BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin women's rugby team avenged their only regular season loss by claiming their second consecutive New England Small College Rugby Championship with a 47-12 victory over Tufts.
The Polar Bears (7-1) were handed their first regular season loss since 2010 by the Jumbos back in September, by a 29-17 margin. Tufts looked to repeat the feat and claim the NESCRC title, but fell short as Bowdoin turned in a total team performance on both ends of the pitch.
Defensively, Bowdoin was able to pressure Tufts in the scrums resulting in the Polar Bears' backline collecting key tackles. While Bowdoin's pack pressured the Tufts' scrum, #9 Kam Sanchez disrupted their ability to get a clean ball out to their backline. The defensive pressure kept the Jumbos from mounting any significant attack and limited their ability to make space. Later, Tufts mounted an attack in Bowdoin's defensive end and nearly scored, but the Polar Bears' defense held firm with heads up play by Evelyn Dickinson, Amanda Montenegro, and Paige Pfannenstiel. Tufts only two tries of the match were scored late in the second, capitalizing on some missed tackles and line breaks.
Bowdoin's offense set a clear tone early in the match, scoring quickly off a lineout. Anna Piotti gave a clean ball to Sanchez to begin the attack, which sparked a passing sequence that connected three Bowdoin players before Sam Hoegle earned a try in the corner. The Polar Bears' second try came off the team's second phase of a penalty play as Sanchez and Emily Athanas-Linden worked the ball down the backline for Hoegle to pass towards Hayleigh Kein. Kein was tackled near the goal line, but not before popping the ball up to a charging Charlotte Kleiman, who drove in. Maura Allen broke several tackles and powered through for the team's third try of the match. Bowdoin's final points in the first half came from Kleiman who collected a pass from Kein.
The second half was more of the same as the Polar Bears' offense produced four more tries. Pfannenstiel had a pair of long distance tries, while Allen, Athanas-Linden, and lein each adding one.
Bowdoin is now in the round of 32 for the Fall 15s ACRA Championship and will host a game next Saturday at 1:00 PM.
~Women's Rugby recognized its seniors at Saturday's game~