September 29, 2012 Middlebury vs. Amherst

Final Score 36 – 0, Win

We were all excited for the first home game of the season! Due to rain in the past few days, our field was very soggy and the ability to use it was uncertain. Luckily KO was able to work her magic and we secured the rugby pitch for the original game time of 1:00.

Our team goal for this game was to come out hard and play all 80 minutes giving 100%. We’re proud to say we met this goal right from the get-go. We came out with intensity, especially on the rucks, with great hits and dedication from 8-man Sarah Pfander (’13). This consistent attack led to our first try of the game in minute 2, from outside center Emily Duh (’14) who wove through multiple Amherst players to put the ball right under the uprights. Scrum half Jess Berry (’13) made the kick.

We continued to play the game on Amherst’s half of the field. Consistent defensive rucking, tackling, and coming up in a defensive line allowed inside center Laura Hofmann (’15) to gain possession and fight through three or four tackles to score her FIRST TRY EVER! Jess Berry converted the kick for another two points!

Another great quick ball out from the back line allowed fullback Julianna Gardner (’13) to gallop like a gazelle down the sideline and score the third try of the match in the far right corner of the try zone.

A great breakaway from the Amherst wing took the ball down the field closer to our try zone, where we played for the remaining few minutes of the half. Our intensity on defense, some lucky knock-ons and penalties, and a great hold up by lock Ali Hentges (’15) prevented them from securing the try.

We went out into the second half motivated to keep playing with heart and determination. Amherst came out with intensity as well, and it took 10 minutes or so to score our next try. A series of quick passes out and well fought scrums allowed the ball to get out to flanker Marissa Shaw (’14) who powered through a pile of Amherst players to place the ball just across the try line.

Another series of controlled ball handling from backs and forwards opened up the space for another great run from Emily Duh, leading to our 5th try.

The Amherst pack managed to muscle their way forward, making considerable ground in our defensive half, but luckily we were able to regain possession off a counter ruck. Marissa Shaw called a punch and proceeded to pass the ball out to fellow flanker Sarah Minahan (‘14), who ran her way through the Amherst defense to gain 50 yards before being taken down.

With 15 seconds remaining, we set up for a defensive scrum, which was to be the last play of the game. A beautiful poach off the scrum from Jess Berry allowed us to gain possession. As we scrambled to make something out of the remaining seconds, a quick ball out off the ruck landed in the sure and experienced hands of Emily Duh, who proceeded to out run their entire back line and place the ball under the uprights for her 3rd try of the game. Can you say hat trick?? Jess Berry then converted her third kick of the game.

In order to allow Amherst’s second squad to get some practice, we played a 20 minutes B side game (although not having our own B side, we all just got to play 100 minutes of rugby! Wooo!). It was a learning experience for Amherst, and a great opportunity for prop Katy Svec (’15), Julianna Gardner, and Sarah Pfander to score tries!

A huge thank you to our fans who came out despite the weather, and to Svec’s parents for the oranges and brownies! Tune in next week for our home game versus Tufts.

First half
Emily Duh – 5
Jess Berry – 2
Laura Hoffman – 5
Jess Berry – 2
Julianna Gardner – 5
Second half
Marissa Shaw – 5
Emily Duh – 5
Emily Duh – 5
Jess Berry – 2

September 22nd, 2012 Middlebury vs. Colby

Final score 26 – 5, Loss

After a 6-hour bus ride and 4am departure, we arrived at Colby about 10:00am, with plenty of time to change and warm up before our 12:00 game.

Due to some last minute injuries, we set out with just 15 players, knowing that it was going to be a tough game. Unfortunately, Colby did an excellent job of exploiting our weaknesses in the first half. We struggled to organize and set a defensive line off the break down, and Colby’s strong inside center pushed in a try in the first 10 minutes or so. Colby proceeded to score 2 more tries in the first half, mainly because of their ability to attack the outside, while we weren’t able to spread out to help our wings in time.

