(Photo: Providence flyhalf Myrta Ventura did well to put her teammates into space.)
Providence women rebounded from last week’s loss to Boston, downing the Village Lions 29-0 for their first win of their CR3 division one season.
The game came down to possession. Providence did a much better job holding onto the ball and working through phases, while the Village Lions struggled to sustain momentum with missed offloads and turnovers in the ruck. When linebreaks did occur, Providence’s defense positioned themselves nicely to intercept or disrupt the finishing passes.
Providence scored relatively early in the game, as flyhalf Myrta Ventura and inside center Alicia Hartley did well to tie up the defense and open up space for Renee Astphan. The crafty outside center broke through from midfield and outlegged her pursuers for the opening try in the corner. Astphan would repeat the feat twice more and proved to be Providence’s most dangerous finisher throughout the course of the match.
Providence banked a third try before the break, after Ventura fed the ball back into the forwards who were charging through the fringe defense, which had vacated the channel early. Ventura handled the conversions and helped Providence to a 17-0 halftime lead.
The second half was a little more even, although Providence logged another two tries. Fullback Dana Ayoub started inserting into the line more, and slipped through the line untouched after a dummy 1-2 switch. The Village Lions’ fullback was up in the line, and Ayoub outpaced her chasers for the easy try. Ventura slotted the conversion.
Heavy winds affected many of the East Coast games, and both sides saw long scrumhalf passes miss their intended receiver or lineouts go astray. Still, the Lions struggled more with these connections and saw more possession handed over. That said, Providence stuck to their game plan, ramming their forwards around the breakdown before sending the ball wide to able, hard-hitting backs. The Village Lions played somewhat desperately and made some poor decisions in attempts to score from their own end.
All told, it was a sloppy game, but Providence is moving in the right direction.