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Dartmouth 0 vs Army 25
After the long trek down to West Point, the Dartmouth Women's Rugby Club stepped onto the pitch ready for WAR (Women's Army Rugby, who are going to nationals this year.) Dartmouth was eager to see if Army could back their impressive (but gramatically questionable) title. Kirsten "fancy pants" Ahrendt '07 began the attack with a kick deep into enemy lines. Army was unable to get far before young Michelle "eat dirt" Dunn '09 tackled the unfortunate girl who caught the ball. Fully prepared to ruck, the forwards charged in and won the ball back from Army. This ruck set the tone for the remainder of the game with forwards able to win back an outstanding number of balls in rucks and mauls. Despite the clean ball produced, the backs were often foiled due to Army's continual penchant for being offsides. However, Leila "tackled once more" English '09 proved to be able to hold her own after being tackled again and again as outside center.
Unfortunately, Army finally exploited a hole on the outside and scored their first try. Just as the mass quantities of dust was beginning to settle, winds picked up and it began to rain coating the ball in a fine layer of mud. This made catching the ball difficult and forced Dartmouth go into ruck after ruck as well as numerous scrums. Despite strong rucking, the high winds made for weak line-outs causing Dartmouth to lose more than one ball. Army's great runner #12 was able to find holes in the defense resulting in 2 more tries before the end of the first half.
Dartmouth regrouped and put tremendous pressure upon Army in the second half. Hooker Alyssa "omnipresent" Caballero '06 and Erin "my van got lost again" Garnett '06 were in every ruck showing Army what fighting on the pitch really means. Fullback, Kirsten and inside center, Katie "that's my kind of girl" Moerlein '08 followed suit with outstanding open field, try-stopping tackles. Keen ball awareness by Erin and Leila helped Dartmouth to retain possession of the ball for most of the second half. But #12, who does "too many push ups for fun" according to assistant coach Abby Berniker, had one last run scoring the final try for Army bringing the score to 25-0.
The remainder of the match consisted of well-placed kicks and quick runs by Kirsten. Unable to be tackled she dodged through Army's defense bringing Dartmouth so close to the tryline they could taste it. Finally tackled to the ground on the line, the ball was kicked out by Army marking the end of the match. Although the final score did not reflect the effort put in by all 15 players, Dartmouth certainly proved they could stand up to Army in battle.
Click here to see photos of the DWRC's game at West Point against Women's Army Rugby
Ivy League Tournament
Dartmouth 5 Yale 10
As rain pounded down onto the Big Green in New Haven, they too pounded down on the rugby pitch. Dartmouth kicked off to Yale who promptly scored a try on the outside. The DWRC quickly regrouped and began winning most rucks. Sadly, the rainy conditions led to multiple dropped balls and knock-ons. Outstanding ball awareness by 8-man and captain Erin "stress induced insanity" Garnett '06 kept the ball in Dartmouth possession for most of the game. Fullback, Kirsten "Allan Poe" Ahrendt '07 and flyhalf, Rachel "George" Forman '09 took advantage of holes created in Yale defense while competent scrums and flanker Michelle "mooch" Dunn '09 kept up the heavy pressure. Dartmouth came dangerously close to scoring but as the ball was touched down in the tryzone the frustrating ref called a double clutch. Fortunately, a beautiful lineout by Erin allowed Dartmouth to regain significant ground. Kirsten was then able to take advantage of a disorganized Yale and score off of a penalty bringing the score to 5-5. Dartmouth fended off all of Yale's subsequent attacks until the very last minute of the game when Yale finally broke through the solid wall of defense and scored, signaling the finish of the game.
