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NCAA Varsity Rugby Wrap-up: Week 3

  • 18 Sep 2023
Davenport Rugby

Week 3 of the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) saw all three divisions log official conference matches. Division I had four of five matches come off, while Division II and Division III featured three season-openers. [Lead photo: Walter J Cronk Photography]


Harvard and Sacred Heart both improved to 3-0 on the regular season to top the DI standings. Quinnipiac (1-1) and Army (1-2) picked up their conference wins and held opponents to one score apiece. And the Dartmouth (2-0) vs. Princeton (0-2) match has been postponed to Nov. 4.

Queens Univ. of Charlotte made the long trip from North Carolina to play the Crimson in Cambridge, Mass., and Harvard triumphed 67-7. Cam Fields (2), Tiahna Padilla (2), Ava Ference, Charlotte Gilmour, Chloe Headland, Sofia Hilger, Lucy Jacobsen, Brogan Mior, Lennox London and Elianne Sacher scored the tries. Headland contributed five conversions to lead the team with 15 points. The Royals got their points through try-scorer Jess Gozlan, and conversion kicker Maddie Hughes. This Saturday, Harvard will host Army, and Queens will send its varsity team to Brown and sub-varsity team to Mount St. Mary’s Univ.



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The Mountaineers were hoping to build from their one-point win against Princeton in Week 2 when it welcomed Sacred Heart to Emmitsburg, Md., last Saturday. But the Pioneers dominated in a 55-5 win and got multi-try performances out of Caitlyn Caldon and Reese Torticill. The Woods sisters, Reece and Olivia, also dotted down, and Aly Cunningham added five conversions. Sacred Heart has a bye week and then resumes play Sept. 30 at Quinnipiac. The Mount will give its depth some more field time against Queens JV on Saturday.

Army hit the road in search of its first win of the fall season and found it in a 39-5 victory against Long Island Univ. (1-1). Emma Gamboa, Sophia Linder, Harper Ray, Stevie-Rae Ricklick and Kate Woenker scored tries, while sophomore flyhalf Alissa Eisenhart contributed 14 points on four conversion and two penalty kicks. The Black Knights head to Harvard this Saturday, while the Sharks enjoy the bye week.



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Quinnipiac traveled to the U.S. Naval Academy and collected a 46-3 win on the road. Kelsey Thomas scored two tries and was one of three freshman try-scorers on the day, joined by Lucy Lamborn and Bre Wertman. Junior Alexis Haskins and sophomore Riva van der Valk also dotted down, while Fódhla Ní Bhraonáin added 16 points on five conversions and two penalties. Quinnipiac travels to Dartmouth this Saturday, while Navy enters into a bye week.

Week 3: Sept 15-17
Harvard 67-7 Queens
Sacred Heart 55-5 Mount St. Mary’s
Quinnipiac 46-3 Navy
Army 39-5 Long Island Univ
Dartmouth @ Princeton PPD to 11/4

Week 4: Sept. 22-24
Army (1-2) @ Harvard (3-0)
Queens (1-1) @ Brown (1-1)
Quinnipiac (1-1) @ Dartmouth (2-0)


Davenport (1-0) and West Chester (0-1) opened up their regular seasons against each other, and the Panthers routed the visiting Golden Rams 155-6. It’s a massive score, but the majority of points came out of the freshman class. First-years Ashley Cowdrey (2T, 11C) and Leilani Lepe (4T, 6C) accounted for 32 points apiece. Carrie Coyer-Westerberg led all try-scorers with four, while fellow freshmen Lionala Mayorga (3), Rachel Wilke (2T, C), Anya Hatch, Kara Higgins, Marla Aymond, Ellis McKay and Abby Zurek also dotted down. Upperclassmen Grace Gohl (2), Olivia Farkas and Jasmine Hernandez added five points apiece, while Ashleigh Dewitt-McLane kicked two conversions. Emma Davies kicked West Chester’s two penalties.

The Panthers take their game on the road this weekend, heading to Lander Univ. in South Carolina. The Golden Rams are also traveling again this Saturday and face NIRA newcomer Frostburg State in what will be the Maryland program’s first-ever DII conference match.

