The Mount St. Mary’s Women’s Rugby Team (0-4) fell to Molloy College (4-2-1) 71-34, breaking a two-game shutout losing streak.
The Mount kicked off to Molloy at 11 a.m. Molloy did not have enough players to support a complete 15s team, and the Mountaineers quickly adjusted to the match rules. Instead of the usual 40-minute halves played by 15 players per team, Saturday’s game was played as 20-minute quarters with 10 players per team competing.
Graduate student Liz Gamble scored the first try of the game. Molloy swiftly retaliated by scoring three tries, giving them a 15-5 lead over the Mount. Sophomore Sloane Robinson sprinted down the pitch to score the Mount’s second try, but the Lions kept their lead, scoring one more try and successfully making the conversion kick before the end of the first quarter.
Junior Cindy Abah broke free to score the Mount’s third try early in the second quarter, but again Molloy quickly responded with another try. The Lions continued to pull ahead of the Mount despite another try scored by senior Nataly Cisneros and a successful conversion kick by Robinson. Molloy held a comfortable 37-22 lead over the Mount heading into halftime.
The Mount dominated the Lions with powerful scrums and good tackles led by first-year Jordan Butcher in the first half.
The third quarter saw the Mount continue to fight against Molloy’s offensive attacks despite the growing Lion’s lead. Sophomore Rachel Delatte scored another try for the Mount, cementing her comeback from a concussion she received earlier in the season. Senior Sara Wright made a powerful impact in her collegiate debut for the Mount, which included completing the conversion kick following Delatte’s try.
Abah scored the last try for the Mount in the fourth quarter, but Molloy sealed their victory by scoring five more tries before the end of the match.
After coming back home, the team headed up to Norwich University (5-2), where they dropped a 79-5 decision, completing their first season as Division I competitors.
The Mountaineers kicked first to the Cadets. The Cadets scored the first try of the game after steadily moving up the pitch and taking advantage of an offsides call on the Mountaineers. Norwich scored again a few minutes later. Conversion kicks for both tries were successful, giving Norwich an early 14-0 lead.
Norwich continued to define the first half with quick and fast plays. The Mount struggled in the beginning of the first half, but powerful scrums and strong plays by Butcher, Abah and senior Molly Stocker helped keep the Cadets away from the try zone. Stocker also made a fantastic tackle of a Cadet in the try zone and was able to hold up the try. Norwich did score five more tries though, before the end of the half. An unexpected dropkick by Norwich out of a scrum also contributed to their growing lead of 48-0 at the half.
The Mount received the kick at the top of the second half. Norwich scored three successive tries soon after, including one from within five meters of their own try zone. However, it became clear that the Mountaineers came back much stronger from the first half. First-year Hannah Orland and Butcher made impressive plays and helped the Mountaineers gain forward ground. Sophomore Marissa Clark eventually scored the first and only try for the Mount, finally breaking through the Cadets’ defensive line after following two Mount scrums within 10 meters of the try zone.
Norwich scored two more tries before the end of the match, awarding them the 79-5 victory.
Though the Mountaineers finished their first season as a Division I team with a record of 0-6, both head coach Farrah Douglas and assistant coach Maggie Myles expressed sincere pride in the team and gratefulness toward the players for giving their all in every game. Myles gave an 11 on a scale from 1-10 when asked how proud she was of the team, adding, “The girls have improved in all areas, our strengths are becoming even stronger, and the vision is coming along.”
The Mountaineers now look forward to the coming spring season, which will include 15s matches in addition to the typical 7s matches.