Women's Rugby Shakes Slow Start, Drops Middlebury in Home Opener

Hayleigh Kein scored twice in Bowdoin's win Saturday (courtesy of www.CIPhotography.com)

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin women's rugby team shook off a rusty start to pull away in a 25-5 win over Middlebury on Saturday afternoon.

The Polar Bears (2-0) earn a win in the rematch of the first-ever New England Small College Rugby Conference championship game played last fall with the Panthers. Bowdoin claimed the NESCRC title by a 15-10 score last autumn.

After the teams traded possessions to start the game, Hayleigh Kein broke through for Bowdoin in the 23rd minute. Following a series of passes, Kein broke a pair of tackles and into open space, speeding to the goalline for a 5-0 Polar Bear lead. Seven minutes later, Addison Carvajal won a chase to the ball and kicked the ball downfield soccer-style and recovered it in the endzone to make it 10-0. Middlebury was able to get one back before halftime to trim the lead to 10-5.

The Polar Bears settled down and pulled away in the second half, getting a nice play give-and-go play from Kein and Emily Athanas-Linden, who broke through a gap to make it 15-5. Carvajal added another try before Maura Allen fed Kein for the final score of the day to make it 25-5.

In addition to the scorers, Bowdoin also got great lineout play from Anna Piotti and great tactical kicking by Athanas-Linden with a solid chase strategy from Carvajal, Charlotte Kleiman, and Emily Stewart, among others.

The Bowdoin B-side put on a solid performance in the follow-up contest, taking a 10-5 win. Samantha Hoegle scored both tries with hard evasive running, and with assists to Cammie Ogden-Fung and Georgie Bolduc.

The Polar Bears will return to action on the road next Saturday at Tufts (1:00 p.m.).