36-5 women’s rugby win over Navy kickstarts national championship quest

Thirty-six unanswered points, strong showing by Morgan ’16 key to Bruno’s first win

Sports Editor
Sunday, September 13, 2015

Saskia Morgan ’16 tries to create offensive chances for the Bears. The senior had four tries that incited a Bruno team to 36 unanswered points in its impressive, yet sloppy, opening win against Navy.

The rugby team opened its season in resounding fashion Saturday, rampaging over Navy, 36-5. The Bears (1-0) scored the game’s first 36 points before finally conceding a try to their opponents late in the game.

“It was a pretty good, solid start to the season,” said co-captain Tiara Mack ’16.

Bruno’s offensive effort was spearheaded by Saskia Morgan ’16, who scored four tries, three of which also resulted in successful conversions, accounting for 26 of Bruno’s 36 points. Josephine Darpolor ’16 and Uzoamaka Okoro ’16 also grounded the ball in the in-goal area, but the Bears failed on both conversions.

While Mack and her fellow co-captain Oksana Goretaya ’17 said the team did not play its best, they acknowledged that early-season struggles are not unusual.

“We definitely have a lot of areas that we can improve on,” Mack said. “The first couple of games are always harder.”

“It wasn’t pretty rugby,” Goretaya said, highlighting communication as one of the team’s primary issues.

“There were a few points during the game where it was completely silent, which is very unusual for a rugby team,” Goretaya said. But this was to be expected, given that this marked the team’s first game of the season, she said. “As the season goes on, I see that no longer being a problem,” she added.

Head Coach Kathy Flores identified her team’s “body position” when tackling as another problem area, saying the players needed to do a better job of staying low at contact.

Despite their complaints, the Bears did many things well en route to the easy win. Both captains singled out preseason practices and workouts as crucial to the victory.

“We’ve worked really hard, and it definitely showed on the pitch,” Mack said.

With a nice win in hand, the Bears turn their attention toward next weekend’s trip to non-varsity Cornell. Bruno did not face the Big Red last season, but Cornell was beaten 75-0 by a Harvard team that the Bears defeated twice.

Goretaya keyed in on the issues the Bears need to work on, saying they should be focused on their own problems in preparation for Saturday’s game.

“We knew that Navy was going to be a fit team,” Goretaya said. “We prepared ourselves accordingly.”

Mack agreed, with an eye toward the future. “There are definitely a lot of things we can improve on in the coming weeks to be contenders not only in the Ivy League, but nationally,” she said.