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Written by Jackie Finlan    Sunday, 25 September 2011 22:24    PDF Print Write e-mail
Princeton Shuts Out Undermanned Yale
Colleges - Women's College

This weekend marked the first official Ivy League season for the women, and Princeton was happy to inaugurate it with a 60-0 win over visiting Yale.

A healthy amount of time on offense allowed Princeton to score 10 tries. (Steve Mitchell photo)

Princeton controlled every aspect of the game, and the healthy lead allowed head coach Emil Signes to work in 27 players. Seven of those players were rookies, and they contributed nicely to the underclassmen’s performance – of the eight tries scores, only two came from a senior. 

“We still have half a dozen rookies to get medically cleared,” Signes said of his burgeoning roster. “We also picked up two varsity athletes – one from softball, the other from golf – and they looked good. We have a good amount of experienced players, and all but three from the 7s squad that played at the CRC Championship are here. That experience has been very helpful; it exposes player to wide-open spaces and that translates to good decision-making.”

Good decision-making skills came in handy on Saturday, as Princeton spent the majority of time on offense. Under the leadership of captains Lauren Rhode and Janet Thomassen, Princeton ran in 10 tries: three from fullback Morgan Arthur, and one apiece from prop Abby Hammer, lock Mireille Pardon, flanker Janet Thomassen, No. 8 Dot Mittow, center Nida Leeuwenburgh and wings Kristy Giandomenico and Liz O'Grady. Rhode converted five of the 10 tries for 10 points.

“We played good defense when we had to,” Signes said, “but we had the ball most of the time. … [As we prepare for Harvard this weekend] We’re going to focus on defense and make sure we’re ready to play. Our offense is good, and our defense might be good, too – we just have no way to tell yet.”

Yale was handicapped before it even took the pitch. The team travelled with 14 players and is having some obvious numbers issues. Signes considered lending Yale some players, but the same scenario occurred last year, and Yale won with only 14 players.

“I’m more concerned about Yale's numbers this season than pleased with our big victory,” Signes said. “It's imperative that Ivy Rugby be stocked with strong teams.”

And for the most part, it is. Brown is the team to beat, and Radcliffe and Dartmouth will give Princeton the competition it needs to build toward playoffs. But Signes sees the bigger picture of the new league.

“It’s not better or worse,” Signes said of the level of competition compared to last year. “It’s more natural. Our alumni are happy with it. But we have back-to-back five- and six-hour trips, and that’s a haul. Overall it’s hard to say how it’ll work until we do it for a year.”

In addition to playing in this new league, Princeton et al will compete in an Ivy League 7s Championship at the end of the 15s season. Princeton will have a slight advantage over all of the teams, except Brown, which also participated in the CRC 7s Championship this June. But for now, it’s all 15s all the way.

“I haven’t even thought about it, to be honest,” Signes said. “As much as I would like to [integrate 7s training into practice], we have to keep the blinders on. We’re keeping our focus up and the emotional level of games high.”

In other Ivy League news, Radcliffe defeated Columbia 34-0, and Brown toppled Dartmouth 41-12.

 
Written by Jackie Finlan    Sunday, 25 September 2011 20:24    PDF Print Write e-mail
ORSU Banks 2 Wins Over Weekend
Clubs - Women's Clubs

Women’s DI club teams in competitive region 1 are getting used to that one weekend per season when playing two league games is required. ORSU had its first back-to-back game weekend, something the team hadn’t dealt with during the two previous years it spent in the Women’s Premier League. With only 18 players traveling against two teams with which the squad wasn’t very familiar, ORSU was able to return home with two wins against Nor Cal Triple Threat and San Francisco.

Beckett Royce has moved to flyhalf from flanker, and the switch is paying off.

“The first game was a bit tougher than we expected,” ORSU coach Jarred Power said of the 22-0 win. “Until the last 20 minutes, we were only ahead 5-0. We couldn’t get our offense going and played a lot of defense. We finally started to click after our second try, which built our confidence up.”

ORSU had some issues adjusting to the referee’s management of the breakdown, in particular his interpretation of when the ball was out. That meant a lot of penalties and an inability to sustain any go-forward ball.

“We had scoring opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on,” Power said. “We just couldn’t catch a break, had some knock-ons, and Nor Cal played a good game.”

But standout performances from Beckett Royce, who’s moved from flanker to flyhalf, and center San Juanita Moreno kept the team in check.

Heading into today’s match, ORSU didn’t know what to expect, especially considering how beat up the squad was. With only 18 people on the road, the absence of a couple of key players like former Beantown player Sharon Blaney, and the fact that San Fran had played Nor Cal to a 29-22 loss earlier in the season, today’s game could’ve gone either way.

But it only went one way, ORSU’s, as the team racked up 36 points by half and ended with 60-plus in the shutout.

“They had some good athletes, but were just a little disorganized,” Power reflected on today’s game. “We put a lot of pressure on them, too. That was part of our game plan.”

Royce is slowly to starting to settle into her new back position, and the former loose forward caused a lot of trouble for the opposition on defense. She’s showing her range around the pitch and scored four tries today. A new generation of flanker is working toward filling Royce’s spot, and rookie Molly Luft has been impressing Power so far. She only has a spring season to her credit, but she’s a gifted, natural athlete with a lot of potential.

Even though ORSU traveled light this weekend, it was dense with talent. The team has been lucky to make some advantageous acquisitions this year. In addition to Blaney, fellow Rugby World Cup hooker Lisa Butts has booted up with ORSU. And another flanker cum backline player, Nicole Garcea, has relocated to the region and brought her So Cal All Star experience with her.

With its toughest weekend gone, and its toughest game over (24-10 win over Seattle), ORSU can start looking ahead to the playoffs. The team is still taking each game as it comes, but taking the DI national championship is certainly on the team’s radar.

