The Brown Women's Rugby season came to an abrupt end yesterday with a 27-12 loss to the Naval Academy. Motivated by an enthusiastic crowd of Brown alumnae and parents, Brown played inspiring defense throughout the match but struggled to maintain possession in the loose.
The match opened well with Brown kicking off and pressing Navy deep into their own 22 but Navy was able to escape and get into Browns 50. It seemed Navy stayed on the Brown side of the field for most of the first half. Brown made some ferocious goal line stands and crowd pleasing tackles but Navy was able to score 2 trys for a 12-0 halftime lead.
Brown came out fired up in the second half and repelled a number of Navy attacks close to the goal line. Scrumhalf and captain Vanessa Munoz '13 stole a ball off a messy ruck and was able to break free for a 30 meter run before being hauled down. Hooker Lucy Fernandez '14 was quickly with Nay, scooping the ball and passing to captain Michelle Vander Ploeg '13 who ran a beautiful loop passing to the sure hands of Allison Hojsak '14 who passed to a streakingSaskia Morgan '16 who ran 25 meters in for the score. Navy responded moments later with a score of their own but Brown came right back. This time #8Ariel 'Sydney' Peak '15 picked a ball out of tackles and ran 20 meters. Out of the ensuing breakdown the forwards took a punch ball and Nay Munoz were able to get quick pass out to Michelle Vander Ploeg who hit center Elisha Miles '15. Elisha barreled through the Navy defense for a big gain, dishing off to wing Elena Suglia '15 who froze the remaining defense before passing to fullback Kiki Morgan who raced in for the score. Ebony McCaskill '16 converted the extra point and Brown was in reach, 12-17. Brown played fierce but continued to struggle with maintaining possession. The match was a hard contest including very big hits and fantastic runs but the clock ticked down and Brown sadly closed out the season with a loss in the round of 16.
This was Browns 7th trip to the national championship. The team is very young, we started a number of first and second year players. The future looks bright.
Thank you so much for all your support this season. We hope you can join us this May as we celebrate our 35th anniversary and welcome a new, full time women's rugby coach. I will be sure to keep you abreast as the process unfolds.