'Fearless’ is perhaps the best word to describe the Radcliffe Rugby Football Club.
The women jumped at the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with competition an entire division above them at last weekend’s Beantown Tournament in Amherst, Mass.
Radcliffe currently competes as a Division II squad during the regular season, but when given the opportunity to move up to the Division I category for this past weekend’s tournament, the team saw an opportunity to test its skills against higher level competition.
In the opening round of the tournament on Saturday, Radcliffe played UMass-Amherst in the morning and powerhouse Cornell in the afternoon. Radcliffe defeated UMass, 34-0, but fell to Cornell, 22-7.
“We blew [UMass] out. They didn’t even score on us,” said senior Anna Kamerow, who plays 2nd row. “Then, against Cornell, we started out not as great, a little frantic, but once we settled in, we played a closer game than the score reflects.”
On Sunday morning, Radcliffe faced Cornell once again, this time in the semi-final round. The second time around, the women came out with full intensity from the first whistle.
“In rugby, you rarely get a chance to play a team so quickly again like we did against Cornell,” Kamerow said. “We talked over the first game Saturday night, made some adjustments and clearly [Cornell] was facing a whole new team [Sunday morning].”
Radcliffe tied Cornell 5-5, and while the draw was a huge improvement over Saturday’s loss, it was not enough to advance the women to the finals. The experience the women gained this past weekend playing at the Division I level will be invaluable going forward as the team prepares for its fall game schedule.
The Radcliffe Rugby Football Club opens its regular season at home against the University of Maine next Saturday at 12:30pm.