After our hesitation in the first half, we came back out ready to fix our mistakes and work on attacking. After Colby’s 4th and last try at the beginning of the second half, we finally began to play the game on our terms. We maintained almost constant possession for the next 35 minutes, and played it all very close to Colby’s try line. We were proud of our ability to attack over and over again, never giving up. Some beautiful runs from our back line, punches from our forwards, and quick balls out to fullback Julianna Gardner (’13) allowed us to get the ball into the try zone 3 or 4 times—unfortunately the narrow Colby field did not work in our favor, and we were either knocked out of bounds or held up many times. However, towards the end of the second half fly half Julia Gulka (’13) got a quick pass inside to hooker Marea “Rae” Colombo (’13) who drove the ball just over the try line and promptly burst into tears.

Other shout outs go out to Katie Linder (’15) who took down their hugest player with ease at the line out countless times, Katy Svec (’15) for doing an amazing job in her first time locking, and Molly Kaminski (’15) for playing in her first rugby game ever! And, as always, we were very grateful to our injured players who made the trek out to Maine to support us. Thanks everyone!

Although the game started out a little shaky, we were all proud of our ability to turn things around in the second half and not give up despite the disadvantages we faced. The Colby team was nice enough to invite us into their dining hall for a post-game meal and then over for a fun filled social. A good time was had by all.

We look forward to our first home game of the season against Amherst next Saturday! 1:00pm at the rugby pitch, fans welcome!


First half
Colby – 7
Colby – 7
Colby – 7

Second half
Colby – 5
Rae Colombo – 5


September 15, 2012 Middlebury vs. St. Mike’s

Final Score 14 – 23, Loss

We had a great first game of the season today against St. Mike’s! The weather was a little questionable at first, but it ended up being a beautiful day for rugby, as always. In order to get in as much practice and as many new players as possible, we played three 30 minute thirds instead of the usual 40 minute halves. We were especially thankful for the return of our 2011-2012 captain, Melissa Hayes (’12) to help us out in the game.

Due to a few unfortunate injuries of some of our all-star players, we had a lot of people at new positions this game. That, along with it being our first game of the season, had us going into the first third with a little hesitation, allowing the St. Mike’s backs to score two quick tries around the outside. We pulled it together and held them off for a while, but they were still able to get in one more try in before the end of the first third.

We went out back out confident and ready to bounce back from the initial setbacks of the first third. Although we were doing a great job of making our hits and supporting runners, there was a St. Mike’s break away that allowed them to score the try that would prove to be their last. A few minutes later a beautiful interception and powerful run from inside center Emily Dub (’14) allowed us to score our first try of the season! Captain and scrum half Jess Berry (’13) followed it up with a lovely conversion kick. The second third really marked a turning point in the game—not only in terms of the score, but also in the way we played. We were on St. Mike’s half of the field almost the whole time, and did a great job being decisive, tackling hard, and maintaining possession.

For the last thirty minutes of the game, we welcomed over 4 St. Mike’s players to help us out as prop, wings, and fullback. While we continued to dominate play, we unfortunately conceded a penalty kick to St. Mike’s towards the beginning of the last third. We continued to maintain possession for the majority of the game and were able to get the ball down the field due to a great breakaway from Melissa Hayes, who drove the ball almost into the try zone, where first time flanker Sarah “Mini” Minahan (’14) was able to pick it up and place it just across the line. Jess Berry made another beautiful conversion kick, making the final score 14 – 23.

The game ended on a high note, and we left the field with our heads held high. We were grateful for the opportunity to have this scrimmage against St. Mike’s to help us prepare for games to come. We’re all excited for the upcoming season and look forward to our game next week against Colby!

Thanks so much to our fans and to Katy Svec (’15)’s parents for bringing orange slices and brownies! Also a special shout out to Fabi Benedini Galli Zambardino (’15) and Brita Fisher (’15) for playing in their first rugby game ever!

1st Third
St. Mike’s – 5
St. Mike’s – 5
St. Mike’s – 5

2nd Third
St. Mike’s – 5
Emily Duh – 5
Jess Berry – 2

3rd Third
St. Mike’s – 3
Sarah Minahan – 5
Jess Berry – 2  

Fall 2012 Schedule!

We now have our schedule for this season, thanks to our wonderful match secretary Katie Linder. Here it is:

9/14 Scrimmage @ St. Mike’s, Time TBA
9/22 Colby @ 12 PM (away)
9/29 Amherst @ 1 PM (home)
10/6 Tufts @ 1 PM (home)
10/13 Bowdoin @ 11 AM (home)
10/20 Williams @ 11 AM (away)
10/28 Bates @ 1 PM (away)