Playing in its most difficult league game to date this season, Norwich shutout Rhode Island 34-0 to remain undefeated in NERFU’s women’s DII college. With the win, the Cadets have pushed URI into second place in the standings.
The game took place in unfavorable conditions, with rain, mud and cold winds curtailing Norwich’s wide open game. That said, team captain Katie Hathaway wasted no time crashing through the defense from five meters out for the game’s first try and sixth of the season.
Junior wing Andrea Vogt accounted for the second score, finishing off an impressive drive that returned the ball into URI’s end. Freshman center Vanessa Champagne slid her way through the defense for the third try, and junior Emily Baugus slotted the conversion for the 17-0 lead.
The second half saw sophomore fullback Rose Bernheim take advantage of the URI kicking game. Bernheim scored early on a long run and countered a number of the kick efforts URI provided.
The try of the day came from Bernheim as well. Sophomore center Jackie Derocher made a piercing run through the middle of the defense only to be tackled about 15 meters from goal. Derocher offloaded from the ground to Baugus, who was playing in her first game as a flanker. Baugus nearly touched down on the goal line and Bernheim was there to finish the play. Bernheim now leads the Cadets in overall tries scored with 9 on the season.
Junior wing Adria Pickin raced in for a try late in the game to solidify the victory.
“I was most impressed with our defense in today’s game,” said Norwich coach Austin Hall. “URI had us with our backs against the wall on multiple occasions, but we trusted in ourselves and continued to play on our front foot even when we didn’t have the ball. The mud and rain provided for some sloppy play at times, but we took the opportunity to work on our scrums against the strong URI pack and we gained something in that department.”
Norwich is 3-0 in New England and 8-0 overall. The Cadets will take on the US Coast Guard Academy on Saturday
Tries: Bernheim 2, Champagne, Hathaway, Pickin, Vogt
Conversions: Baugus 2