Fridays are always difficult games for college teams, but the Stonehill women couldn’t afford to slough off against Bentley, which had tied AIC 10-10 a week earlier. The team put in a convincing 25-5 win despite the downpour of rain, and with the victory improved to 3-1 in the Rugby Northeast.
This victory was essential considering the other two leaders – St. Michael’s in first and AIC in second – both won their games against UMass Lowell 79-0 and Merrimack 55-0 respectively.
“I thought the ladies were exceptional tonight,” said Stonehill coach Derek Jenesky, “I didn’t like how we came back after the lightning break in the second half, but once we got the ship righted we finished the game.”
With the elements against them, including a light tower extinguishing and a 40-minute break due to lightning, Stonehill ran in five tries. Junior Adelle Dagher led with two five-pointers.
The scoring began in the 17th minute when Dagher took an offload into the corner. Senior Emily Helming repeated the effort seven minutes later, and freshman Sarah Buonopane’s try gave Stonehill a 15-0 lead into the break.
Dagher put her side up by 20 points after a long break that ended in the try zone, but the lightning break halted the home team’s momentum. Bentley jumped on the opportunity when play resumed and scored quickly, 20-5.
Stonehill had the last word as junior Lisa DeGuglielmo restored the 20 point bulge, scoring under the posts for the final margin of victory.
“A very exciting win for us.” said Jenesky. “We knew Bentley would be tough as will both of our remaining opponents, Providence and at St. Michael’s. We also know that we control our own destiny and if we can win those two games we will be in the championship game.”
Stonehill will enjoy a bye this weekend and play another Friday game on Oct. 24 against Providence. AIC and St. Michael’s should win their matches against UMass Lowell and Providence.