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Vassar Conquers Beast of the East

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Vassar Conquers Beast of the East

Photo courtesy of Vassar College Women's Rugby

After taking six cup championships and placing as runner-up four times at The Beast of the East tournament, Vassar College has once again conquered the Beast with five wins against Southern Connecticut, Amherst College, Springfield College, Buffalo State, and Albany.

The Brewers collected 170 points during their five victories and finished the tournament with a 26-15 win against Albany. Having finished in the top two teams the last nine times Vassar competed in The Beast of the East, the Brewers arrived with confidence that spilled over into their gameplay. 

"I fully expected the women to win the Division II bracket," Vassar coach Tony Brown said. "It's always difficult at a tournament as you need a squad of about 28-35 plus players so that you can rest individuals. The good thing is that the entire squad played a part in this success."

Vassar began their day with a 46-5 win against Southern Connecticut and followed with a 51-0 win against Amherst. Considering the Brewers only gave up five points on the first day, it almost seemed like facing the other DII teams was too easy.

"We considered playing DI as we feel we can beat some of those teams," Brown said. "But the purpose is to have our underclasswomen play 'A' side games along 'A' side starters. They are introduced to a faster paced game, and it helps us prepare for Fall 15s."

During the quarterfinals against Springfield, leading team scorer center Cierra Thomas broke her fibula - a devastating loss for Vassar's scoreline and team moral. Yet, their fast paced training allowed others to fill her spot and Vassar left the field with another win of 29-0. The Brewers collected a 25-0 victory from Buffalo State before moving on to Albany.

"The University of Albany were tough in the final," Brown said. "They have a big and strong pack and two or three dangerous backs."

The Brewers found that the shortened field and halves made playing their normal style difficult and forced them to adjust. However, Vassar still left with the cup. They will host their next games during the Tri-State Conference 7s on April 23.


Vassar College Women 39 v 5 Southern Connecticut State University Women

Tries: Makena Emery (1), Cierra Thomas (2), Darienne Jones (3), Taylor Nunley (1).

Cons: Makena Emery (2).


Vassar College Women  51 v 0 Amherst College Women

Tries: Jennie To (3), Oshana Reich (1), Michelle Urrutia (2), Miranda Scarlata (1), Abigail Alexander (1),  Cierra Thomas (1).

Cons: Mary Margaret McElduff (3).


Vassar College Women 29 v 0 Springfield College Women

Tries: Nathalie Freeman (2), Cierra Thomas (2), Darienne Jones (1).

Cons: Mary Margaret McElduff (2).


Semifinal Game

Vassar College Women 25 v 0 SUNY-Buffalo Women

Tries: Darienne Jones (4), Rachel Elson (1).


Vassar College Women 26 v 15 University at Albany Women

Tries: Rachel Elson (1), Taylor Nunley (1), Darienne Jones (1), Nathalie Freeman (1).

Cons: Mary Margaret McElduff (3).