When you think Dartmouth 7s, you think of the men's CRC champions. But at the Las Vegas Invitational, it's the women who are representing the college's 7s' reputation - and doing a pretty good job at it.
The Big Green are playing in their first official 7s tournament and initiated their record books with a 19-7 win over Canada's University fo Guelph. It was a pleasant surprise considering the Hanover, N.H.-based has had less than enjoyable outcomes against their typically stronger northern neighbors.
"We were really excited but really nervous going into today's game," Dartmouth's Ashley Afranie-Sakyi said. "I'm really happy with the result; it was definitely a confidence boost moving forward.
"We need to work on moving the ball better and establishing continuity in our passing," Afranie-Sakyi continued, "but we ran hard, made good tackles and stayed in the game even though we felt like underdogs coming in."
Afranie-Sakyi was the most exciting player on the field, with several linebreaks and tries to her credit. She's played for the Ivy League select side, and was instrumental in encouraging the team to play more sevens.
"We wanted more 7s after last summer, so we were looking for options," Afranie-Sakyi explained the impetus to come to Las Vegas. "We're in our offseason, so this is a nice thing to do to keep in shape, keep practicing and work toward something. ... I love 7s; I can't get enough of it."
And of course, the men's team's success influenced the women's desire to get more serious about sevens. Afranie-Sakyi remembered watching the men's games together on television. If the women can keep up their winning ways, then hopefully they can return to the east coast with a championship of their own.