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Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

Women Ruggers Emerge Third in Northeast Rugby Union

Author: Bridget Dungan Staff Writer

The Women's Rugby team emerged from their first fall season ranked third in the North East Rugby Union. They finished their regular season undefeated (5-0-1) and came in second place in the playoffs at Holy Cross, which sent them to the Final Four Championships.

The Final Four was held at UMass Amherst, on Nov. 10 and 11. In their first game, the Panthers faced Niagara College who scored a try very early in the game to put Middlebury behind 0-5. Despite the numerous times the Panthers found themselves just yards from the opponent's try line, the rest of the game remained scoreless.

Middlebury came back on Sunday, however, to defeat UMass Boston. Although the Panthers were missing a number of players due to injuries, they did not let up their normal caliber of play. Carolyn Weiss '04 plowed through UMass forwards to score the first try of the game, and Hannah Ritchie '02 scored the second try to put Middlebury ahead. When the whistle blew, the Panthers had won 11-7, which put them at third place in the tournament.

This was the first time the Middlebury Women's Rugby team has played a fall season. They finished up 7-2-1 and anxiously await the start of their spring season. "It was really exciting to watch the development and improvement of the team in our first official season," explained Emily Dellas '02, the women ruggers' president. "We came back strong in our last game, utilizing the skills and plays we had worked on all season. It was nice to finish with a win."

The team has had a lot of help and guidance from their coaches Ward Patterson and KO. KO is a former member of the women's national rugby team, and was new to the Middlebury program this year. "If we keep up our intensity," continued Dellas, "I am sure we will be at the Final Four again next year."