September 24, 2011: Middlebury vs. Amherst

FINAL SCORE: 22 – 0, win


We had a great game for our first home game of the season! The weather the night before wasn’t promising (it poured from 11 PM – early morning), but we got out on the field in the morning ready to play! Fortunately we had our game before the boys, so we got to play on it before it got completely torn up. The school will most likely throw a hissy fit that the field is no longer pristine, but come on, it’s a RUGBY field.

Kick off was at 11:00. We had possession for most of the game, but we weren’t able to score until 27 minutes into the first half. At that point, the back line got a quick ball out from a scrum. The ball reached our outside center, Julianna Gardner ’13, who had a run almost from mid-field to score. She had a gazelle-like run, weaving through 5 or 6 players and finally coming up against their fullback right before the try line. She faked the girl right and sprinted left around her to score in the center of the try zone. A beautiful first try to the game, and a beautiful showcase for Julianna’s speed and quick feet.

The next try came about ten minutes later. 36 minutes into the first half, we were awarded a penalty within the 22 of their try zone. Jessica Berry ’13, supported by Rae Colombo ’13, took a quick penalty and ran the ball from the right side of the field to the left side past their back line and was tackled into the try zone.

Half time was called. Most of us were exhausted from running through the muck that was the field, so we enjoyed the short break and reorganized ourselves. We headed back onto the field ready to play. Unfortunately, during the second half, we had to change the scrums to ‘uncontested’, because their pack was not trained. Our forwards have a quick engage and drive, and each time they knocked over the other team’s pack and had to reset. For the sake of avoiding injury, our ref finally decided to make the scrums uncontested (this just means the team that puts the ball in automatically wins the scrum).

23 minutes into the second half (63′), Kayla Bien ’13, one of our wings, made a fantastic run down the field after getting a beautiful quick ball from our back line. She was chased down by their fullback, tackled right before the try zone and had to literally crawl in to put the ball down. By far the funniest (and most impressive) try of the game, and perhaps ever in rugby history. But that’s typical of Kayla. It was also her first try ever, so we are very much looking forward to having her ‘shoot the boot’ this coming Thursday!

Hannah “Helkin” Elkin ’13 followed up Kayla’s try with a beautiful kick through the uprights to gain us an extra 2 points.

The final try was scored in the 76 minute of the game (36 minutes into the second half). Sarah “Mini” Minahan ’14 was playing fullback for part of the second half of the game, as Emma Burke ’12 injured her shoulder. Mini had some beautiful runs with the back line (and an incredible catch from a high kick from their scrum half). The last try, however, was a group effort. Molly Benedetto ’14, one of our locks, made an incredible run from half field almost to the try zone. She got tackled by someone in their back line, but luckily Mini was right there to pick up the ball and finish the run and score.

Thus, we ended our game with four tries (20 points) and one kick for extra points (2 points). We were very happy with how we played, and our coaches were particularly proud of our rucks this game, which was a major goal from our game last weekend. As Franklin Dean-Ferrar, our forwards coach, said: “It looked like a rucking clinic. The ball went out, someone got tackled, one cleaned, two came over, and the ball went back out. It was perfect.”

Other memorable plays: Sarah “Sfander” Pfander ’13 had the most perfect tackle off of one of their rucks. As soon as their fly half received the ball from their scrum, Sfander was there and lept into a tackle straight into the girl’s hips before she could pass off the ball. The girl went down, was in tears, and couldn’t get back up for awhile (which was sad), but it was an unbelievable tackle. People heard it from the sidelines.

Helkin also had an inspiring tackle towards the end of the second half. She literally picked up the biggest player on their team and pushed her back 10 feet before tackling her to the ground. Beautiful.


Thank you to all of the parents and fans that came to watch the game! Parents of Melissa Hayes ’12 and Evan Pagano ’12 were there, and it was great to see lots of friends cheering us on! We appreciate all of your support, and we’re glad we could pull out a win for you.


Next weekend we travel to Bowdoin in Maine. We’re preparing ourselves this week for a tough game, but we’re feeling confident and ready. Hope to see some of you there!

September 17, 2011: Middlebury vs. Tufts

FINAL SCORE: 0 – 31, loss

We traveled down to Boston on Saturday, September 17, for our start to the season against Tufts. Various issues arose prior to the game even starting. While we thought the game started at 1:00, Tufts thought it started at 2:30. Fortunately, we realized this mistake before we left Midd, so we were able to relax and have a nice, long breakfast before our trip.

We arrived in Boston around 12:30 and had plenty of time to warm up before our game. This time was extended when Tufts admitted they did not have a ref for the game, and then was postponed even longer when their EMTs failed to show up. Judy Lennon, mother of Emma Lennon ’11, was at the game and offered her nursing expertise (which would come in handy later in the game when the Tufts EMTs ignored one of our players, who had an injury to the head), but we had to wait for the EMTs to show up anyway (in case you’re curious, they were out to lunch).

But, finally, the game got underway around 1:50. It was a tough opener for us, and everyone came off the field a bit bruised, being that we only had one sub. Tufts scored 5 tries (25 pts) and made three of their conversion kicks (6 pts), making the final score 31 – 0.

While the loss was tough, the team managed to work hard throughout the game. We kept our spirits up, which was something KO mentioned she was very proud of. As an opening game in our new division, we are glad that we now know what we have to work on in order to be successful against these bigger, tougher teams.

And there were many things that went very well in our game. Kayla Bien ’13 had a great break down the field during the second half. Hannah Elkin ’13 made some beautiful kicks-to-touch and effective kick-offs (particularly because it was her first game as our designated kicker). Krome (I won’t use your real name, I promise) ’12, as always, had some beautiful hits. And, of course, there are many more honorable mentions that could take all day to write/read.

But, KO named our MVP yesterday at practice, and this week Mr. Tackle (our ‘trophy’ of sorts), went to Emma Burke ’12. She played a brand new position this weekend, as fullback. Countless times she put her body on the line to protect our zone, and too often she was working by herself. She supported our back line the whole game, and truly did a phenomenal job. So congrats to Lil’ B!

This week at practice we’re really focusing on rucks and tackling to get ready for our game against Amherst on Saturday.

Thank you to all of the parents, relatives, and friends who made it out to our game. Hope to see some of you on the sideline this weekend- we’ll be ready!

Alumnae present at the game: Emma Lennon ’11, Ariel “Racing Snake” Smith ’11, Amelia “Magic” Magistrali ’09, Celey Schumer ’09