What better way for the Dartmouth Women's Rugby Club to kick off its spring season than on St. Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland? Unfortunately, the DWRC did not have the luck of the Irish (surprisingly, the Irish had it instead) and fell to the Galwegians club side by a score of 37-5.
Coach Deb Archambault '85 may have summed up our problems the best: "mud, weight, and footing." Yes, the first and third may appear similar, but believe you us, the conditions merited the redundancy. The almost constant rain (okay, I'm exaggerating--I was dry for about two hours once) turned once green pitches into mud pits and led to large problems for a relatively light Dartmouth pack which featured three former backs (wings-turned-flankers Sara Carpenter '03 and Kate "bigscaryforward" Simon '04 and fullback-turned-2nd row Molly Johnson '02) and returned only three out of eight fall starters (props Christine Coldiron '03 and Sheila Hicks '04 and 8-man Betsy Super '02). As a result, many of the seven Galwegian tries came off of forward crashes.
However, there were a few bright points. The Big Green got more than a few chances to play some defense, a nice change after a relatively uncontested fall season. Scrumhalf Catherine Dale '04 showed that she was up to the challenge with some key tackles of some extremely large players. Also, while the DWRC was shut out 27-0 in the first half, scoring in the second half stood at a much closer 10-5. A few minutes after halftime, wing Nina Markey '02 brought everyone back to the fall by sprinting 70 meters down the right sideline for the lone Dartmouth try.
In the second and final game, Dartmouth played a mixed team of seven DWRC B-side members of the DWRC joined members of the Black Rock club side and the Trinity College women's team. The game was fairly well-matched and ended at five tries to four, but three kicks from Besty "Imadethreekicks" Super lengthened the victory margin to 31-20. Markey scored twice on (surprise!) sprints up the sideline, and wing Elisse Gaynor '03, 2nd row Joanne Sprague '04, and someone who apparently doesn't want credit also added one.
On the other side of the scrum, Allette Vayda '05 stepped into a new role as prop. Meanwhile, freshman flyhalf Emily Battle's good hands impressed the Irish players and scrumhalf Liz Tunick '05 touched down a try as wing.