Cherry Hill, N.J.––The Carleton College women’s rugby team captured its first national title, pulling away from Lock Haven University (Pa.) 59-7 in the title game of the National Small College Rugby Organization's (NSCRO) Division 3 Women's Collegiate Championships to cap an undefeated season.
Carleton, the Minnesota RFU champion, advanced by holding off New England RFU champion Wentworth Institute of Technology (Mass.), 29-22, in Saturday’s semifinals.
In Sunday’s final, Carleton used a dominating second half to win the title. According to a release from the NSCRO, Carleton “showed solid skills in all phases while not always producing the results they wanted, they never yielded and showed ball handling skills rarely seen at this level.” Carleton's lock Avery Johnson ’15 (Portland, Ore.) picked up the ball at the back of ruck and powered in from 5 meters to give her team a 5-0 led 3 minutes into the match. Lock Haven responded a with a strong 30-meter run and with the conversion pulled ahead for the only time in the match, 7-5. For the next 10 minutes the teams pushed into each other's end only to be stopped. Another goal line ruck found Carleton’s Johnson with the ball and again she could not be stopped from scoring and give her team a 10-7 lead. Flyhalf Robin Burrell ’12 (River Hills, Wis.) picked up a loose ball and scampered 10 meters to score and with the conversion by winger Adriane Kisch-Hancock ’12 (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Carleton took a 17- 7 led at halftime.
Arden Caffrey ’13 (Waynesville, N.C.), scored a fine try 12 minutes into the half with another Kisch-Hancock conversion, it was 24-7. Carleton's pressure and quick passing started paying off and they ran into 5 more tries, all converted to pull away and end the season with no losses and a national championship.
In the Division 4 National Championship, the New England RFU champ Johnson State College (Vt.) held off the East Penn RU champ Albright College (Pa.) 12-5 to claim the title.
Carleton's Arden Caffrey was named MVP, while Lock Haven's outstanding flanker, Erin Smith, was awarded the game ball.
Carleton’s roster for the national semifinals and finals included:
Jordyn Adeboye ’15 (Roseville, Minn.), Burrell, Kate Byrne ’14 (Lindenhurst, N.Y.), Caffrey, Camille Coonrod ’15 (Seattle), Jasmine Cutter ’13 (Newark, Del.), Jocelyn Friedman ’13 (Mount Kisco, N.Y.), Britney Fryer ’15 (Frankfort, Ill.), Liz Furuya ’12 (Williston Park, N.Y.), Bailey Gartley ’12 (Waukegan, Ill.), Sara Harrison ’12 (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), Johnson, Kisch-Hancock, Edee Lee ’13 (Mayer, Minn.), Alison Lisi ’12 (Huntington Woods, Mich.), Ingrid Lyons ’15 (Seattle), Celia Mattison ’15 (Weston, Conn.), Austen McBain ’14 (Evansville, Ind.), Libby McKenna ’15 (Albuquerque, N.M.), Kristine Nachbor ’12 (Plymouth, Minn.), Grace Ogilby ’12 (Belmont, Mass.), Lauren Partch ’13 (Phoenix), Taryn Trujillo ’13 (Welch, Minn.) and Izzy Zeitz-Moskin ’15 (Irvington, N.Y.).
A crowd of nearly 200 spectators, including friends and families of the players, enjoyed the action on the field and the crowning of the 2 National Championships.
DVDs of the D3 semifinals and both finals can be purchased from NSCRO. A DVD Order form is available at www.nscro.org.
Women’s rugby is the fifth different Carleton club sport to claim a national title. The other four clubs with national titles to its credit all are Ultimate teams: CUT captured three national titles in Division I (2001, 2009, 2011), Syzygy won the Division I crown in 2000, GOP took home national crowns in 2009 and 2010 in Division III, as did Eclipse in 2011.