Mount St. Mary’s Women’s Rugby (0-2) dropped a 48-19 decision in front of an excited home crowd on Sept. 9 against division II Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (1-0). This was the Mount’s first home match as a division I team.
Kick-off began at 11 a.m. with the Mount receiving from Kutztown. Kutztown committed a penalty early on, followed by a knock-on by the Mountaineers. The Golden Bears fought hard to gain ground, and the Mount fought harder to defend it. Likewise, the Mountaineers fought hard to gain ground, and Kutztown fought even harder to defend it. It seemed in the first half that both teams were evenly matched.
Great tackles were made by first year Rio Greenshields, graduate Liz Gamble and junior Shayna Coleman, but junior Cindy Abah quickly became the leader in tackles, including one during a scrum. On one play, when Kutztown got the ball, Abah shot out of formation to tackle the scrum-half before the scrum-half even knew what happened.
Kutztown scored the first try of the day 15 minutes into the first half and completed the conversion kick to make it 7-0. The Mountaineers were not to be outdone though and quickly retaliated. Greenshields scored the first try for the Mount and junior field captain Katelyn Comeau completed the conversion kick, tying the game at seven apiece.
The first half was dominated by scrums as the two teams continued to battle on the pitch. Comeau scored the second try for the Mount, giving the lead over Kutztown. First year Jordan Butcher and senior Nataly Cisneros both had great tackles and carried the ball against piles of Kutztown defenders. A touch ruck left two Kutztown players on the ground, but both recovered and continued to play.
The tide began to turn for the Mountaineers though, when senior Mary Miller went down after a tackle and received a concussion. Kutztown finished off the second half with another try but no conversion kick, giving the Mount a 14-12 lead at the half.
Whatever energy the Mountaineers had at the first half was almost gone by the second. Kutztown scored twice early on in the second half, but the Mountaineers fought back as best they could.
Abah continued to play an outstanding game, fighting hard in the rucks and garnering some turnovers for the Mount. This lead to the Mountaineers’ third attempt at a try, but it was upheld at the try line. As a result, a scrum was called 5 meters out from the try zone. The Mountaineers attempted to break Kutztown’s defensive line and score, but they were held up twice more.
Sophomore Sloane Robinson was able to successfully score the third try for the Mount on a mad dash to the outer corner of the try zone, however, Kutztown scored four more times before the end of the match, making the final score 48-19.
The Mountaineers’ next match is against nationally ranked, No. 7 Harvard University (1-0) on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. and against division III Castleton University (0-2) the following day at 2:30 p.m. The Mountaineers’ will next play at home on Oct. 14 against division II West Chester University (0-1).