Rugby Drops First Contest of the Season at Dartmouth

{shortcode-e9f6bf6bd7454583450f17050f27c06d749a14ee} After a hot start to the 2018 campaign, the Harvard women’s rugby team (2-1 NIRA) endured a setback on the road at Dartmouth. After jetting out to two strong double-digit victories over Quinnipiac and Army West Point, the Crimson struggled on both offensive and defensive sides of the ball on Saturday.

By the end of regulation, the hosts had run up the final score to 55-13. Saturday was another instance of the Big Green asserting its dominance over the Crimson squad in the last few years. Although Harvard has had Dartmouth’s number in 7s play, the Big Green improved to 6-2 all time against the Crimson in 15s, with Harvard’s last 15s triumph coming nearly four years ago.

Despite the disappointing result, the Crimson showed promise to begin the match as both teams remained deadlocked at zero. About 12 minutes passed in scoreless action before Dartmouth struck first as, Big Green senior Alex Stendahl added a try to open up a 5-0 lead. For the rest of the first half, Dartmouth would stretch its lead, adding another 26 points in a row to reach a 31-0 advantage. In the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Crimson regained some momentum, keeping the Big Green off the scoreboard and adding three points of its own before the half. Harvard senior Jenny Kronish maintained her team-leading scoring by pushing a successful penalty kick through the goalposts.

In the second half, the visitors started off how they left off the first—with some of their best play of the game. Coming out of the locker room, the Crimson built on its first score with another five points in the first three minutes of the second half; senior Rachel Harkavy cut the deficit to 31-8 with her first scoring effort of the season. Dartmouth would repay the favor, however, as the Big Green would rattle off 24 unanswered points. Looking to respond, the Crimson capped off the match on a high note, completing another try to finalize the scoring at 55-13.

Despite the tough defeat, the Crimson can take some silver linings from Saturday’s tilt. First-year Sofie Fella scored the final try of the game, continuing her streak of scoring over the first three games of her career. Also, despite the final result, most of Dartmouth’s scoring came in two spurts, with the Crimson evening momentum if not taking some back in the other portions of the game. Finally, the 13 points that the Crimson tallied marked the most that it had registered against Dartmouth in 15s since 2016. Although this loss marks the Crimson’s first defeat in Ivy Rugby play, the team still sports an impressive 2-1 record in National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) competition. The squad will look to rest up with an off week before returning home to Mignone Field to take on NIRA rivals Quinnipiac on Oct. 6th at noon. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.



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