Women’s rugby finishes fourth at ACRA sevens nationals
The women’s rugby team finished fourth at the American College Rugby Association sevens championship this past weekend. Hot off the heels of winning the Ivy League sevens championship the previous weekend, the team culminated its sevens-only spring season with the tournament.

The Big Green went 3-0 in its pool but dropped both Sunday games to fall to fourth place. “I think we came out really strong on Saturday, and it was really good to see all of our hard work come together,” Michaela Conway ’15 said. Saturday’s pool play pitted Dartmouth against the U.S. Air Force Academy, Iowa State University and the U.S. Naval Academy. The teams traded scores against the Falcons to start off the day. Dartmouth won that tough first match 17-12, with tries from co-captain Diana Wise ’15 and Audrey Perez ’17, who scored two. Conway converted one try. “Air Force came out with a really strong defense that was really hard to match,” co-captain Allie Brouckman ’15 said. Dartmouth then dispatched the Cyclones 26-7. Wise continued her strong performance, scoring all four of the Big Green’s tries. Conway converted on two while Tatjana Toeldte ’16 kicked one more through the uprights. Wise’s performance in the tournament earned the junior all-tournament first team honors. The 19-10 win over the Midshipmen secured the Big Green the top seed in its pool and a 3-0 record. Wise, Perez and Leandra Barrett ’15 all contributed one try, and Conway had two conversions. On Sunday, Dartmouth lost to Rutgers University, the second seed from its pool, 15-12. “I think on the first day we came out really strong and ready to play,” Conway said. “It really showed how much we had been practicing. [On Sunday,] we had the same drive but all the factors didn’t fall into place.” In the rematch against Air Force, the Falcons’ defense dominated. The team shut out the Big Green 12-0. “Air Force was formidable on both days — they have speed and athleticism,” head coach Deb Archambault said. “And they got better with every match they played. We were organized, aggressive and had great handling on Saturday, but we came out flat on Sunday morning.” Brouckman said that the players went into the season unsure of what to expect, but excelled. “We came away from this season with an Ivy League title,” she said. “We also had the first national tournament for our program.” The club’s spring season was traditionally a mix of sevens and 15s play, but this year the team focused on sevens play for the entire season. The sevens game offers more spacing and focus on the individual, which pushed the team to develop critical ball-handling skills and greater fitness levels, Brouckman said. Playing sevens this season, Wise said, was good for the team. “A lot of us didn’t have much sevens experience prior to this season,” she said. “We had to make some adjustments because some things didn’t work and some things did, so having a whole season to just focus on that was nice. Our fitness levels and our handling skills have gotten a lot better, and we’ve gotten a lot more confident.” The spring result follows a strong fall season in which the team made the Elite Eight in the ACRA 15s Championships. Only one senior played on its ACRA rosters, giving Archambault hope for future success. “I am looking forward to adding more sevens into our winter and spring schedule, and I’m very interested in seeing how the skill improvement and increased speed gained during our sevens season affects our team play in 15s this fall,” she said.
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