Final Score 59 – 5, Win
After a lovely evening spent in Cape Elizabeth with Emily Duh’s family, we ventured to Bates for the last game of the regular season. Although playing on turf initially seemed a daunting task, we adapted well to the different type of field than we were used to.
We kicked off to Bates to begin the game, where we immediately dominated play and possession. A Bates’ knock on led to a Middlebury scrum, which prompted a beautiful switch from eight man Sarah “Fraulein Fander” Pfander (’13) to fly half Julia “Extra Sharp” Gulka (’13) for the try. Scrum half Jess “Who let the dog out?” Berry (’13) converted the kick.
Shortly after the Bates kick off, wing Mel “Sandy” Haas (’13) sprinted 60 meters down the touchline to place the misshapen ball in the corner of the try zone. Quick powerful rucking along with skilled ball handling brought the ball within 5 meters of our try zone again. A Bates’ knock on led to another scrum for us. Jess Berry ran to the weak side and offloaded to Sarah Pfander who ran it straight into the try zone.
Up 17-0, some complacent errors led to a brief spell of Bates’ possession, allowing their fly half to run sideways and through our defensive line for a try. This brief pause in which Bates attempted the conversion kick gave us an opportunity to regroup and retain composure. Coming out hard, the backs and forwards worked together to execute a series of creative and effective plays to bring the ball closer to the try line. In a save of NBA caliber, lock Ali “90 Degrees” Hentges (’15) prevented the ball from going out by batting it through her legs, an incredible play that set the stage for our next try, driven through by fullback Julianna “Meet Me at the Watering Hole” Gardner (’13). Another instance of supportive interplay between forwards and backs allowed outside center Stevie “Diva” Durocher (’15.5) to offload the ball to oncoming lock Hannah “Hanukah” Elkin, who stiff-armed and powerfully drove across the try line to finish the half on a strong note.
From the beginning of the second half, we remained on Bates’ defensive half with intensity and focus. Jess Berry collected the ball off our scrum about 10 meters from the try zone, fought through an attempted tackle from the opposing scrum half, faked the switch to Julia Gulka, and passed the ball to inside center Laura “High Tackled” Hoffman (’15), who sprinted through the Bates defensive line to score another try for the Blue.
After yet another series of beautiful quick passes from the back line, Ali Hentges collected the ball and practically strolled through the Bates defensive line for 30 meters, before nonchalantly touching down the ball across the try line. Jess Berry successfully converted the kick to put an extra two on the scoreboard.
After an extensive delay for an injured Bates player, we carried on business as usual. Julianna Gardner broke through a succession of attempted tackles to drive 40 meters into the try zone. Soon after, Sarah “Mini Quiche” Minahan (’14) did a crafty pick-and-go off a breakdown near the try line to place the ball into the zone on the far right. Only a few plays later, Julia Gulka drove the ball over the line after the formation of a ruck, also on the far right side. To mimic her big sister, Sarah Minahan scored the final try of the game in a similar fashion, picking the ball off a scrum to touch the ball down on the far right side of the try zone.
A special shout out to Alex “I Do Work” McKeon (’13) who came back out at wing for her first game back after months out from an ankle injury, and had many great runs and ball handling with the back line. Stevie Durocher also had an amazing game at outside center, running through the Bates’ defensive line and lending support in the rucks on countless occasions.
A huge thanks to all of the friends and family who came out to support us: the Svec’s with their famous brownies and orange slices, the Attwood’s, Mr. Hoffman, and to Jackie, Russ, Maggie, Ben and Emily for feeding and hosting the entire team!
Julia Gulka (Berry – 2)
Mel Haas – 5
Sarah Pfander – 5
Bates – 5
Julianna Gardner – 5
Hannah Elkin – 5
Laura Hoffman – 5
Ali Hentges (Berry – 2)
Julianna Gardner – 5
Sarah Minahan – 5
Julia Gulka – 5
Sarah Minahan – 5