Homestand Continues for Women's Rugby With AIC Saturday

Harvard's defense has allowed just 10 points over its last four games (Gil Talbot).

The Storyline

After a successful spring opener against West Chester last weekend, the Harvard women's rugby continues its homestand with a matchup against AIC Saturday at Cumnock Field. Harvard has won its last five contests, dating back to the fall season.

Last Time Out
The Harvard women's rugby team showed its defensive grit in a 22-5 defeat of West Chester last Saturday on Cumnock Field.

West Chester, coming into the game with an identical 5-2 record on the season, was unable to get much going against the swarming team defense of Harvard, as the Crimson surrendered just the one try on the day. On offense, the Crimson was spearheaded by junior Lenica Morales-Valenzuela, as she punched in a pair of tries on the day. Sophomore Brooke Kantor pitched in with the first try of her varsity tenure, and senior captain Xanni Brown capped the scoring for Harvard with a try of her own. Classmate Shelby Lin split the uprights for a conversion, capping off Harvard's 22 points on the day.

About The Crimson
Harvard has benefitted from great senior leadership in its first season as a varsity program, as the team is led by senior captains Xanni Brown, Brandy Machado and Ali Haber. Brown is the team leader in points, compiling 12 total tries through the fall regular season and another in the spring opener, while Machado had eight to her credit heading into the Ivy tournament. Junior Aniebiet Abasi also proved to be a point-scorer for the Crimson, registering a try in all but one contest during the regular-season fall slate.

The Crimson will host four home games during its spring 2014 campaign, and will travel to Penn State for its lone road contest of the season.

Scouting The Yellow Jackets
The Yellow Jackets had a successful fall campaign, compiling a 5-2 record in seven games. AIC eclipsed the 40-point mark in all but one of its wins in the fall, and captured four conference victories. The Yellow Jackets defeated Quinnipiac 36-12 in their first road game of the year, and went on to shut out New Hampshire (65-0) and Rhode Island (95-0) to cap their fall slate.  

National Rankings
In the women's Division I national rankings, the Crimson come in at No. 11 in its first season as a varsity program. AIC, which lost in the ACRA tournament quarterfinals in the fall to undefeated Norwich, is ranked No. 4 on the list. Harvard has amassed three wins against ranked team so far this season (Dartmouth, Brown, West Chester).