The Crimson opened its season against Brown (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - In front of a capacity crowd, Harvard women's rugby took on the Brown Bears in the first ever varsity Ivy League women's rugby match. After a tightly contested first half, the Crimson eventually fell to Brown, 24-15. Sophomore Mariah Turner led the way for the Crimson, with two of Harvard's three tries.
"I could not be more proud of the 15 players who were on the field for us today," said head coach Sue Parker. "They showed effort, heart and grit through all 80 minutes today."
In the 24th minute, The Crimson was on the verge of opening the scoring, but a fumbled pass opened the field for the Bears, but Anabiet Abasi tracked down the Brown player in a dead sprint to keep the scoring even. Three minutes later the Bears broke through the Crimson defense for the first try and conversion of the match.
The Crimson got on the board in the 16th minute when Taciana Pereira broke through for the first try of her career. Harvard could not put the conversion through leaving the score at 5-7.
Harvard took the lead in the 10th minute when the Crimson were able to get the ball out wide to Mariah Turner who cross the goalie to make the score 10-7.
Brown closed the first half with a try but did not get the conversion moving the score to 10-12.
Harvard opened the second half with a try in the 25th minute to take the lead 15-12. After a great cut back run from Abasia, Turner broke free down the sideline for a long run and her second try of the match.
In the 11th minute, Brown broke a run up the middle of the Harvard line for an uncontested try and conversion putting the Bears ahead, 15-18. Then, in the fifth minute, Brown was able to break another long run down the sideline for another try, to secure their victory.
"We are going to continue to work on our fundamentals and fitness," said Parker. "We want to make sure that we execute the game plan to more efficient and effective."
The Crimson will be on the road next week to take on Ancient Eight opponent Yale, Saturday September 20th.
Watch the match highlights HERE