The DWRC lost in an all-out battle 27-12 to Harvard, who are back in Division I after winning the 2011 DII National Championship. Despite enjoying the majority of possession in the first half, The Big Green failed to capitalize on several opportunities in Harvard territory, with key handling errors preventing them from getting on the board.
Harvard put up the only points of the half with a try out wide in the seventh minute. Flanker Rita Montour '13 and center Sabrina Amaro '13 both had exceptional all-around performances, highlighted by several breakaways, but their outstanding play and the hard work of the rest of the team was not enough to get the job done.
Harvard opened up the scoring second half with another early try on the outside. However, Dartmouth quickly responded when winger Maddy Sturm '13 finished an impressive continuity series by dotting the ball down to put the score at 10-7. Though Dartmouth held off the continuous onslaughts from the crashing Crimson forwards, their outside backs struck again and Harvard went up 15-7. Dartmouth came back with heightened intensity as center Ashley Afranie-Sakyi '13 found some space and powered up the middle in the sixty-second minute on a seventy-meter break away to put the score at 15-12. The Harvard outside backs proved too much for the Big Green, however, and Harvard scored twice in the final minutes to secure their bid to the Northeast playoffs.
In a re-working of the tight five configuration, Nastassja Schmeidt '15 started in her first A-Side match at tighthead prop while captain Theresa Cassano '12 moved in from flanker and turned in a solid performance at loosehead prop. The Big Green pack held their own against the powerful Harvard forwards in the scrums, with hooker Rosa Van Wie '12 stealing some Crimson put-ins. Dartmouth played a well-organized team game and matched Harvard's intensity at the breakdown. Captain Theresa Cassano '12 said that despite the loss Dartmouth "showed incredible improvements throughout the season" and that she was "proud to play with a team with such heart."
The DWRC will host a match in the Northeast Playoff Consolation Bracket next Saturday at home, team TBA, and will host the Northeast Playoff Final Four and Final Four Consolation Bracket on November 5th and 6th.
Harvard 27 - Dartmouth 12
Tries: Maddy Sturm '13, Ashley Afranie-Sakyi '13
Conversions: Karoline Walter '13
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