Women Varsity Week 2 Previews
Women Varsity Week 2 Previews
Three league games kick off this weekend in the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association - the women’s competition of NCAA varsity teams.
After beating Army last week, Quinnipiac travels to AIC Friday.
The Bobcats 2016 season started off with a 32-19 victory over Army West Point on the road in West Point. Ilona Maher led the scoring in the first half to keep the Bobcats close and then Quinnipiac surged ahead with tries from Flora Poole and Rebecca Haight.
Senior Maggie Myles led the team with seven tackles and three tackle assists.
"We came away with the win, which is always nice when it's your opener, but we also displayed elements of a team that was experiencing their opener," said Head Coach Becky Carlson. "Working out the kinks and seeing a live ball after preseason is always an interesting transition, and in the first half we most certainly had to shake out a lot of those kinks. We needed to adjust to Army running a hard ball up the middle and allocating a lot of speed in their backs. We answered that the second half and really I think at the end around the last ten minutes, our fitness really shined through. I'm so proud of the team and the way they played. There is certainly room for improvement, and we're looking forward to the next one."
AIC, for their part, will want to bounce back from a close loss to Dartmouth 24-22.
"We were very disappointed in our performance in the first half and made some tactical adjustments but we started the second half poorly and conceded another try from the kick off." said Coach Peter Lang. "The team was visibly distraught by the result but not disheartened. We know we are building towards great things and this was a valuable lesson in our journey. We are all excited and eager to show what we are capable of next week against defending national champions Quinnipiac."
The game kicks off at 7pm ET and will be shown live at AICYellowJackets.tv
Meanwhile, Dartmouth looks to continue their winning ways at Army.
The Big Green opened the year with a 24-22 win at home against AIC thanks to a pair of second-half tries from freshman Becca Jane Rosco and some key conversions.
“We proved to ourselves last week that we can grit out a tough win and we are working on making that a habit,” said Coach Katie Dowty. “While our defense has proved up to the task thus far, our attack is still coming together and we think we'll be able to play a much more unified attacking game tomorrow.”
Dowty said she’s also like to see her charges finish off scoring opportunities a bit better.
Army, however, showed in the first half against Quinnipiac that they can be a force. They just need to hold on a bit longer.
And in their first league games of the season, Norwich travels to the Cleveland area to face Notre Dame College.
NDC is still a very young team, and Coach Mark Andrade knows this could be a learning experience for his squad. With a smaller pack than before he will need the likes of Najya Jordan and Leslie Velez to lead from the front.
“We’re not bulldozers but we will be movie and we’ll be solid,” Andrade said.
In the backs, there’s good news for the Falcons, as Lea Walsh is back from an ACL tear she suffered in the spring of 2015, and is now captain, and Alex Strasser, who tore her ACL in her first game in her freshman year last fall, is also back and ready to go.
New backs coach Andrew Martin, then, has some talent to work with.
Norwich is a similar team - very quick, skilled in the backs, and not always huge up front. They certainly can score, having put up 127 on Castleton last week. The scary part of that game was how they shared the wealth - 15 Norwich players scored tries.
"We've reconnected with some of the values that brought us to successful places in the early years," said NU Women's Rugby Head Coach Austin Hall, who's entering his 13th season at the helm of the program. "We're essentially going back to go forward. We know this team isn't going to the best team in the country on paper, but we've got a good group. If we live up to our potential, I wouldn't count us out. Some of the best teams I've coached have been the biggest surprises that have gone to upset teams in the big games."
In Tier 2, Castleton hosts Sacred Heart, which lost their opener to Molloy. Molloy hosts UNE.