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Brown Women Beat Penn State to Win Beantown

Wednesday Sep 16, 2009 in Women Colleges

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(Brown showed they are national championship contenders last year. Alex Goff photo.)

The Brown women’s rugby football team opened the season winning the 2009 Beantown Collegiate Championship.

Brown took the title the hard way, beating reigning national champion Penn State 28-7 in the final. Brown had a tough road to the final with wins over UMASS 21-0, UCONN 54-0 and a tie against a very tough Cornell side 5-5.

The Brown B’s came out strong beating Plymouth State 24-0,  Keene State 0-0 before losing to MIT 0-20. The B’s fielded a number of new Brown players who experienced their first rugby game.

In the final Brown did well to outwork Penn Start in the loose and that pressure resulted in a series of well-worked tries through the forwards.

Brown combined an urgency in the loose with a patience in their attack – the result was a series of pick-and-jams that put senior Casey Collins over the line just 5 minutes into the match, Chelsea Garber converted and Brown led 7-0.  

Moments later Brown’s backs made something of a risky decision, executing a deep switch well inside their own half. It worked and senior captain Alicia Hartley went 60 meters for the score, Garber’s kick made it 14-0.  

More forward pick-and-jams put PSU on their back foot. That all allowed sisters Alicia and Alex Hartley to pummel them in the backs. Minutes before the break senior co-captain and prop Naomi Oberman-Breindel was rewarded with a try off a series of picks, Garner’s conversion put the halftime lead at 21-0.

The second half picked up where the first half ended with Brown deep in Penn State territory patiently working the loose play and the Brown backs breaking the PSU line. Fifteen minutes in lock Casey Collins scored, set up well by Andi Payne, Garber’s fourth conversion put her side up 28-0.

Penn State continued to deal with Brown pressure and decided to circumvent it by moving the ball wide. With five minutes to go. They came close to scoring, and then finally did, as Sadie Anderson touched down off a quick-tap penalty.

“The starting team looks strong and brings experience at every position,” said Brown head coach Kerri Heffernan. “Flankers Michelle Un and Izzy Mckinnon were outstanding throughout the tournament, [while] flyhalf Chelsea Garber missed only two kicks the entire tournament.”

Scrumhalf Blair Station and fullback Victoria Smith also earned praise.

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