The Met NY is into its second weekend of play, which produced a couple of closer games than the opening weekend.
New Paltz (1-0-1), Marist (1-1) and Rutgers (2-0) put at least 20 points between themselves and opponents a week ago, but all three played in tighter contests yesterday. Rutgers was coming off a big 51-0 victory of Quinnipiac two Sundays ago, and was eager to play Marist this Sunday. In 2010, Marist surprised the field with a 5-0 victory over the New Jersey side, but 2011 belonged to Rutgers as the side downed Marist 32-17.
New Paltz and Stony Brook battled to a 3-3 stalemate on a narrow pitch.
"Our match was a tough field-position battle that easily could have been won by either team," New Paltz coach John Chewens said. "The field width did not play to our team's speed advantage. We had size on them but were closely matched in scrums and lineouts. There was a lot of positional kicking, and Stony Brook missed two attempts at post."
New Paltz was the favorite heading into the match Sunday, especially after its monster performance against Hofstra (44-0) the weekend before (Stony Brook had lost to Marist 43-20). And although the Hofstra game had allowed Chewens to move players around, the team is still coping with the loss of two-NRU caliber teammates - captains Nora Westcott and Juliet Wade. Players like Kathryn Wallace, Veronica Romano and Jessica Burke, who's returned from a semester in New Zealand, are filling the voids left by their graduated teammates.
"Our pack is bigger and stronger than last year's," Chewens said. "A handful of new players and moving positions may slow down our immediate progress, but I can only hope teams underestimate us. We are not who we were last year. We are a different team, with different strengths, but in the end the same old New Paltz rugby team that will never give up."
Vassar (1-0) certainly didn't let up in its league opener, sending Hoftstra home with a 71-5 drubbing. Vassar coach Tony Brown attributed the win in part to the team's recruitment efforts, while Hofstra's numbers have dwindled this year.
No. 8 Taylor O'Mara did well to use the full width of Vassar's regulation pitch and scored five tries. The excellent work of the scrum - despite the absence of injured prop Nichelle Jackson - awarded the team plenty of ball, and allowed scrumhalf Margaret Kwateng, prop Shanaye Williams, outside center Chelsea Boccagno and fullback Addie Provenzano added two five-pointers apiece. Taylor (2) and flyhalf Hannah Bober also slotted conversions.
"Alyssa Bell had a strong game and made some excellent tackles to lead from the front," Brown wrote. "She carries the ball well and with this added defensive strength, she is developing into a crucial player.
"Although there were plenty of tries to see there was also some good tackling as Nicole Guerrero, Natalie Ward, Bell and Maddie Zappala put themselves about disrupting Hofstra attacks," Brown continued.
This Sunday, Vassar and Rutgers will knock heads in one of the league's most anticipated matchups.
Met NY Women's DII College
Vassar 71-5 Hofstra
Rutgers 32-17 Marist
New Paltz 3-3 Stony Brook