Vassar Rugby Team Bests Catamounts On the Road

POUGHKEEPSIE – After just one minute of play the Vassar College Women’s Rugby team was back standing behind their own goal line under the posts awaiting a conversion attempt. That kick was successful and the University of Vermont led 7-0. Vassar had not touched the ball nor made a tackle and it was a rough way to start a game. However, the team rallied and put together enough of a cohesive effort to score seven tries, converting five for a solid win, 45-12.

Vassar College Women 45 v 12 University of Vermont

Tries: Asia Baker (3), Sophia Bailey (2), Julie Geller (1), Zoe Lynch (1).

Cons: Zoe Lynch (5)

It is early days as this season is just two weeks old and while there obviously is a lot of work to do there were glimpses of what is possible. This was a performance that saw two first year students, both rugby rookies, start and play the entire game at 12 and 13. Eleanor Jacoby and Sabine Weil learned a lot and can take great pride in a first game effort.

The Vassar forwards all had decent runs with the ball in hand. There was the risk of becoming isolated at times as support was sometimes lacking but that might be expected this early in the year and it is very fixable moving forward.

Flanker Asia Baker scored the Brewers first try with a short run and the conversion from Zoe Lynch tied the match at 7-7. Lynch was playing her first full game at flyhalf and did some good things from which she can build. She had a good day with the foot converting five of the seven tries.

Her halfback partner, Sophia Bailey, collected 2 tries with alert play and the sophomore will be hoping to have a bigger influence on games given it is her second season of rugby.
The standout moment of the first half was a breakaway try from Asia Baker who ran in from about 60 yards to score. She broke tackles and then didn’t look back, literally didn’t look back because she was so worried about being caught! At the half Baker had a hat-trick of tries and the score was 21-7.

The University of Vermont players came out for the second half just as they had for the first and rocked Vassar back earning a try to make it 21-12. Vassar responded almost immediately to take the wind out of their sails and finished the job with further scores from Bailey, prop Julie Geller and Zoe Lynch.

In defense when UVM did break through Jude Robinson made some good tackles as did Jamie Marinez, and Danny White sprinted back on a few occasions to save the day and catch opponents.

The encouraging aspect of this match is that there were plenty of individual positives to go along with the lessons to be learnt. Annie Adams and Mette McKinney took some good lineout ball; Katie Canavan ripped the ball from players and ran well; Garce Skakel was good tackling around the fringes; and Lauren Showalter bumped off would be tacklers at will.

The aim for this group of players is to keep getting better every session. It is more about putting in the work to get better and learning the organization that will fit around the skill sets and implementing it.

Team: 15 Jude Robinson 14 Jamie Marinez 13 Sabine Weil 12 Eleanor Jacoby 11 Danny White 10 Zoe Lynch 9 Sophia Bailey 1 Julie Geller 2 Katie Canavan 3 Andie Authers 4 Julia Wolff 5 Grace Skakel 6 Annie Adams 7 Asia Baker 8 Lauren Showalter. Subs: Mette McKinney for Annie Adams, Nadya LaMarr for Jamie Marinez, Maddie Sumrow for Danny White, Samuel Tang for Andie Authers, Nina Fishman for Julie Geller.
Vassar College Women B 29 v 0 University of Vermont Women B

Tries: Leah Dourmashkin (2), Kiki Takata (1), Nadya LaMarr (1), Maddie Sumrow (1).

Cons: Nadya LaMarr (2).

This was a massively important game, not because it has any significance in the standings for there is none, but it was an opportunity for players to challenge and compete for starting positions.

What this match lacked in precision and execution it made up in effort and attitude. Four first year rookies shone brightly and it means that we can build some depth into the squad. It was also great to see the sophomores show their talents.

Lola Yost was abrasive and strong carrying and tackling. Leah Dourmashkin was impressive in the open field scoring two tries, the second of which was a real peach as she stood up two defenders and spun on a dime to go over. Kiki Takata ran hard in close quarters and found the whitewash. Maddie Sumrow was physical in defense but will need to be more of an organizer all the time. Nadya LaMarr showed some pace and also connected on two conversions.

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