Heading in their final fall 15s game against Harvard Saturday, Dartmouth seemed primed to give a special performance in front of a raucous Homecoming crowd. By no means did they disappoint. Outperforming a determined Harvard defense right from the opening whistle, the Big Green dispatched the Crimson 62-0.
The win capped off a third straight undefeated run through the conference for Dartmouth. The team has now won 12 of the last 15 Ivy Championships, including the last five in a row.
While they’ll still need to get through the Ivy Wildcard playoff in the spring to ensure a spot in the National Division I-AA Championships, the players were still appreciative of what they’ve accomplished. Such was especially the case among the seniors on the team, who are now one of only four classes to have won four Ivy titles during their time in Hanover. “It's a massive accomplishment for our seniors, and a huge testament to the work they've put in over the past four years. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the journey,” said Nate Brakeley. But he also took time to look forward what still lies ahead for the team, especially the Ivy 7s Tournament to be played in two weeks time. “Certainly we have a bit of a chip on our shoulder from last year's tournament, and I think we can use this momentum from the 15s season to really step up our 7s game.”
Dartmouth took the play to the Crimson right from the opening kick, keeping the ball in Harvard’s territory early on. While they couldn’t get the ball over the try line because of some stout Crimson defense, eventually they were able to get a penalty inside the 22. Wing Justin Ciambella ’13 calmly knocked home the kick for the 3-0 lead.
The Big Green wouldn’t have to settle for penalties for much longer, as wing Kevin Clark ’14 put in the first try to make the lead 10-0. Flyhalf and co-captain Bill Lehmann ’12 would be next to score, getting the senior class involved in the action to extend the advantage to 17-0. Two tries from fullback Madison Hughes ’15 and another from Clark closed out the first half, making the score 36-0 heading into the break.
In the 2nd half, Hughes would add another before a pair of seniors–center Clark Judge ’12 and No. 8 /Captain Paul Jarvis–put in tries of their own to punctuate their final games on Brophy Field. While the 55-0 lead that resulted from these scores was more than enough, Ciambella decided to add a little closing fireworks, racing the ball up the touch line before evading few defenders on the last play of the game to make the final score 62-0.
With the Fall 15s season in the background, the team will now transition into 7s mode in preparation for the Ivy League Rugby 7s Championships. The one-day tournament will be held at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA on Saturday, Nov. 5th.
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