November 5th & 6th, 2016 – Aardvark Park, Henrietta, NY
Colgate Women’s Rugby competed in the NSCRO New York State Championships on Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th, 2016. The starting lineup for both matches of the weekend was as follows:
- Dira Odrick ‘19
- McKenna Valley ‘17
- Meg Pane ’17 – C
- Halle Bills ‘17
- Jess Schoen ’18
- Rita Shehirian ‘17
- Erica “Texas” Hiddink ‘17
- Ciara Pettinos ‘17
- Maggie Nelsen ’18 – C
- Kim Muth ‘19
- Regina Pimentel ‘18
- Maggie Dunn ‘19
- Nat Smith ‘17
- Aurelia Casarrubias ‘17
- Bria Vicenti ‘17
Subs: Emelei Klein ‘19, Anna Hart ‘20, Mackay Peltzer ‘20, Mary Clubb ‘19, Dyani Davis ‘18, Kelly Baxendell ‘18, Shelby Baxendell ‘18
In the first game of the NSCRO New York State Championships the Colgate Women’s Rugby team claimed a clean win over St. Bonaventure University. The match began sluggishly, with several minutes of turnovers set to the soundtrack of high winds and a nearby freeway. Colgate soon picked up their game, however, with wing Aurelia Casarrubias ‘17 evading St. Bonaventure’s defensive line to bring in Colgate’s first try. Immediately following a successful conversion by Erica “Texas” Hiddink ‘17, St. Bonaventure answered with their own unconverted try and brought the score to 7-5. Refusing to give up the Colgate lead, Ciara Pettinos ‘17 and Nat Smith ‘17 utilized their agility and speed to score two tries apiece, bringing the score to 35-5 with the help of four fantastic conversions by Hiddink ‘17. A breakaway runner from St. Bonaventure snuck in one more try, bringing the score to 35-12 alongside a completed conversion for Colgate’s opponents. Aurelia Casarrubias ‘17 ended the half on a high note with yet another breakaway try, which in addition to yet another successful conversion by Hiddink brought the CWRFC to a lead of 42-12 at halftime.
Coming off of a strong first half, the CWRFC was determined to take a decisive win in the first round of post-season play. Emelei Klein ‘19 replaced Regina Pimentel ‘18 at wing, joining the back line for a shut-out second half. Three consecutive tries from match superstar Ciara Pettinos ‘17 brought the score to 59-12. Despite copying the (then successful) Colgate maul technique they had witnessed at their home field in 2015, St. Bonaventure failed to score against the solid Colgate defensive line. A breakaway run by Bria Vicenti ‘17 and a powerful drive by Meg Pane ‘17 closed out Saturday’s match with two more Colgate tries and a final score of 69-12. Following their loss, the St. Bonaventure coach kindly remarked that the CWRFC “is the team that St. Bonaventure wants to emulate”, and that he had “hoped to keep [us] to only 50 points”.
After a night of resting, icing, and eating, the Colgate Lady Ruggers got ready to take on the aggressive and vengeful SUNY Cortland team for the 4th time in two years. The CWRFC struggled initially in the first half, playing a cautious and tentative game in the face of Cortland’s unrestricted violence. Ciara Pettinos ‘17 finally broke through Cortland’s defensive line to bring in the first try of the half followed by a conversion from Erica “Texas” Hiddink ‘17, which was unfortunately answered by two tries from Cortland. A beautiful breakaway try by Aurelia Casarrubias was once again followed by another from Cortland, leaving Colgate down 12-17 at the end of the first half.
Refueled by determination, grit, and a bit of anger the Colgate women reminded Cortland whose game it was and came roaring back in the second half. Forcing errors with relentless pressure on defense, a solid kicking game, and superior fitness, the CWRFC was able to shut them out. Erica “Texas” Hiddink ‘17 drove in a try with 5 Cortland women hanging off of her body and then successfully converted it to boot, returning Colgate to the lead with a score of 19-17. Nat Smith ‘17 followed with a beautiful breakaway try only to be pummeled in the process by Cortland, eventually retiring from the field like a champion with a bloody nose and various joint injuries. She was replaced in the line by Mackay Peltzer ‘19, who was joined from the sub lineup by Emelei Klein ‘19, Kelly Baxendell ‘18 and Anna Hart ‘20 throughout the half. Following a long run reminiscent of her game saving try against Cortland in 2015, Ciara Pettinos ‘17 scored again to bring the score up to 31-17 with a conversion from Hiddink ‘17. Aurelia Casarrubias ‘17 cinched the win with a final sprint to the try line, leaving the Colgate Lady Ruggers victorious with a 36-17 win over SUNY Cortland.
Major shoutouts to Ciara Pettinos ‘17 for being awarded MVP honors for the tournament, Meg Pane ‘17 for fantastic carries throughout the Cortland game despite being (literally) bitten by an opposing player during a ruck, and Emelei Klein ‘19 for being high-tackled so many times in 40 minutes that Cortland received both a yellow and a red card on her behalf.
Many thanks to the parents and fans who came out to support us, as well as all of our fans staying with us from afar! Next Saturday the CWRFC will take on Keene State College in New London, NH in the first match of Regionals to determine who will move onto further play. Stay tuned to our social media accounts to keep up with how you are doing and how you can help support the team as we move through the post-season journey. We cannot express our gratitude for alumni, parents, and fans near and far.