The Bowdoin women’s rugby team cleaned up at last weekend’s Beantown Rugby tournament at UMass-Amherst, beating Williams, Amherst and Smith Colleges with scores of 59-3, 12-0, and 19-0 respectively.

The Polar Bears are now two-time defending Beantown champions and have won six straight matches at the tournament since 2010.

But success at this year’s tournament was not a given, especially since the squad graduated six seniors last spring.

Coach MaryBeth Mathews said she was impressed by the way this year’s seniors helped prepare the team for the upcoming season.

According to Mathews, captains Kerry Townsend ’13 and Helen White ’13 have been leaders on the backline and keep their teammates focused during matches.

Dani McAvoy ’13 and Captain Uche Esonu ’13 have also helped new players transition to the  front-row forward position, since five of last year’s six seniors vacated those spots.

Charlotte Kleiman ’15, Emily Athanas-Linden ’15 and Rachel Henderson ’15 played impressively during the spring season; she expects them to contribute heavily toward the team’s success this year.

In the tournament’s morning match, Bowdoin played aggressively  against Williams, trying to keep ball possession as much as possible.  

The team opened up a large 38-0 lead before the end of the first half, credited mostly to the effective teamwork between the front and the back lines.  

Townsend, White and Randi London ’15 scored two tries apiece and London also converted seven extra points for the Polar Bears against Williams.

McAvoy, Kleiman and Laurel Mast ’14 added tries to ratchet the final score up to a formidable 59-3 by the final whistle.

The afternoon match against Amherst brought torrential rain, fierce winds and tornado warnings, detracting from Bowdoin’s offensive effort.

Townsend scored the team’s only try and London converted the extra point to make the score 7-0 at halftime.

In the second half, the Bowdoin forwards worked as a unit to keep Amherst’s offense at bay while rookie Annie Piotti ’16 made a critical play a few minutes into her first match.

“Despite having never played the sport before, and within a minute of being put in during our second game against Amherst, Anna made a try-saving tackle,” Townsend said.

After winning a line-out, the Bowdoin pack formed a moving maul that methodically drove on towards the Amherst try-line.

Scrum-half Jimena Escudero ’13 plucked the ball out and handed it off to Amanda Montenegro ’14, who snuck passed the Amherst defenders for her first career try.

From there, Bowdoin kept Amherst on its heels to complete the shutout 12-0 victory.

The final match against Smith College turned into another shutout win for the Polar Bears, who ended the tournament without allowing a single opposing try.

Piotti scored early with a run down the wing followed by another London conversion.  

Of Piotti’s play, Townsend said, “On Sunday, after many beautiful catch-passes to get the ball out wide, [she] received the ball and made a beautiful run down the field and scored not only her first try, but the first try of the game. We were more evenly matched with Smith so [her] try was very essential.”

In the second half, Bowdoin was awarded a penalty try due to consistent offside attempts by Smith players.

Anissa Tanksley ’14 scored the final try for the tournament, sealing the 19-0 win.

The Polar Bears begin the regular season this Saturday against Williams. Kick-off is 11 a.m. at the Pickard Rugby Field.