POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Bowdoin College women's rugby team fell to top-ranked Norwich University, 56-0, at the NRU Division II Tournament Saturday at Vassar College.
The Polar Bears fall into the consolation match on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. against Rutgers for third-place in the NRU and a bid to Nationals in spring.
Bowdoin dominated with territory and possession with smart play and good pressure in the first 10 minutes but were unable to get into the end zone. The story of the first half was Bowdoin getting into their end of the field, making a mistake under the pressure of the Cadets defense, and Norwich picking up the loose ball and executing good counterattacks. Despite the tackling, Norwich runners supported each other well and created many overloads on attack. At the 15 minute, fullback Kerry Townsend received a yellow card for obstructing a runner and Bowdoin was forced to play down a player for 10 minutes; meanwhile, Norwich scored 3 of their tries, with the first half ending 36-0.
The Polar Bears came out after half time and ratcheted up their defense with much better tackling and defensive organization, holding Norwich out of the end zone for stretches of the game, communicating and marking players well. Each time Bowdoin mounted an offensive attack, either by running or kicking the ball, they were thwarted near the goal line. Norwich scored a nice drop-goal and broke through the defensive line several more times with an overload of hard running players.