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Rugby Upsets Dartmouth to Earn Second-Ever Ivy Title

Two-Time Champs
Poor weather conditions necessitated a gritty style of play for both teams.
Harvard women’s rugby has lost to Dartmouth in every contest the past four seasons. Saturday afternoon, it reversed the script and pulled off the upset victory in a low-scoring 12-3 contest.

This win earned the Crimson (6-1) its second-ever Ivy crown as it clinched the one seed going into the NIRA Playoffs.

"We didn't idolize Dartmouth too much," senior Akweley Okine said. "They are...worth respecting but definitely not one that is unbeatable. That was a lot of the mindset and with it being the Ivy League Championship, I think people were pretty sentimental going into it."

The Big Green(6-1) previously dominated Harvard on Sept. 22, blowing past the Crimson 55-13. But in the soggy fields and torrential rain in Hanover, N.H., Saturday afternoon, critical defensive performances from the team and opportune scoring made the difference.

"We had 3 major goals that we wanted to keep in mind throughout the game," junior Delia Hellander said. "One was to execute our blitz defense...second was to have continuity on offense, just keeping the ball alive and protecting the ball. And our third one was keeping a positive mental attitude and composure throughout the game when things didn’t go our way. I think that was what kept us in the running and what resulted in us winning the game."

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Okine scored her first try of the season at the start of the second half, adding onto classmate Caitlin Weigel’s try in the first frame. Dartmouth’s only points of the game came from a kick at the start of the contest.

"Today it was just putting [it] all together," Okine added. "It was really cool to see like all the hard work we put in place like in practices and different games finally all come together."

The first round of the NIRA Quarterfinals commences on Saturday, November 10th, with the Championships slated for the following weekend.

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