BRUNSWICK, Maine – Competing for an automatic berth to the national championships, Harvard women's rugby fell on the final play of the championship game to Army West Point to come in second place at the Bowdoin Polar Bear 7s.
The Crimson went 3-2 at the event, advancing to the championship bout after victories over Maine (54-0), Northeastern (31-5) and Dartmouth (24-12). The title contest against Army was a rematch of a meeting during group play, which the Black Knights won, 24-12.
Freshman Arianna Romero led the scoring for Harvard with five tries over the five matchups, while a total of eight different players touched down for tries. Classmate Milan Roberts totaled four tries, while sophomore Delia Hellander contributed three of her own. Senior Haley Langan and freshman Erin Wright pitched in two apiece.
Harvard opened the day with a 24-12 defeat to Army, despite an early try from Hellander. Resilient, the Crimson responded with a shutout of Maine, 54-0. Langan scored two early tries to lead the way against the Black Bears, while junior Rachel Harkavy, Romero and Wright added tries as well, with Harkavy's coming on a 90-meter run. Romero wound up with a hat trick, while Wright also added her second try of the game.
Roberts opened the contest with Northeastern with a score off the kickoff, and the Crimson opened up a 24-0 lead after two tries from Hellander and one from sophomore Dominique Cantave. Following a Huskies score, junior Susie Clements found Romero with a chip, who touched down for the try.
Dartmouth found itself in trouble early, as Roberts dashed through the defense for two early tries to give Harvard a 14-0 lead. She completed her hat trick later in the game, as Harvard held off the Big Green.
The Crimson earned the right to play Army for the automatic berth to the national championships, and Harvard took an early 7-5 lead over the Black Knights after a try from Learned and a conversion from Hellander. Romero used her speed to get the edge and extend Harvard's advantage to seven points, but Army responded with a try and conversion with a minute remaining to knot the score. The Black Knights scored on the final play of the day to take the victory.
Harvard returns to action on Saturday, April 28 at the Army 7s, while the team in in a position to earn an at-large bid to the USA Rugby Collegiate National Championships on May 19.