Sports

Rugby breaks century mark in clobbering of Columbia

Dominant Bruno goes to 4-0 in first varsity season after shutting out Lions in 101-0 home dismantling

By
Contributing Writer
Monday, October 6, 2014

The women’s rugby team cheers after a huddle. The Bears have been a juggernaut since making the leap to varsity status, laying waste to four Ivy League opponents by a combined score of 244-32.

To call the women’s rugby team’s game over Columbia a commanding win would be an understatement. The squad lengthened its remarkable winning streak with a 101-0 beatdown of the visiting Lions Saturday at Marvel Field. 

The gloomy weather and game delay due to a tardy referee appeared to have no impact on the Bears (4-0), as the squad seemed full of energy and determination at the start of Saturday’s match.

Just minutes into the game, co-captain Oksana Goretaya ’17 scored the first try of the contest. Goretaya had to run only 12 meters to reach the in-goal, as the Bears’ solid defense prevented the Lions from making any significant advances down the field.

The team’s strong defense made for an uneventful match for the Lions. Throughout the game, the Bears’ hard pressure made Columbia’s offensive play look sloppy and chaotic. Fly-half Sofia Rudin ’17 attributed the success of the defense to the team’s ability to reorganize without letting up on the Lions.

Notable tackles were made by Josephine Darpolor ’16, Daisy Alvarado-Munoz ’17 and Lauren Oxendine ’16. After one of her tackles, Oxendine managed to gain control of the ball and ran 20 meters to score a try of her own for the Bears.

By the half, the Bears had established a 39-0 lead and the Lions had not come within 20 meters of their try line.

Taking the field after halftime, the Lions appeared dejected while the home team appeared as determined as ever despite their big lead. “We have a team motto that our assistant coach Michele Armstrong tells us: ‘Stay hungry, stay humble.’ Every time we step on the pitch, we are playing for all Brown women’s rugby players before and those to come, so we have to set a high standard of play by going as hard as we can and as long as we can,” said Melodi Dincer ’17.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the second half began in the same manner as the first. Coming off a well-timed cut, Goretaya ran down the field and scored the first try of the half. Within minutes, Jasmine McAdams ’16 ran 50 meters for a try of her own, distancing the Bears from their opponents by another 14 points in the first six minutes of the second half. The remainder of the match continued in a similar fashion as the home team kept its momentum up.

“One of our goals for this game was to set the pace of the match. In the past, we have let other teams set the pace, but in this game we did a great job,” Dincer said.

Kathryn Graves ’15, Kiki Morgan ’16, May Siu ’15 and Hannah Yi ’18 contributed seven more tries in the second half bringing Bruno’s total above the century mark.

A highlight of the second half, and perhaps the entire match, was a run by Yi. The Bears had just overpowered the Lions and won a scrum. The ball then found its way into the hands of Morgan, who out-ran the seemingly inconsequential Columbia defense. Instead of claiming the try for herself, Morgan tossed the ball to the rookie who had hustled behind her and Yi was able to run the ball to the goal and score her first-ever try.

“I think that that play showed that we value growth on the team. We played well enough during the game that we were able to play rookies who might not get a chance to be involved in match play throughout the season. It was symbolic of the focus on the future of our varsity team,” said Dincer, who played scrumhalf for a large part of the second half after Amber Reano ’16, the starting scrumhalf, headed to the sidelines with a large applause from her teammates and coaches.

Match standouts were Goretaya and lightning-quick Morgan. Goretaya scored a total of four tries while Morgan ran for a team-high five. In spite of missing the first few conversion attempts, Rudin completed nine of 14 possible conversions and successfully kicked a dropped goal for points in the second half.

The win is the fourth of the season and fourth in the Ivy League for Bruno. The Bears have outscored teams 244-32 so far and are sitting at the top of the conference.

“I am proud of the team working together,” Rudin said. “A lot of different people scored. We did a good job supporting each other. We’re moving forward together and it feels really good.”

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