“It was tough for the two years we were in the WPL,” Power said. “We had one win. It’s tough to keep going, spending all that money and traveling and not coming away with a lot. We definitely tried our best but couldn’t pull it off.”

ORSU leads the CR1 and is now the only the undefeated team in the region. The Mudhens and Belmont Shore should provide ORSU with some nice competition to round out league season, but comparing scores, ORSU should come out on top.

 
Written by Alex Goff    Sunday, 25 September 2011 19:54    PDF Print Write e-mail
Italy Looking Past USA ... or Not
International - Rugby World Cup

Is the Italian team looking past the USA?

Comments from their outstanding captain and No. 8  Sergio Parisse, perhaps prompted by questions by the press, indicate they might be.

Parisse spent much of today’s press briefing talking not about Tuesday’s clash with the Eagles (live on Universal Tuesday, Sept 25 2:15am Eastern, and on Monday, Sept 26 11:15pm Pacific – please note Daylight Savings Time is now in effect in New Zealand) but about October 2nd’s game with Ireland.

"Of course we are all aware of the match against Ireland. It could be the end of our World Cup or the chance to make history,” said Parisse, adding quickly that the team is still focused on the USA match. "We don't want to think about it too much because we could waste too much of our energy on it. We want the right result tomorrow so that we can prepare for the Ireland match in the best way possible." 

Italy would do well not to think too hard on a potential quarterfinal slot, and more on clinching two wins.

"This match is important for two reasons,” said Mauro Bergamasco. “One to keep our competition alive because we have to win to stay in contention for the final pool match. Secondly we need to repeat our performance from our last match to give ourselves confidence ahead of the match with Ireland.”

Ireland coming into the conversation once more, but Bergamasco is still cogniscent of thyis week’s opponents.

"We have seen all the United States' pool matches,” he said. “They are very physical and have improved their game plan over the last few years and we saw that they really troubled Ireland. We prepare differently for each team that we play. The USA are very physical and confident at the breakdown and the lineout. For us possession is fundamental as we want to attack with the ball in hand, though we will have to be aware of their speedy backs."

Speedy backs causing problems would be nice for the Eagles, but that hasn’t been seen much. In this final game for the USA at the 2011 World Cup, the Americans would do well to find some space for an impressive set of outside backs to use.

But to head Eagle Head Coach, we might see another gritty, tight match.

"They're a very good set piece team, very physical, carry the ball aggressively, take it through phases and have a good kicking game,” said O’Sullivan. "I think teams know that if you try and score three or four tries in the first 20 minutes it's a recipe for getting yourself into trouble. I can't imagine Italy will have that mindset. I think they'll be smart about it and try and plug away. They'll try and get a couple of tries in the first half and a couple in the second half playing a controlled game."

 

 

 
Written by Ed Hagerty    Sunday, 25 September 2011 20:06    PDF Print Write e-mail
Dartmouth Impressive in Sweeping Weekend
Colleges - Men's DI College
Kevin Clark scored three times against Columbia.
Justin Ciambella led all scorers with 19 points. Ed Hagerty photos
No. 8 Paul Jarvis surges ahead.

Dartmouth posted its second win of the Fall 2011 Ivy League season, and this weekend,  with a 64-0 trouncing of host Columbia at Baker Field in New York City.

The win over Columbia, combined with Saturday’s 97-3 crushing of Cornell in Ithaca, NY, brought the Big Green’s weekend points tally to 161-3.

Dartmouth wing Kevin Clark had a field day, touching down three tries, while fullback Madison Hughes had two. Wing Justin Ciambella led Dartmouth scorers with 19 points (1 try and 7 conversions).

Dartmouth went out to a 31-0 halftime lead courtesy of two tries apiece from wing Kevin Clark and fullback Madison Hughes, a Ciambella try and three conversions.

Dartmouth upped its lead to 45-0 at the midway point of the second half on tries by No. 8 Paul Jarvis and flyhalf Bill Lehmann, both converted by Ciambella.

A long intercept try by center Mike Burbank in the 24th minute and wing Kevin Clark’s third try in the 33rd, with Ciambella converting both, brought Dartmouth’s tally to 59-0.

An intercept try by reserve fullback Chris Fisch in the 36th minute concluded Dartmouth’s scoring at 64-0.

Dartmouth – 64
Tries: Ciambella, Clark 3, Hughes 2, Jarvis, Lehmann, Burbank, Fisch
Convs: Ciambella 7

Columbia - 0:

Dartmouth and Princeton were the only teams to sweep their weekend of games.


Ivy League

W

L

T

Pf

Pa

Pd

BT

BL

Pts

Dartmouth

2

0

0

161

3

158

2

0

10

Princeton

2

0

0

86

12

74

2

0

10

Harvard

1

1

0

45

45

0

1

0

5

Brown

1

1

0

52

34

18

0

0

4

Penn

1

1

0

44

40

4

0

0

4

Columbia

1

1

0

17

77

-60

0

0

4

Yale

0

2

0

17

85

-68

0

0

0

Cornell

0

2

0

20

136

-116

0

0

0

 

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Sunday, 25 September 2011 19:50    PDF Print Write e-mail
New Zealand Clocks Change
International - Rugby World Cup

This weekend the clocks changed in New Zealand. It was "Spring Forward" weekend and the clocks moved ahead on hour. What that means for American rugby fans is some slightly different math. 

New Zealand is now 20 hours ahead of the West Coast, 19 hours ahead of Mountain Time, 18 hours ahead of Central Time, and 17 hours ahead of Eastern Time.

So, the USA v. Italy game, which is live on Universal Sports, will kick off at 11:30 pm Pacific on Monday night , and 2:30am Eastern Tuesday night.

 


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