Women's Rugby Runs Away From UNE to Claim NIRA Division III Title

Women's Rugby Runs Away From UNE to Claim NIRA Division III Title

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Bowdoin College women's rugby team recovered from an early deficit to defeat the University of New England, 27-5, and win the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association Division III title on Sunday at Harvard.

The Polar Bears finish their season with a record of 8-2. It is the first-ever Division III tournament in the history of the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association, which was founded in 2018.

Match Highlights

  • The Nor'easters took the first lead of the game approximately a minute in, as inside center Mariah Chase took a lineout ball to slice through the defense and offload to Katie Berger for the corner try
  • Bowdoin responded with four tries over the course of the rest of the half, taking complete control of the match.
  • The Polar Bears got on the board thanks to a pass from Jenna Clukey to winger Molly Petronzio, who sprinted 10 meters and got past her defender to tie the score 5-5.
  • With the forwards controlling possession on a series of plays moving downfield, Amber Ramos picked and drove the final 10 meters for the score, giving Bowdoin as 10-5 lead.
  • The Polar Bears extended the lead courtesy of two long tries from fullback Sophia Karris, both 50+ meter evasive runs. The first try was converted by Molly Petronzio as Bowdoin took a 22-5 lead into halftime.
  • Bowdoin's defense held strong througout the second half and, with less than two minutes to go, Sara Nelson and Catherine Patti again served the ball wide to Petronzio on the wing, who broke multiple tackles and sprinted 60 meters for the final score of the match.

By The Numbers

  • Wing Molly Petronzio and fullback Sophia Karris both scored a pair of tries in the victory while Safiya Osei was named the Tournament MVP. 
  • Ashlynn Autrey (12),  Catherine Patti (9), were Bowdoin's leading tacklers on the afternoon.
  • Bowdoin completed a season sweep of the Nor'easters, having also won the regular season meeting between the squads, 27-12, on October 26.
  • The Polar Bears advanced to the finals with a 12-7 win over Norwich last weekend while UNE advanced with a 25-24 win over Colby-Sawyer.