and an even greater day for turf burn as we geared up against St. Mikes on the men’s football field. Though KO was of course in Georgia for some incredible Eagles/rugby/amazingKO event, we were well equipped with Sargent Sarsh and Katie Linder (who’s essentially KO’s age anyways). St. Mikes scored first, but just like Brittany Spear’s career, we came back hard and our very own Kate Monroe scored us a beautiful try. After coming in low and hitting hard, Heather Tourgee aka Big Heat aka Emily-Scarratt-in-the-making, scored another try.

The game continued on. Thing got tense. People lost their cleats. And most stressful of all– Jess’s nose wouldn’t stop bleeding all over our beautiful new white jerseys. Then, out of nowhere, like the first person in line at breakfast-for-dinner in Ross, Ellen Colton broke away, and scored her very first, but definitely not her last, try! But then, St. Mikes fired back, and much like one of Heather’s male suitors, embarrassingly scored twice. That brought the scored up to 15:15 and things were tense. You could practically see the vein bursting out of Brenda Li’s temple due to adrenaline and anticipation. But then, Jess Masinter, took off and scored just in time to win us the game!

But hey hey hey — the game didn’t stop there. B-side commenced with many a new player and some oldies-but-goodies. Must like many of the marriages that happen in Las Vegas, there was a certain confused but committed feel to the game. Hannah Phelps, living up to the athletic expectations of her last name, scored a fantastic try! With a fabulously talented scrum-half in the mix, and of course the determination, hard work, and resilience of the team, we played a great game!

Final Score, 50-20, loss

This past weekend MCWRC headed up to Burlington to play UVM. Since they couldn’t get access to any outside field space, we were slated to play on turf inside at the Edge sporting facility in Williston, VT. This ended up being a fortunate turn of events since it snowed that Saturday. We knew going in that the game against D-1 UVM would be tough, but everyone donned their outrageous prom dresses and geared up for the challenge. Since the field was quite small, we decided that there would be no kicking except to kick-off, there would be 3 20-minute periods, and that we’d play 14s (no fullbacks). After some laughter and a quick warm up the teams set up with Middlebury kicking off to UVM. The game began fast-paced and tough as UVM quickly broke through our defenses and scored a try. The first minutes of play were exhausting and UVM’s forwards lived up to their reputation as they ran “power” after power off of the rucks.

The first period was challenging, and we struggled to maintain possession and keep control on such a small field, but captain Katie Linder ’15 scored Middlebury’s first try of the game. Play calmed down slightly in the second period as Middlebury began to hit its stride. After a few line-up adjustments and some water we hit the field again with an eye on rucking and setting pillars/posts. This time both Linder and Sylvia Lynch ’18 scored tries. As we started to figure out their forwards’ strategy, our backs gained more space for longer runs and deeper passes (despite the small field). The third period felt more settled, and we changed around positions again. At this point in the game, many players were in positions they’d rarely, if ever, practiced. Everyone met the challenge with a spirit of flexibility, determination, and fun. In the final period Kristin Richards ’17 scored her first ever try. Shout-out to Hannah Phelps ’18 and Kate Monroe ‘18.5 on their first game with MCWRC! Even though we lost it was a tough but great game to open our season, and I’m looking forward to our next games and tournaments.


Final Score (Loss): UVM 50-Middlebury 20

First Period
Katie Linder-5

Second Period
Katie Linder-5
Sylvia Lynch-5

Third Period
Kristin Richards-5

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for rugby—this year we sacrificed our Halloween. But somehow the game made up for it. We arrived at Bowdoin to play Colby (in this case not a trick, just confusing). We put on our costumes, all dressing as rugby players and encountered the most frighteningly talented witch of all: Jade! But we played scarily well that day. Miss Jen Wenzler playing scrum half for the first time, was eerily good at the position. Our back line was well coordinated and clever, like a good couples costume. Lissa scored a try, kicking butt and then kicking us a few more points. At the end of the game, the score was like any store-bought costume: uncomfortably close. But with two more tries executed by Franny and Skravitz and the hard work from our team, we won 17-10, marking the end of our season. This victory was sweeter than any halloween candy we could’ve possibly gotten.

The day of the game against Bowdin felt similar to gearing up for battle—the terrain dangerous, the spectators nervous, and the stakes high. The cold frost that came down from the north with Bowdoin’s team had turned our field into a swamp of quicksand, and we had to play on for our families, for glory, and Franklin’s grandmother. MCWRC pulled through and fought fiercely and inspirationally for the entire eighty minutes. Despite the end score at 60-0, we played the game like the score was 0-0, giving our all. We even played a fierce B-side game, showing our bravery and persistence. Though many walked away with battle wounds, our pride remained in tact. Until next time, Bowdoin.

