Being the inaugural year for the tournament Brown was eager to compete against AIC. Valiantly Brown fought to stay in the game but with AIC size and speed were at a great disadvantage with the final score being AIC 34 – Brown 0. However, there was a glimmer of what we are capable of doing and we hoped we might improve upon our performance in our match against Syracuse on Sunday. AIC went on to almost beat Norwich but in the waning minutes lost Norwich 19 – AIC 16.
Brown 32 - Syracuse 7
The Brown team that took the field against Syracuse came to play! From the moment the game started there was a feeling of confidence, determination and a fire to win the match and play the way we have been practicing all semester.
5 minutes into the game and deep into Brown territory, Natalie Klotz wins their contested lineout on the left side of the field.. Scrumhalf Alison Gale ’14 moves the he ball quickly through several pods of forwards attacking the right side of the field to be reversed back to the backline of Alison Hojsak ’14 who finds Kiki Morgan’s ’16 breaking down the left side of the field with Monica Roth ’16 and May Siu ‘15 in support and Kiki scoring under the posts. Conversion kicker, Lucienne “Lucy” Fernandez ’14 adding 2 for a score of Brown 7 – Syracuse 0.
Syracuse came back strong, determined to keep Brown pinned inside their 30m. Flyhalf Elena Suglia ’15 put in a kick to touch, though short was recovered by Jessica Sawadogo ’14 who with support from her forwards recycled ball quickly. After a strong run by freshman inside center Oksana Goretaya ’17, the forwards set up a strong platform to reverse fields. Tiara Mack ’16 called for the ball on attack and committed 2 defenders before passing to supporter Saskia “Kiki” Morgan ’16 who again streaked down the sidelines with support in tow to score under the posts making the score Brown 12 – Syracuse 0.
Again, Syracuse came back strong and this time was successful in turning over Brown possession from a ruck inside Brown 22m and scoring under the posts at 29:00. The conversion successful, the score now Brown 12 – Syracuse 7. However Brown comes right back and Natalie Klotz ‘14 scores from a pick and go from the Syracuse 10m to make the halftime score Brown 17 – Syracuse 7.
It was Brown’s turn to come out strong and keep Syracuse pinned inside their 22. From the kickoff Brown kept knocking on the door and at 8:41 the Brown scrum took Syracuse ball from a 5m counter hook by Lucy Fernandez ’14 and No. 8 Jess Sawadogo picked up and drove in for score in left corner. At the end of the half, the score was Brown 22 – Syracuse 7.
Brown was far from done and keeping the pressure on and at 60 minutes, using a well placed kick over the right wing by Elena Suglia ’15, centers Oksana Goretaya ’17 and Kiki Morgan ’16 chased and ultimately Kiki scored under the posts, leaving the score at Brown 27 – Syracuse 7.
In the remaining minutes Syracuse put on a surge inside the Brown 30m only to be denied entry by hard hitting tight five forwards Tiara Mack ’16, Lucy Fernandez ’14 and Jacqueline Rice ’16. Try as they might, Brown would not let them into the goal. A kick by the flyhalf saw possession recovered from Syracuse on a devastating tackle by Saudi Garcia ’14 only to be turned over by Syracuse.
Brown forwards regaining possession gave scrumhalf Amber Reano ‘16 a chance to connect with her flyhalf who again slotted another kick behind the right wing. Chased down by wing Marina Golan-Villela ’17 and Kiki Morgan ’16 to be unfortunately lost forward in the recovery. However, hard working Brown forwards again took possession away from Syracuse and at 77:00 on broken play, ball goes to Kiki Morgan ’16 in the right corner. At the end of time score being Brown 32 – Syracuse 7.
It’s been a tough season for the players. They have worked hard to implement the things we have learned over just the last few months. I think you would have been proud of their performance as I am. The rugby history at Brown gives the players great pride and something to fight for and belong to – something that drives them to be better every day. I look forward to our growth in the coming spring.