Already off to a strong season, Radcliffe rugby padded its season performance, winning in the Four Leaf 15 Tournament last weekend outside New York City. The team faced brutal winds and 40 degree weather in the single-day tournament, and players had no time to warm themselves up in between matches in the tightly-packed schedule.
"It was a physical and mental battle to stay focused despite the cold," senior Madeleine Ballard said.
But despite the adversity, Radcliffe managed to dominate Fordham and Northeastern in pool play, beating them 45-5 and 35-5, respectively, to catapult itself to the semifinals. Radcliffe then faced Yale, a team had beaten Radcliffe in the past three meetings between, including a loss in the spring of 2009 that dropped Radcliffe from Division I to Division II.
The Bulldogs scored first, but were unable to pull away. With help from the strong kicking of junior Maria Centeio, Radcliffe finished on top, 14-10, to move to the championship game.
A red-hot Radcliffe stepped into the finals match against Marist. Freshman Alexandra Brown scored first, and the team never relinquished its lead, ultimately cruising to the 50-10 win to take the tournament.
Radcliffe has also already qualified for Nationals, which take place on Apr. 16-17.
"This [tournament win] sets a strong base for us as we continue to train in anticipation of [Nationals]," Ballard said.