Ruggers tackle third place in NERFU
The Bowdoin Women's Rugby Team left the NERFU Division II semifinals with their team motto still intact: no regrets.
The Bears gave great performances in both games which made for an exciting weekend of rugby. Despite a heartbreaking loss in double overtime in their first match, they came back to win their second game to end the season in victory and take third place in the playoffs.
On Saturday, Bowdoin faced Plymouth State, the number one team in its bracket; Bowdoin had destroyed the team's undefeated record just weeks before. Just minutes after kickoff, the Panthers scored a quick try on a breakaway.
Having scored in the corner, Plymouth could not make the conversion kick, so they lead the game 5-0. Somewhat shaken by the early scoring, Bowdoin tightened its defense and stepped up its rucking to regain possession. With a more intense level of play, Bowdoin came very close to scoring several times.
Finally, in the second half, scrum half Melissa Hayden '05 ran the ball in for a try. With the game tied at 5-5, both teams vied to score again, but the half ended in deadlock.
The teams battled for two additional five-minute overtime halves, but neither scored. The game then went into penalty kicks and rookie Margaret Munford '07, came in for Bowdoin. Both kickers made the first attempt, but the Bears lost in the second round with a final score of 8-5. Despite the heartbreak of the suspenseful loss, the ruggers left the field proud that they'd played to their potential.
In Sunday's match against Bates (which had lost to Providence the day before), Bowdoin played an anything but "consolation" game.
Determined to beat the team they had lost to, and to give experience to the alternates, Bowdoin played a sensational game. In the first half, Courtney Reilly '04 scored two tries and Munford converted one to bring the Bears to a 12-0 lead.
Whitney Alexander '04 also got a try to clench the win: 17-0. Victory against Bates put Bowdoin at a final 5-2-1 record, with a win against every team in their bracket.
Certainly many players who did not score made tremendous efforts this weekend and throughout the season. Performances by Lynette Batt '04, Kirsten Leitner '05, and rookies Sarah Ober '07, Margaret Munford '07 and Margaret Griffith '07 stood out in the Bates game. The solid leadership of captains Lauren Flinn and Rachel Jones brought the team to its most successful season in years.
Not mentioned this week, but consistent throughout the season were forwards Liz Swedock '04, Rachel Hedlund '04, Paige Contreras-Gould '04, Ashley Inderfurth '04, Leslie Wittenback '06, Claudia Marroquin '06 and Aubrey Brick '05 among others that formed the core of an undefeatable pack, and Emily Angel '04, Jocelyn Foulke '05, Shauna Johnston '05, and Kelly Orr '06 were all instrumental in the Bears' backline. Finally, coaches Mary Beth and Bob Matthews, with their always positive and encouraging attitudes, continue to set the tone for the winning, but more importantly, for a proud team of Bowdoin women ruggers.