Wheaton Women's Rugby Sinks Coast Guard, Earns Top Seed in Playoffs
Posted on October 25, 2012
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in October, the Wheaton Women’s Rugby team faced its toughest battle of the 2012 season as they faced off against conference foe Coast Guard in their annual on-campus game at Mirrione Stadium. With first place on the line and a playoff spot up for grabs, the matchup was sure to be filled with competitiveness and passion.
The Wheaton Women’s Rugby team, nicknamed the “Hot-Steppers” , opened up the game with a flurry of offensive possessions and was able to capitalize on a Coast Guard penalty that set them up for a terrific scoring opportunity. Following the penalty, Robin Bradley ‘13 was able to shake off several defenders as she plunged into the try zone for the first score of the game. After a missed kick after the try, Wheaton went on the defensive as Coast Guard drove the ball down the pitch. Despite some strong tackling and defense, Coast Guard took the lead 20 minutes into the game with a try and a converted kick for seven points. With only minutes remaining, the Hot-Steppers marched down the field for a go ahead kick for three points which put Wheaton in the lead 8-7 going into the half.
Despite the closely played first half, Wheaton had no intention on allowing Coast Guard to regain the lead. The defense for the Wheaton squad clamped down on the Coast Guard offensive attack and caused several turnovers throughout the second half. One of the turnovers helped to set up Leah Smith ’14 for a score as she bashed through the Coast Guard defensive line into the try zone, earning Wheaton a 15-7 lead. The game was a back and forth battle of changed possessions throughout a majority of the second half until Hannah Rier ’14, who dominated the game with heavy hitting and superb offensive playmaking, was able to navigate her way into the try zone for the game-sealing try. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Wheaton celebrated as they had secured their second consecutive undefeated regular season. The win also positioned Wheaton into the #1 seed for the New England Wide Collegiate Rugby Conference playoffs in Springfield, MA.