When people think of women’s rugby, they often joke that our girls “play for the other team,” but Saturday that is exactly what we did.  Amherst arrived on the pitch with only seven players, so we graciously loaned them some of our bravest souls. We played tens (like MCWRC is composed of), and really brought our game, and their game, to us/them. Stevie “Hit Me” Durocher, naturally called for a maul and we scored off of it. Ella scored her first ever try!  And Katherine played her first ever rugby game in an Amherst jersey. Though it was pouring rain and the mud was all over us like the boys at Atwater,we won the game 58-10. With alumni back for homecoming, our game really hit home—literally when Franny tackled Tina. We would like to thank our alumnae for restraining themselves from going out there on the pitch with us, and instead cheering us on! MCWRC is MCWRC whether you’re in a purple jersey, a blue jersey, or a koala shirt (shout out to Mini)!

It was a tense day when we entered the field against UMO. It was a day that would decide whether we went to playoffs and we were about to risk anything—Franny put on the American Flag headband with extra precision. When we walked on that field we came out ready to play, bringing it to them. UMO’s faces matched the color of their jerseys when the saw us: pale white from fear. We hit hard, we hit fast, and we were a hit!– our many fans going wild on the side lines (shout out to Maggie). Big Heat scored twice, unleashing her inner spirit animal: a 5’11 and 1/4 British Center. Laura had an amazing run with a grubber kick which, like any guys she’s tried to get rid of, bounced right back into her arms. Miss Hoffman (as her elementary school kids call her) also scored two conversion kicks. Katy Svec broke UMO’s hearts and through their defense scoring against all odds, and Tina will be shooting the boot this Saturday after her first try of the season. To add insult to injury (considering their two injured UMO players), Stevie, Sarah Sicular, and Lissa all scored trys. We ended 39-7—MCWRC’s playing this weekend was, put simply, magnificent.

Contrary to popular belief, Wednesdays are not the only wet days—a lesson we learned quickly at Williams. After an early drive through the rain, we arrived at Williamstown in Massachusetts greeted by a fabulous rainstorm and Svec’s parents. Playing rugby in the rain is like doing homework hungover: You’ll do it, but it’s a lot harder and feels like it takes twice as long. Regardless, it was a great game for MCWRC. In the first half of the game, Brenna scored her first try, Sylvia killed at scrum half, and Stevie executed an excellent maul—those centers, always like to be the center of everything, classic Drevie. Big Heat make an excellent try, akin to that of the beautiful Emily Scarratt, and Franny made her hits like a class with Murray Dry: hard and fast. The Rookies played their hearts (and in one not-so-ideal case knee-caps) out!! And all the while Gondola-boy made a guest appearance in the stands, despite the weather. At the end of the game the score was 50-5. We stuck around for a B-side game, but after 8ish minutes the lighting warning went off (probably because of a breakaway from Tina) so we had to take off. Overall it was a great day for rugby and I hope to be back in the Berkshires again!

This last week we played Bates. After a long haul up in several different cars and a stop at Dunkin, we arrived at the field… which was more like an oven than a field. I should clarify that the field was made of turf, which had been baking in the hot sun all day until the time of our game (1:00). Needless to say after kick-off, things got heated. Luckily, a try was scored by miss Brenna… or wait, was it Stevie? I get those two confused. I know they both play backs… and sometimes play scrum half. Anyways one of those two ( I think it was Stevie) scored a hat trick plus two. That’s not like a rugby expression, she just scored five times. About a quarter of the way into the game, the ref made us play uncontested scrums, which, for any of our fans out there, is why “Brita’s legs were so straight.” We had bunch of new players and props to them!– literally, some of them played prop. Miss Sylvia scored her first try, and many more points because that girl’s got a crazy-good boot on her! She will be shooting the boot at our next singing. Thanks to the hard work of our rookies, the sweat of our team, and the side-lines water-girls we ended up winning 74-0.

Next week we’ll start enjoying a new witty blog-post pair, but for now I want to give a quick recap of our last two games.

Last weekend we went down to Tufts after only a few practices and were unsure of what to expect.  The game ended up being a good one, and despite a little bit of frantic play, we held them off to a score of 5-14, with Sarah Kravitz (’16) at flyhalf scoring our try.  Everyone agreed that even though we lost, it felt like a victory after last year’s emotional and rough-and-tumble match.

This weekend we faced off against Colby, and our defenses were not quite up to their All-American outside center’s break-aways, and she scored all 4 of their tries.  We lost, but it was a beautiful day for rugby, and we even put some brand new rookies out on the field.  Our own Stevie Durocher (‘15.5) scored two tries for a final score of 10-31.

Next week we head up to Maine to play at Bates!

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