American International College (1-0) and Univ. New Haven (0-1) kicked off their regular seasons against each other, and the AIC Yellow Jackets shut out the Chargers 108-0. Jessica Berggren (4) and freshmen SaTya Miller (2) Camryn Henderson (2T, C) out of Tennessee scored multiple tries. Sara Doyle, Talimaia Fuala’au, Lou Justice, Ivani Kiripati, Gabby Miller, Zahira Roldan and Haley Thompson also dotted down. Freshman Noa Lagilagi (3), Venise Sanft and Henderson added conversions.

Both AIC and New Haven enter bye weeks and then resurface for Oct. 1 friendlies. AIC will play DI Princeton, and New Haven will face DIII Norwich.

Week 3: Sept 15-17
Davenport 155-6 West Chester
AIC 108-0 New Haven

Week 4: Sept 22-24
Davenport @ Lander
West Chester @ Frostburg St.


Univ. New England (1-0) and Norwich Univ. (0-1) accounted for the first DIII conference match of the season, and the Nor’easters triumphed 41-5 at home. UNE built a 24-0 lead on three Liz Cogan tries, a fourth from Sara Kraus, and two Brianna Dargin conversions. Norwich snapped the shutout through Carlyan Vigbedor, and then the Nor’easters responded with three more tries courtesy of Dargin and Sam Malley (2).


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UNE is scheduled to host AIC’s JV team for a Friday night homecoming match, while Norwich will play its second conference match against Bowdoin College Saturday.

Week 3: Sept 15-17
Univ. New England 41-5 Norwich

Week 4: Sept 22-24
Bowdoin @ Norwich


In the Provisional Division, Emory & Henry College held a 7s round robin with Newberry College, Warren Wilson and Guilford. Newberry went 3-0 defeating the host 19-15, Warren Wilson 14-5 and Guilford 26-15. Sophomores Vicky Noel and Dantzler Long put in big shifts. Noel accounted for 30 points on six tries, and Long added 19 points on a try and seven conversions. Sophomore Savannah Armistead dotted down twice as well. Newberry enters a bye week before hosting a 7s tournament on Oct. 1.

Guilford finished runner-up at the round robin, going 2-1 and getting a standout performance from Jasmine Cartwright. Host Emory & Henry went 1-2 on the day, getting its win against Warren Wilson, 15-12. Junior Meredith Inge led the team with three tries, while freshmen Zoe Dewees and Emily Maddox added a brace of tries. Warren Wilson finished fourth.


New England College traveled to Vermont State Univ. Castleton for a trio of 7s matches. NEC won the series 2-1, posting 15-5 and 17-5 wins, while the Spartans won one match 20-5. Ari Hamilton (4), Bree Vidal (3) and Kayla Doan scored NEC’s tries, and Rebecca Eaton hit the conversion. VTSU Castleton got its tries from Saidi St. Andrews (3), Alexis MacLeod, Sarah Deschamp and Maddie Reynolds. The Pilgrims’ schedule currently reflects a match against Norwich this weekend, and there are no future fixtures currently listed on the Spartans’ calendar.

Three NIRA teams played opponents outside of the NCAA varsity realm. DIII Bowdoin topped CRAA Division I Northeastern Univ. 57-10 and put eight players into the try zone. Saniya Ridley was the only Polar Bear to score twice, and Lauryn Eisenhart kicked six conversions for 12 points.


DII Lander Univ. fell to CRAA DI Elite Life Univ. 45-6. And Notre Dame College – a former NIRA member, now in NCR DI – beat DIII Adrian College 51-22. The Bulldogs’ Chris Peters and Liz Dowding scored two tries apiece, while Madison Williamson kicked the conversion.

Week 3: Sept 15-17
Bowdoin 57-10 Northeastern
Life 45-6 Lander
Notre Dame College 51-22 Adrian

Newberry 19-15 Emory & Henry
Newberry 14-5 Warren Wilson
Newberry 26-15 Guilford
Guilford 12-7 Emory & Henry
Guilford def Warren Wilson
Emory & Henry 15-12 Warren Wilson

New England College 15-5 VTSU-Castleton
New England College 17-5 VTSU-Castleton
VTSU-Castleton 20-5 New England College

Week 4: Sept 22-24
Queens JV @ Mount St. Mary’s
Ohio State @ Adrian
AIC sub-varsity @ Univ. New England

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