The women’s rugby team lost for the second straight week, falling to Quinnipiac at home Saturday, 55-7.
Bruno is all too familiar with Quinnipiac, which has been a varsity program with recruited players since 2010. The Bobcats (5-1) ended the Bears’ undefeated season last year, knocking them out of the ACRA regional tournament before falling to Pennsylvania State University. The Bears (3-2, 2-1 Ivy) had hoped to avenge that loss, but were aware of the tall task they faced in playing the Bobcats.
“When we went into the match, we knew it was going to be tough,” said Head Coach Kathy Flores. “Most of their team is recruited, whereas we just basically teach girls how to play rugby when they get to college.”
“Across the board they were just bigger, faster and a lot stronger than us,” said co-captain Oksana Goretaya ’17.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead, but Bruno countered with a try from Beth Clifton ’18 to cut the lead to 19-7. The Bobcats would not budge any further than that, holding the Bears scoreless for the rest of the match and putting up 36 unanswered points.
Despite the score, Flores, Goretaya and co-captain Tiara Mack ’16 reflected positively on the match. A 48-point margin might appear lopsided, but the captains stressed that the score does not reflect the team’s performance.
“If you were there watching the game, you would have thought that we put up a pretty good fight,” Goretaya said. “I think the team felt really good about the way that we played, despite the scoreboard.”
“I was actually pretty happy with our performance, though I know the score didn’t show it,” Flores said. “We actually did very well in comparison to what I thought we might have done.”
The team struggled because players were forced into new positions due to injuries, and cohesion between the forward and back units was lacking, Mack said. These issues cropped up against both Quinnipiac and Dartmouth last week, she said.
Returning to Ivy League play this week, Bruno will now turn its attention to Columbia. Brown has enjoyed success against the Lions (0-3, 0-3 Ivy) in the past, defeating them 101-0 last season. Mack said she hopes the game will be an opportunity to improve before a tougher matchup against Princeton the following week.
“We’re hoping to get some of our newer players in the game to get some good experience,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to fine-tune our offensive and defensive strategy.”
Flores emphasized the need for more aggressive play from her team.
“I’d like us to be able to play more of a team attack,” she said. “That’s what I’m looking to continue with in the Columbia match going forward.”
The Bears will host the Lions Saturday at 11 a.m. on Marvel Field.