Saturday afternoon, the women’s rugby team (13-5-1) faced Vassar College (15-3) at Brown Stadium. In a one-sided affair, the Bears posted 71 points — and kept the Brewers completely off the scoreboard.
“Over the season, we have really improved in confidence in (ourselves) as well as in our teammates,” wrote Mahdia Parker ’23 in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “At training, we have been working hard at maintaining composure … and a high level of physicality,” she added. “The result of that hard work was shown on Saturday.”
Under three minutes into the game, Parker received the ball at the halfway line. Pursued by Vassar defenders, she sidestepped her opponents, rushing 50 meters down the sideline for the Bears’ first try of the day. After a successful conversion by Julia Murray ’26, Brown took a 7-0 lead.
Over the next ten minutes, the Bears increased their advantage to 19-0 through successful tries by Akilah Cathey ’25 and Morgan Cunningham ’24, with a conversion by Murray on the latter try. In the 14th minute, Parker scored her second try of the day after another 50-meter rush, advancing the Bears’ lead to 26-0.
The team is playing with “increased physicality and speed of play,” Head Coach Rosalind Chou wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “We are moving the ball nicely and have a lot of attack threats.”
Thirty-one minutes into the game, Cathey put that physicality on display. With the ball in hand, she dashed for the try zone from twenty meters out. Despite being pursued by four Vassar opponents, she was not slowed down, dragging multiple defenders with her into the try zone to score.
“Our confidence as a team (has increased),” Cathey wrote in a message to The Herald. “So did our chemistry and skill.”
Five minutes later, Cathey scored again — this time from 60 meters out. As she ran down the left side of the field, she stiff-armed two Vassar defenders, fending off the opponents blocking her way. The crowd erupted with cheers as she touched the ball down to take a 38-0 lead for Brown.
Immediately following another Murray conversion — bringing the score to 40-0 — the Brewers lined up for the kickoff and pinned the Bears deep in their own territory. But then Emerson Goodrich ’23 corralled the ball in her own try zone. Confronted by a Vassar defender just five meters into her run, she sidestepped the defender, making her opponent miss. Then, in an all-out sprint, Goodrich returned the ball down the entire length of the field to score her first try of the day. After a successful conversion, Bruno entered halftime up 47-0.
Less than a minute into the second half, Parker scored for the third time, helping Brown pull away 52-0. Over the course of the second half, the Brewers were unable to contest the Bears’ unrelenting attack. Bruno — through tries by Elizabeth Mahoney ’25, Kate Molloy ’23 and Goodrich — finished the game in dominant fashion, winning 71-0.
Now, the Bears will look ahead to the Ivy League 7s Championship on April 22 in Hanover, New Hampshire.
“We enjoy being physical and showcasing our power in contact and we want to keep that trend going into Ivys,” wrote Parker. “We have a goal to be the best 7s defense in the league and this next tournament will be a great platform to implement some of the defensive skills we have worked on in training since” the Crimson 7s tournament at Harvard.
“We have some things to work on, but we will be ready come Ivy 7s,” Cathey added. “My goal for the tournament is to be as much of an asset to my team as I can and bring the Ivy title home.”