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Ivies Celebrate 3 Important Wins

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Ivies Celebrate 3 Important Wins

Brown wrapped up the Navy offense. (Photo courtesy Navy Women's Rugby)

It was a triumphant weekend for the women’s Ivy League. Dartmouth, the third conference team to go varsity, opened up league play with a 77-5 win over Penn today, while Harvard and Brown celebrated important non-conference victories on Saturday.

It was a one-sided affair in Hanover, N.H., as the Big Green piled on 48 first-half points while allowing one try from Penn's Aiyasha Scott in the 23rd minute. Dartmouth shut out the visitors in the second stanza and ended the day with 10 different try-scorers.

Senior Yejadai Dunn led the way with three tries, while junior Audrey Perez tacked on two. Carolina Martinez, Ashley Zepeda, Melissa Briggs, Lily Jing Ting Zhang, Kat Ramage, Kerry Conlin, Morgan McGonagle, and Aiko Laski scored a try apiece. Freshman All American Ramage slotted four conversions for 13 points, while Tatjana Toeldte kicked two.

The win was a nice inauguration for new head coach Katie Dowty, who spent the previous year at Central Washington University. The former Eagle 7s captain has introduced a high-octane attack that the players have embraced.

“We’re empowering every player on the pitch to be a decision-maker, a playmaker, a striker and a running threat,” Dowty told Dartmouth Athletics. “That lends itself to a really dynamic style of play and our forwards love it. If we continue to be successful in adapting to that style, it opens up a ton of options for us.”

“This team has picked up this new attacking system faster than I’ve seen any team pick up such a change in play,” Dowty added. “I knew these players were going to be smart, but they’ve wowed me. The rugby IQ grows exponentially with every day and every game.”

In another varsity contest, Harvard bettered West Chester 23-17 in the teams’ first full 15s match this season. Former All American Haley Langan scored back-to-back tries to get the scoreboard rolling, and Claire Collins dotted down for a 15-0 lead to Harvard.

West Chester responded in turn, utilizing the speed of Sophia Schwab to finish off two tries, one converted – 15-12 to Harvard. The game-winning points came from Mariah Turner, who scored the Crimson's fourth try and pushed the lead to 20-12.

There the game remained until the 77th minute, when Golden Ram Arielle Gantt scored to pull within three (20-17), but a Harvard penalty marked the final score of the game, 23-17.

“The loss yesterday was not what we were expecting,” said West Chester All American Adriana Zeiders. “Harvard came out strong and seemed to want the game more than we did. We have a different team dynamic this year, and we have changed things up for the better.”

Farther south, Brown was busy beating Navy 36-5 in Annapolis. The rainy game remained close through the first half, as Saskia Morgan and Josephine Darpolor scored tries, and Sofia Rudin added a conversion for a 12-0 lead at the break.

But the second half saw the visitors pull away, as Morgan logged another three tries, and Uzoamaka Okoro tacked on a five-pointer. Navy the ended the game with a try to prevent the shutout.

"The thing that really affected the outcome the most was the pace of the back line," Morgan indicated. "The combination of experienced back line players, such as Sofie [Rudin] and Oksy [Goretaya], and new speedy talent, such as Becca [Dahle] and Uzo [Okoro], allowed us to be really creative and capitalize on the majority of our scoring opportunities. We have retained many of the players from last year's team and have gained more talented players."

All three Ivy teams are in motion next weekend, only this time it’s Dartmouth that plays the non-conference match. The Big Green travel to fellow varsity program Quinnipiac (which lost to Army yesterday – read more), while Harvard plays Yale, and Brown takes on Cornell.