In its Ivy League opener on Sunday, Harvard women’s rugby rolled past Brown in a comfortable, 84-8 win in Providence, R.I. The Crimson maintained its unbeaten record on the season, improving to 3-0-1, while also edging past the Bears (0-2-0) in their all-time tally, which now sits at 7-6-1 in Harvard’s favor.
Though not as lopsided as last Friday’s game against Mt. St. Mary’s, which finished 130-0, the Crimson never really seemed troubled by Brown, and the scoreline very much reflected that. Harvard maintained the bulk of the possession throughout the game, and dictated the pace and intensity of the contest from start to finish.
Three tries shortly after kickoff put the Crimson in the driver’s seat early on, where it remained without much resistance. Junior Genevieve Quirion opened the scoring, and was followed by two tries in rapid succession by sophomore Brooklynn Davis. Davis, one of nine scorers for Harvard, finished the game with three tries.
“I think we played pretty well today. We were working on some new attack stuff, trying to really shore up our attack,” sophomore Dominique Cantave said. “We executed really well, listening to one another and connecting really well.”
Harvard kept a shutout for the first half, heading into the break leading 44-0. This gave the team an opportunity to experiment and work on new techniques with the game already in hand.
“It was definitely a team effort, I think everybody played well today,” Cantave said. “We got to have a lot of our walk-ons come out and play for the first time today, and get their first tackles in today, so it was definitely a team effort.”
“This week we focused a lot on dominating at the tackle, making sure that we’re really bringing people down on defense, and clearing people out on offense,” Cantave added. “We really just wanted to be powerful and intense after tackles, which I think we did really well. This gave us a lot faster play, and allowed us to keep possession for most of the game.”
The Crimson has been exceptional on both sides of the field this year, producing both electrifying offense and lockdown defense. Harvard has scored 308 points this year, while only allowing 41, recording two shutouts in its four games. Early on in 2017, the Crimson has consistently run up the score on its opponents, and it will be looking to continue putting up big numbers as it moves towards the end of the season.
Harvard will face arguably its toughest test of the season this coming Saturday when it hosts Dartmouth at Mignone Field. Dartmouth is 3-0 this season, but it has yet to play away from home. The Crimson will then round out the regular season when it plays host to Princeton on October 14th, again at Mignone Field.
“We’re definitely super excited to play Dartmouth,” freshman Erin Wright said. “They’re a very good team, and we’re looking forward to a challenge. We’re hoping to come out ready to go.”
“We’re definitely thinking about Ivies, obviously our goal is to go there and do well and play well, but we try to take things week by week, and grow every single week, which leads into the bigger matches toward the end of the season,” Wright said.
After the two conference showdowns with the Big Green and the Tigers, all eyes will turn to the Ivy League Championships, which begin on October 28th. Harvard will be looking to make amends this year after falling 14-5 in last year’s final against Dartmouth. Despite the desire to win the title in a month’s time, the team is set on taking things slowly and not taking any opponents for granted.
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