The women’s rugby team’s season-ending loss could not have been more bitter.
Not only did the Elis lose to archrival Radcliffe Saturday in Cambridge, the Cantabs destroyed their Bulldog counterparts 49-0. The Elis finished fifth out of six teams in the Green Division of the New England Rugby Football Union. Yale’s sole victory of the season was a 34-0 victory Saturday against Boston College.
The Bulldogs knew they would have a tough time in Cambridge this weekend.
“From the scores, we knew that the Radcliffe was a better team than Boston College,” co-captain Marjorie Friedman ’03 said. “They had just beaten Brown’s team, and so we knew this was a difficult opponent beforehand.”
The Elis were unable to cause confusion among their Cantab counterparts, as Radcliffe dominated play and never gave the Elis a real chance to move the ball forward.
“Our game plan is to take out the opponent’s defenders and leave them disorganized on the ground, creating holes for our offense to score,” Friedman said. “But against such a strong team as Harvard, they kept on kicking the ball back at us.”
Lisa Rothman ’04, who is president of the Yale Women’s Rugby Football Club, stated that the defense against Radcliffe was not strong enough last Saturday.
“We have always been working to form a defensive, cohesive line that is one defensive line,” Rothman said. “On the field, the defense becomes hectic and breaks down.”
While the Elis were unable to generate any form of defensive cohesion against Radcliffe, the Cantab offense played an equal role in dominating the Bulldogs.
“Radcliffe’s offense won the game,” Rothman said.
Radcliffe jumped on the Elis early, notching the majority of their points in the first 20 minutes of the contest. By the time the Bulldogs recovered from Radcliffe’s opening assault, it was too late to mount a comeback.
In the final 10 minutes, the Elis again faltered, allowing the Cantabs to put the finishing touches on their rout. With two Bulldogs injured, the Elis suffered from a lack of late-game substitutes.
“Our team is very small compared to most of the other teams in the conference, and the two injuries greatly deterred our performance,” Rothman said.
With the spring season still months away, the Bulldogs can only reflect on how to improve their chances for the March campaign.
“The problem was that we did not carry the right plays at the right time,” Friedman said.