Dartmouth 22 Brown B-side 0
The sun shining the next day, Dartmouth came out ready to score some tries. Terrific phase play and strong rucks allowed the Big Green to move right up to Brown's tryline in the first few minutes of the game. After a series of hard attacks by the forwards, one of Brown's props was forced to leave the pitch. No other front row player was available to Brown so all following scrums were uncontested much to the frustration of Dartmouth's pack. Although forward vertical attacks were strong, Dartmouth failed to see the huge offensive overload on the outside. Finally the ball was passed out wide to Kirsten coming in strong to the backline. She made a quick pass to Katie "RAAAAGE" Moerlein '08 right at the tryzone confusing defenders and allowing her to score the first try of the day. Despite some shoddy passing, Dartmouth stayed on the offensive for almost the entirety of the game resulting in another try by Sinny "boo Hawaii" Wang '08 before the half. Coming in at wing after the half, Krystal "please don't hurt me" Elkins '08 scored after receiving a pass from Kirsten who had successfully penetrated Brown's defense. Leila "stream of consciousness" English '09 continued the scoring by looping the whole backline, shedding Brown players left and right, and refusing to be tackled for a good 30 meters. She was finally taken down, but only after she had already crossed the tryline. Looping well on offense was again the reason for Dartmouth's fourth and final try of the game by Katie.
Dartmouth 0 Brown A-side 22
Brown started off the game with a series of quick passes by the backline to the outside. Brown darted up the sideline and scored an unconverted try. Determined to be on the offensive, Dartmouth got the ball to Kirsten who swiftly made her way up the field with strong support until she was tackled and pushed out. Troubling recycling on defense kept Dartmouth pinned to their tryline. Another try was scored by Brown on the outside. Dartmouth valiantly strove to keep play on Brown's side of the pitch for the remainder of the half. Strong support and continuity off the first person marked the second half, but disorganized defense allowed Brown to just squeak by twice more bringing the game to a close 0 -22. Yet good news from the sidelines that no one had gotten sick from "the plague" for the remainder of the second half.
Beast of the East Tournament :
Dartmouth 5 vs Amherst 0
Dartmouth 31 vs Cornell 0
Dartmouth 12 vs UConn 0
Dartmouth 7 vs Vassar 0
The weekend got off to a slow start with a narrow 5-0 victory against Amherst. Erin "Gangrene" Garnett '06 scored the only try of the game off one of many penalties. But read on!
All of a sudden, the team that might have been compared to a high school garage band was playing like a finely tuned and practiced orchestra.
The DWRC rolled over Cornell, 31-0. Continuity, speed, aggressive tackling, and excellent game management characterized the Big Green's play. Great kicks by Kirsten "Mrs Clean" Ahrendt '07 and Issy "The Kicking Scrumhalf" Anderson '07 moved the ball up the field in the first half. Alysia "Skill and Grace" Harris '08 stole the ball in a defensive lineout and ran it in for the first try of the game. Intense pressure at the tryline scrambled the Cornell defense. Seeing space, Tayray "Zorro" Hopper '07 called for the ball on the weak side and popped it to Julia "Mullet" Jacobsen '08 who scored. Amelia Alvarez '08 passed in contact to Ahrendt, who heroically dove over the tryline and then converted the try. Reserves entered the game with 10 minutes left and continued the try-scoring festival. Mallory "Kikiki" McQueen '09 burst onto the ball, then dipped, ducked and dodged her way into the tryzone. Ahrendt converted the try. Garnett and Harris exhibited some beautiful continuity in the kickoff return. Soon after, Alyssa "Scrumcap" Caballero '06 nabbed the final try of the game, which Ahrendt converted.
On Sunday, Dartmouth faced a tough UConn squad and came away with a clear 12-0 win. UConn's speedy wing was no match for the jets on Dartmouth's backline. Dartmouth dominated the kicking game with great kicking by Rachel "Dancemaster" Forman '09, Ahrendt and Anderson and kick-blocking by Harris and Alvarez's face. Leila "Green Flamingo" English '09, McQueen and Forman also ran some lightning-speed counter attacks. The first try was scored after Ahrendt faked the defense and passed to Katie "Vinco Omnia" Moerlein '08 who took out the last defender while dishing it off to Jacobsen who touched it down. As in their game against Cornell, the Big Green continued to play 15 as 1. Backs were forwards and forwards were backs, at times almost completely so, with moments where #10, 12, and 14 were in the ruck and #8, 4, and 6 were at the first three backs positions, both units performing as if it were their home positions. Playing out in the backline, Hopper plowed through the defense to score. Ahrendt converted the try.
