By Tony Brown
PORTSMOUTH, RI - In the mid-to-late 1990s, the Vassar Women developed a great rivalry with Southern Connecticut State University. Southern was a tough competitor, and this year was no different as they tackled and battled through this first round tournament game. In the end it was the Brewers who prevailed in no small part because of their sheer determination.
Vassar College 22 v 0 Southern Connecticut State University
For the past few weeks the Vassar forwards have been in good form. They are a formidable force in the loose as individuals running and as a unit rucking. This has allowed the backs to develop something of a cutting edge. Hannah Bober was able to distribute the ball to her centers and it was good to see Chelsea Boccagno back on the paddock. She made line breaks as did her partner Tamasha Persaud with the latter scoring the first try as she cut back against the defensive flow.
Laura Howard is enjoying life at 15 and credit goes to Bober for hitting her in stride. Nicole Guererro showed good acceleration as did Shanaye Williams and Nichelle Jackson.
Williams and Guererro scored tries and Meg Slattery slotted a conversion as Vassar moved to the second round to face conference rivals Rutgers.
In the Fall, Vassar defeated the Rutgers University women in a high scoring affair, 39-29. This time, Vassar dominated the first half and should have put this game to rest. In the end, they held on and advanced.
Vassar College 12 v 12 Rutgers
In the scrums, Vassar crushed their opponent. This was a real dog fight as Rutgers defended bravely and the foot of their flyhalf relieved the pressure a number of times. In the end, Dallas Robinson, playing with an injured ankle, sold an outrageous dummy and then athletically jumped in for a score and Vassar led 7-0. Rutgers kept trying and in the second half managed an unconverted try of their own which left the score at 7-5. Then an inspired period of continuity ended with Meg Slattery scoring a critical try from close range and Vassar led 12-5.
Although Rutgers tied the game at 12-12, both teams had scored 2 tries and 1 conversion, meaning the next tie-breaker was first team to score a try.