Photo: Vassar Athletics
There were some promising signs of development as the Vassar Women held the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Women at bay for the entire match. But it was a far from good performance from the Brewers and they showed an alarming lack of rugby IQ squandering opportunities and making strange decisions. Items that were worked on in preseason were either forgotten or ignored but fortunately RPI did not capitalize.
Vassar College 37 v 0 Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTries: Aisha Malik (1), Claudia Lasch (1), Aislinn Vinces Dimas (1), Oshana Reich (2).Cons: Makena Emery (3).
Pens: Makena Emery (2).
This 80 minutes of action will hopefully prove to be of huge benefit with regard to learning how to better manage a game. The final result was never really in question and that much was known after about 15-20 minutes of play. So, for an hour Vassar could have challenged and developed their patterns of play. It would have been the wise thing to do.
The irony was, that individually, players were contributing well and had good moments. A good run forward, a good ball placement, a well timed run. But there was a lack of consistency and too many errors broke things up. A knock-on, a ball ripped away, a dropped pass or a kick to touch missed, all added up to a scrappy affair.
It didn’t help that there was early disruption when first Kate Sworden had to pull out before the kick-off and then Miranda Scarlata came off with an elbow sprain. A lifter and thrower missing and lineouts became less compelling.
All the Vassar players made yards when they carried the ball. The only time RPI got their hands on the ball it was the result of a Vassar error. So the game was scoreless for 15 minutes as RPI too would spill a pass or knock-on and the tango would continue.
The Vassar backs too got over the gain line consistently as the first 6 possessions showed and the game began to take shape, bar the handling errors. The Vassar 8-9 combination was not as effective as they will need to be and both Reich and To will want to be more penetrating from the base of the scrum.
The Rensselaer forwards kept giving away penalties at the breakdown and Vassar elected to take scrums. In the end the weight of possession took it’s toll. First Aisha Malik burrowed over for a 5-0 lead and then left wing Claudia Lasch took a pass from Molly Lynch to score under the posts. At 12-0 and with RPI having only had one foray into the Vassar 22 it was probably going to be a matter of how many points would Vassar score.
Moments later after some good picking from the Vassar pack the backs got some quick ball and again it was Lynch who gave the scoring pass but this time it was to right wing Aislinn Vinces Dimas. 12-0 had become 19-0 as Emery connected on the conversion.
The second half Vassar changed up their attack but there was a real disconnect with players out of position and poor decision making when they did win the ball. Makena Emery added a penalty kick to make it 22-0 but given that Vassar was not seriously threatened, taking penalty kicks was not really a good option. A scrum or lineout would have served development better.
Vassar Number 8 Oshana Reich decided to get in on the scoring act and she deserved her brace that further extended the Vassar lead. Another unnecessary penalty meant that the total number of points scored in the second half was 18 and a conference win for the Brewers earned.
There is plenty to work on in the coming weeks both technical and tactical.
Players need to be more dynamic and explosive when carrying the ball; defensive line speed needs to be quicker; rucks need to cleared out with strong drives contacting the defender; players must time their runs on to the ball. Tactically we need to know when we want territory, tempo, or possession.
But perhaps the most important aspect will be the attitude of the players. This was not a hard game and a polished performance would have yielded 60 plus points. This team needs to push itself and start doing many of the little things better.
Team: 15 Molly Lynch 14 Aislinn Vinces Dimas 13 Emma Manzella 12 Kira Nolan 11 Claudia Lasch 10 Makena Emery 9 Jennie To 1 Meg Martin 2 Marron McConnell 3 Kaitlin Prado 4 Miranda Scarlata 5 Maddie Crump 6 Kayla Vasquez 7 Danielle Kaminski 8 Oshana Reich.
Subs: Aisha Malik for Miranda Scarlata, Kaira Smith for Kaitlin Prado, Halle Hutchinson for Aisha Malik, Emily Howell for Danielle Kaminski.
Overall record: 2-0-0
Next weekend: Sunday September 23rd, 2018 versus Siena College at Vassar College Farm KO 11:00 am