LOUDONVILLE – The Vassar Women traveled north to the Albany area and took on the Siena College Women in the third Conference game of the year. The weather was picture perfect and Siena have a top quality field so the stage was set. The Brewers have a squad that is settled and experienced but the home team is in a rebuilding phase with a number of newcomers. Siena struggled with the pace of the breakdown and the direct nature of the Vassar attack, so it was a case of scrambling back and all too often falling off tackles. Eleven tries was the tally for the Brewers and at the half the full bench was used.
Vassar College Women 71 v 5 Siena College Women
Tries: Alicia Menard-Livingston (3), Kayla Lightner (3), Jennie To (1), Oshana Reich (2), Molly Lynch (1) & Kate Sworden (1).
Cons: Makena Emery (5) & Michelle Urrutia (3).
The Brewers quickly and efficiently got into this match and kept their foot down hard on the accelerator for the first 40 minutes. There was a real joie de vivre about their play and flyhalf Makena Emery looked very comfortable pulling the attacking strings. Her halfback partner, Jennie To, behind a dominant pack gave swift service and with Vassar playing a wider game Siena was constantly stretched.
Both Vassar centers had a banner first half scoring 6 tries, a hat-trick for both Lightner and Menard-Livingston, as they ran good lines and caught the Siena defenders wanting. The Vassar forwards rucked well and secured possession and also imposed themselves in the scrum and lineout. The encouraging aspect was the small number of errors and in fact, the only possession Siena obtained was following handling mistakes.
Siena was on the back foot and deep in their own half so decided to kick their way out of trouble. But the kicks were handled well by fullback Michelle Urrutia and Vassar was right back on the attack.
At the half all the substitutes were put into the game. It was a calculated risk that would not endanger the final result but it backfired to a degree! The score stood at 50-0 as the second half kicked off so there was the possibility of an injury and with all the replacements used Vassar would be short. As the half unfolded 2 Vassar players were injured and they played the majority of the half with just 13 players!
The rucking in the second half fell off in terms of quality but it was good to see rookies getting a taste of VC Rugby. Kaira Smith, Halle Hutchinson, Catherine Gladstone and Molly Lynch all got their feet wet with the latter scoring her first try.
Megan de Koning did a nice job in the pack and in addition to some good tackles she looked quick off the fringes. Kayla Vasquez too was sharp and incisive.
Abby Alexander moved to flyhalf to get some experience there and worked well with Lynch and Caroline James.
The squad must up the ante in practice and push each other to be better for the later stages of the fall bring tougher opponents.
Next up, on Sunday October 1, the Brewers will travel to Marist College, kick-off is set for 11:00 am.