Harvard women's rugby played its first varsity contest Tuesday against Quinnipiac (Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first-ever contest as a varsity program, the Harvard women's rugby team dropped a 39-10 decision to Quinnipiac Tuesday night on Cumnock Field. The Bobcats, playing in their fourth game of the season, improve to 3-1 on the year, while the Crimson looks to pick up its first win of the season Saturday against Yale.
A rowdy crowd saw the Crimson launch the opening kickoff into the teeth of the Quinnipiac line and possession changed hands a number of times near midfield in the early going. The steady Bobcat offensive pressure saw the guests methodically move the ball deeper into the Crimson zone, but a gutsy goal-line stand by the hosts denied the Bobcats a try on a promising push. Quinnipiac regained possession and was finally able to crack the Crimson line with 35:05 to play in the first half when wing Natalie Kosko plunged in for the game's first try, giving the Bobcats a 5-0 lead.
With time winding down in the first half, Quinnipiac was able to post its second try of the game when Elena Orlando fed Maggie Myles near the right corner flag and Myles weaved her way in for the try. Myles' conversion attempt from a favorable angle split the goalposts, giving the guests a 12-0 lead at the half.
Kosko was back at it early in the second half, working her way laterally across the field and into the try zone to push the Quinnipiac lead to 17-0. The third score lit a fire under the Crimson and the hosts began stringing passes together and penetrating deep into the Bobcat zone. The Crimson eventually turned the ball over, but Quinnipiac was quick to kick the ball downfield in an attempt to gain some much needed breathing room. Winger Aniebiet Abasi was on the receiving end of the kick for Harvard, and the speedy junior was able to turn the corner on the Quinnipiac line and blaze past the goal line for the Crimson's first try.
Quinnipiac responded swiftly, however, and was able to keep its intensity up through the second half, resulting in three more tries to put the game away. The Crimson was able to put one more score on the board when captain Xanni Brown capped a lengthy stay near the Quinnipiac goal line by plunging in from close range to push Harvard's score to 10. One last try from the Bobcats came before the final whistle, capping the 39-10 final.
The Crimson is back in action Saturday when it hosts Yale in an Ivy League battle. Game time is slated for 11 a.m., at Cumnock Field.