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Recap: NIRA’s Opening Weekend

  • 03 Sep 2018

Photo: Ken Klemencic / see more

This weekend marked the opening weekend of the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA), the country’s varsity league. Dartmouth, Harvard, LIU Post, Mount St. Mary’s and Castleton all recorded their first victories of the season.


Harvard is off and running, defeating the three-time national champion by 13 points Saturday. There were four lead changes in the opening stanza, but three-straight tries from the Crimson gave Harvard the breathing room and momentum for the win. Four NIRA newcomers scored on the day: Harvard’s Sofie Fella and Cassidy Bargell, and Quinnipiac’s Clara Lemal-Brown and Margot Vella.

Read Harvard’s match report and Quinnipiac’s recap. The Crimson plays Army on Sept. 8, while the Bobcats looks toward Dartmouth in Hamden, Conn.

Harvard 32

Tries: Sofie Fella, Cassidy Bargell, Sarah Lipson, Milan Roberts, Arianna Romero, Grace Chao

Cons: Jenny Kronish

Quinnipiac 19

Tries: Mikah Maples, Clara Lemal-Brown, Margot Vella

Cons: McKenna Haz 2


The biggest win of the weekend went to Mount St. Mary’s, which shut out Sacred Heart 76-0. Of the 10 try-scorers, five were freshmen: Ubaida Ahmed (2), Jenna Lewaren, Molly Jackson, Samantha Mathis and Maya Grassi, who also handled kicking duties. The Mount takes a week off before hosting Molloy.

Tries: Ubaida Ahmed 2, Julie Crochet 2, Jenna Lewaren, Hannah Orland, Nataly Cisneros, Molly Jackson, Samantha Mathis, Maya Grassi

Read Mount St. Mary’s match report.


While there were a couple of deadlocks during the match, there was only one lead change, but it was the one counted. LIU Post ran in two tries in the final three minutes to beat visiting Castleton 34-26. LIU Post freshmen Bella Lubsey, Sydney Long and Calah Turpin (2), and Castleton freshmen Kailyn Duff and Mikaela Phillips were among the scorers on the day.

Read LIU Post’s match report, as well as Castleton’s.

LIU Post 34

Tries: Bella Lubsey, Amber Wright 2, Sydney Long, Calah Turpin 2

Cons: Wright 2

Castleton 26

Tries: Kailyn Duff, Mariah Jolly, Mary Bovaconti, Mikaela Phillips

Cons: Duff 3


Dartmouth traveled to Euclid, Ohio, for its season-opener and returned to New Hampshire with a 71-point win. Captain and flyhalf Camille Johnson scored 32 points on four tries and six conversions, and freshmen Emily Henrich (3), Sophia Haley (2) and Sophie Ragg dotted down their first tries with the Big Green. Falcons freshman Saher Hamdan scored the final try of the day.

Dartmouth 76

Tries: Camille Johnson (c) 4, Emily Henrich 3, Kat Ramage, Sophie Ragg, Sophia Haley 2, Karina Martinez

Cons: Johnson 6, Ramage 2

Notre Dame College 5

Tries: Saher Hamdan

Read Dartmouth’s match report.


The game between NIRA newcomer Colby-Sawyer and Molloy is officially recorded as a forfeit win to the Chargers, as the Lions did not have the numbers for a 15s game. An 80-minute 12s game did evolve, though, and Molloy won the exhibition match in the final minute, as Siobhan Coady scored the second of her two tries in the 34-29 decision. Freshmen Bailey Burt (2) and Sydney Jackson scored tries, along with junior Jordyn Enos (2), and first-year Julia Anhalt kicked the conversions.

Colby-Sawyer 29

Tries: Sydney Jackson, Jordyn Enos 2, Bailey Burt 2

Cons: Julia Anhalt 2

Molloy 34

Tries: Siobhan Coady 2, Madison Howell, Caroline Nickels, Kaitlyn DeMaio, Olivia Sturiano

Cons: Sturiano 2

Read Colby-Sawyer’s match report and Molloy’s recap.


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