After re-grouping on the warm bus for 30 minutes, the team emerged into the brutal wind to face Vassar in the Championship game.
Vassar was a strong side with good speed, good defensive rucking and a big pack. Excessive mauling in the first half didn't leave much time for scoring, but Arhendt had a great read on a penalty awarded to Dartmouth and put away the only try of the game. She converted the try as well. The second half was basically a goal line stand, with DWRC pinned behind our twenty-two by a persistent Vassar and increasing wind as the big storm moved in. Dartmouth maintained awesome defense and very poised play.
The DWRC was 100% committed to their game, to each other, and to conceding NOTHING over the weekend, which is why they are the BEASTS OF THE EAST!
Dartmouth 39 vs Norwich 12
The Dartmouth women received the kick from Norwich University prepared to run and ruck. Armed with these two skills Dartmouth found their only enemy to be their own passing. Knock-ons and passes forward stopped play all to often in the first 15 minutes of the game. However, these women refused to let that stall their progress to the tryzone. Wonderful footwork by Rachel "scary mouthguard" Forman '09 and Kirsten "I love Tuesdays" Ahrendt '07 allowed them to squeeze through a hole right at the tryline. The ball went into a quick ruck then out again to a bursting and ready Kirsten who scored the first try of the game, also converted by Kirsten. Great continuity kept the ball alive all the way back down the pitch to the tryline. Kirsten again found a hole but sadly went down just before she could score. Fortunately, the quick thinking 8-man Erin "flings herself on the ground says Deb" Garnett '06 picked up the ball and fell over the tryline bringing the score to 12-0.
Norwich came back with increased vigor determined to score some tries of their own. They made their way down the pitch but despite numerous scrums in their favor they were unable to get much farther due to scrumhalf Issy "sink over pipe" Anderson's extreme pressure and quick tackles. With the ball back in Dartmouth's hands, these ladies were able to work their magic with excellent continuity and field awareness. Rachel and hooker Alyssa "I want to prop" Caballero '06 ran on to the ball with such vigor that Norwich was left gaping in their tracks. A swift pass in contact by Alyssa to Katie "nice dreads" Moerlein '08 resulted in another beautiful try.
No sooner had Norwich kicked off to Dartmouth did Kirsten bust down the pitch for her second try of the game bringing the score to 22-0. Dartmouth held possession of the ball for a majority of the game due to outstanding continuity and spectacular ball awareness in rucks. Norwich was continually unable to hold onto the ball in mauls helping the DWRC to win back possession whenever they happened to lose it. Alyssa proved to be extremely versatile and practically everywhere on the pitch, constantly ready to take a pass or go into a ruck. Such dedication brought Dartmouth back to the tryline until an offsides call granted Norwich a penalty. Refusing to let this try go, Kirsten tackled the girl with the ball so hard that she was forced to let go, allowing Michelle "eats everything" Dunn '09 to score a try, which was closely followed by yet another try by Alysia "your mom called" Harris '08.
The second half of the match brought scrum woes to Dartmouth's loose pack. But this did not stop Kirsten from scoring yet again. Unfortunately, Norwich was able to take advantage of an overload and score a converted try. Excellent tackles by Alysia, Michelle and Kirsten kept Norwich at bay for most of the second half until the very last moments of the game when Norwich managed to score an unconverted try signaling the end of the match.
Dartmouth 97 vs Middlebury 0
Saturday the 6th of May saw the DWRC facing off in a late spring match-up against the Middlebury College women. Happy to be on the quickly greening Brophy Field, the girls played a fairly one-sided match that showed off their speed and continuity play.
Although many facebook.com insults were exchanged preceding the match, Saturday again proved the Dartmouth team worthy of its challenging foes. Since winning the Beast of the East title in late April the DWRC A-side has not fallen to any foe, and the thorough thrashing of the Midd team only enforced Dartmouth's rising dominance over New England.
