Nationals Next weekend in Cherry Hill, NJ!
The Wentworth ladies won 12-7 today in overtime against the strong Western Connecticut team. Both teams battled back and forth, with WestConn striking first and then WIT scoring just before the half. The 2nd half was scoreless for both teams, and WIT was on the attack most of the time. In over time with two 10min halves, WIT scored a try and then held WestConn off till the end of the game.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the Wentworth Women’s Team hosted Western Connecticut State College for the D3 Championship Match. With a 2:00pm kickoff, players were well rested and ready for the day’s match ahead. The Wentworth ladies stepped on the pitch and started off a little slow. Not knowing what West Conn could do, every player was a little hesitant, and early in the first half WestConn attacked and scored the first try of the game. WIT had a little breakdown on communication and were a little flustered in the first 15 minutes of the game. However, after realizing that they could take on WestConn, the ladies changed gears. Defense definitely stepped up, stopping WestConn from advancing anywhere on the field, and going into the offensive, they kept on attacking relentlessly. After plenty of scrums and driving through rucks & mauls, the forwards drove in for a try: With much resistance from the opposition, the forwards had a scrum just outside the try zone. Jullian Ruddock, in support off an eightman pick & go by Beth Nugent, scored the try with about 5 minutes left in the half. Cathy Ordile took her time and converted the kick to tie up the game.
In the second half, talk about a battle! With the wind and sun to their back, the WIT ladies realized it was our turn to run. The back line got the ball and starting to dash through the tough WestConn back line. With the direction of scrum-half Christine DiBiase, WIT’s offense drew WestConn’s defense in around the scrums. Christine would pass the ball out to her backs and totally catch the West Conn back line off guard. Knocking on the door over and over again, Wentworth maintained possession in the opposition’s half for about 80% of the remainder of the game, but WestConn had strong defense and kept us out of the try zone for the remainder of the game.
For the Championship match, we all know it cannot end in a tie. That being said, the official procedure is a 20 minute Overtime (OT) game. If at the end of the 20 minutes there is still no winning team, the teams will play another 20 minute “Sudden Death” game in which the first team to score wins. If all that fails to award a winner, then they go to kicks.
The Wentworth ladies weren’t about to let this go past the first overtime. Once again, with the wind and sun to their backs, the WIT ladies decided to dig really deep and drive downfield. After knocking on the door and several penalties by West Conn, the WIT ladies finally had WestConn on their heels with much determination, mauling, and offloading, and Marie Genova drove in what would be the game winning try. With a try under their belts, the ladies didn’t give up. In the second half of the OT, our ladies kept on the attack. Driving WestConn way back towards their try zone and never letting them out, the ladies showed we had the determination to win the game. Scrum after scrum and ruck after ruck, WIT kept on attacking. With only 2 minutes to go in over time, West Conn made a few solid attempts to get out of their half of the field. However, WIT wouldn’t have it. With possession of the ball, Wentworth slowed the game down and was driven out of bounds. Then my heart skipped a beat when I heard the last and final whistle of the game.
Talk about an amazing game and a solid game from both teams. WestConn was one of our toughest competitors of the season, and should be commended for such a solid game. As the WestConn coach stated, “It is unfortunate that there has to be a loser. But I was glad it was to you guys.” I was quite proud of our ladies performance and their determination to never give up. Our motto is “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” and wow, did we sure prove it this weekend.
We will be taking on Carleton College from Minnesota at Nationals this coming Saturday. Kickoff will be 1:00pm in Cherry Hill, NJ. Win or lose, we will be playing on Sunday as well for either 1st & 2nd or 3rd &4th. Obviously, our goal is to go all the way. I’m not sure if everyone is aware, but here’s a quick history lesson from a previous season: In 2008, our team had a rough season and was sent to Division 4. I informed the director not to send us down to Division 4, because it was going to be too easy, but we were sent down nonetheless. That year, Wentworth went undefeated and proved why we deserved to be in Division 3. We went all the way to nationals and only lost in our final match to Drexel University. It is definitely fulfilling to have this team, 2 years later, return as the top team in New England Division 3. I know that all the players and myself appreciate the support we got from everyone this weekend. We hope to see some of you down in Cherry Hill with us, and intend on coming home with some hardware.