Women’s Rugby Finishes Second in the New England Region

Gabriella Deleo

The Women’s Rugby team gave a valiant effort this past weekend in New London, New Hampshire on the campus of Colby-Sawyer College.

Women’s Rugby scrimmaging themselves after their opponent forfeited earlier this season (Chariot Yearbook photo)
Women’s Rugby scrimmaging themselves after their opponent forfeited earlier this season
(Chariot Yearbook photo)

On Saturday Nov. 14, the Chargers defeated the Nor’easters of the University of New England in an overtime victory of 29-22. The scoring began first with the ladies from the University of New England, committing three tries before the Chargers got on the board.

The Chargers responded soon thereafter with two tries, leaving them trailing only by one at the half. Refusing to give up, the Chargers scored again, which locked the score at 22 for both teams. Neither team would score again in regulation, which meant overtime was necessary.

In rugby, the allotted time for overtime is two ten-minute periods. Both teams are allowed equal opportunity for the full twenty minutes. If, after the twenty minutes concluded, there is no winner, then the next overtime would be sudden death, meaning that the first team to score wins. However, this second over time was not needed in this game. Junior Nikki Iannace, committed the winning try for the Chargers, resulting in a hat-trick for Iannace, and earning her the Heart and Soul Award. This award is chosen by the coach, and is given to the one player who stood out for her efforts throughout the entire game.

Among the other scorers were seniors Stephanie Werner and Celia Cacciatore. With this victory, the Chargers earned themselves a spot in the Regional title game the following day.

The next opponent for the ladies of UNH was the Corsairs from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This opponent proved to be an aggressive team, but the Chargers refused to relinquish easily. They set the tone as junior Rachel Spotts scored the first try of the game within the opening minutes.  The Corsairs responded with two tries of their own, followed by another score by UNH. At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 10, putting them into, yet again, another overtime bout.

“We left everything on the field. We gave everything we had left into that game,” Spotts said.

Unfortunately, the Corsairs came out on top, scoring twice in overtime, once in the first few minutes, and again, with just minutes left in the game. The final score was 20-10, in favor of the Corsairs.

With this loss, the Chargers’ season came to an end, but congratulations are in order.  After playing 200 minutes of rugby over the weekend, the team must be commended for their accomplishments. They finished second in the New England region and fifth among the National Small College Rugby Organization. This is an astounding accomplishment in all respects, but especially because the team was created just 16 months ago. The Chargers concluded their season with an impressive 7-1 record.

Senior and President of the club, Annalisa Berardinelli has nothing but good things to say about the team’s accomplishments. Berardinelli expressed how proud she was of the team, saying “[I was] blown away by how much the team was able to come together and execute everything that we worked on [in practice].”

Even though the team’s official season is over, the ladies will take on local rival, Yale, this Friday Nov. 20 under the lights. The game will be played at 4 p.m. on Yale’s campus.  In last year’s match, the game ended in a tie, a scoreless one at that. The Chargers are hoping to compete once again with the Bulldogs–this time coming out on top.