Dartmouth played a strong and sportsmanlike match, with the 15 players joining together to keep the ball alive through multiple phases. Although the team occasionally made work for itself by avoiding the easy tries through a visibly disrupted Middlebury defense, the match represented a solid effort on the part of the Big Green ruggers. The lack of set pieces encouraged the forwards to display their running skills, and Alysia Harris '08 and Sinny Wang '08 (both flankers) showed their speed when cutting up the inside to gain yards on Middlebury.
Notable tries came from scrumhalf and president-elect Issy Anderson '07, who put fifteen points on the board herself and aided the team through insightful leadership and well-placed kicks from behind the scrums. Hooker Morgan Cole '07 also placed a beautiful try on the outside, looping to provide support and striking to touch the ball down for another 5 points. In addition, Gaby Santa-Donato '09 scored her first A-side try from the outside center position with good support and a brilliant run cutting through the Middlebury back line. Kirsten Ahrendt '07, Rachel Forman '09, and Leila English '09 kicked conversions.
The team was saddened as half-time saw the substitution of the seniors on the pitch, with positions changed to accommodate for '06s Erin Garnett, Diana Geisser, Alyssa Caballero, and Cristina Duncan Evans. Preparation for Fall 2006 is well underway, and the ability of the team to continue scoring beautiful tries through the second half, even in the absence of the '06 class, bodes well for the upcoming league season. The final score was 97-0 in favor of the Dartmouth ladies, who look forward to challenging the alumni in a match to be held over Green Key Weekend (20-21 May) at the Corey Ford Clubhouse
Alumnae Game :
Written by Elisse Gaynor '03
Sunday afternoon a motley crew of alums took to the Big Green pitch and predictably "whomped" on the
undergraduates. Leading the charge of the rag tag old girls were Nicole "dreamy eyes" Carrier, Kiersten "smack down" Lawton, Mishuana "I can warm up during the game" Goeman, Abby "not above propositioning the ref" Berniker, Natatlie "I heart propping" Babij, Monique "tough and tiny" Roy, and the unsung heroes of Team Yeah What--Emily Battle and Elisse Gaynor. Help from seniors Alyssa "hottest girl in the room" Cabellero, Erin "I live with the hottest girl in the room" Garnett, and Diana "I want to be on the winning team" Geisser and Dartmouth tag-alongs, Anna and Shana (are we kidding here?) was much appreciated.
Undeterred by definitively aquatic conditions and a couple serious hangovers, the alums were off to a quick start and challenged the undergrad tryline early. A momentary lapse in defensive pressure led to an early try by the undergrad squad aka Kirsten. The kick was a miss and play continued. Some evasive, strong running and reliable hands under wet conditions were rewarded as Lawton fired in the first alumnae points of the game. (The kick?...who cares?)
Next, more domination by the alums...Elisse was busy fixing her hair and leisurely strolling behind the action. Minyety was still fashioning a caution tape sash. Julia lame on the sideline. CDE...drunk girl. In all this excitement, the little kids aka Kirsten blow past Elisse to score again. The kick? Nothing but post! hahaha Highly amused the alums shot back into action. Berniker, Battle, and Gaynor capitalized on a super sweet backline combo to touch one down, after a series of devastating forward punches that sliced through the undergrad defense. Hoorah!
After half time, more domination in the rucks and occasional mauls by the veterans. Then Monique "weak side" Roy struck gold with a quick move to the danger zone...I mean we had a 5 on 1 vs. Lisa "valley girl" Moon had we gone strong side...but the blind side assault set up a scrum on the 5 meter line for the alums. Lawton capitalized on the missing flankers to touch down a try on an 8 man pick up.
Carrier added her two cents with some nifty spin moves and hesitation/change of pace action that faked everyone out
of their boots and socks and scrumcaps --wait that's just Alyssa's hair.
Isn't Nicole dreamy in those pink socks?
Did I say that outloud?
She scored another try somewhere in there.
Final score. anyone?
Bottom line: alums take back the title.