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Rugby Preserves Perfect Home Record with Commanding Weekend Victory

Harvard maintained it's perfect home record after downing Notre Dame College this weekend.
Harvard maintained it's perfect home record after downing Notre Dame College this weekend. By Henry Zhu
By Matthew Mu, Contributing Writer

Starting on a cold and rainy Saturday morning at Mignone Field, the Harvard rugby team handily defeated the Notre Dame College Falcons, 43-12.

“The weather was less than ideal today, so we adapted to that,” senior Caitlin Weigel said. “We were really focusing on controlling the ball and keeping possession and I think we did really well with that.”

After receiving the ball from Falcon’s kickoff, the Crimson (4-1, 3-1 Ivy) had a series of breakout runs, bringing them just short of the try line only four minutes in. Shortly afterwards, junior Delia Hellander scored and senior Jenny Kronish successfully converted, pushin Harvard out in front early, 7-0.

An offensive onslaught continued, with senior Rachael Harkavy evading the Falcons defense and bringing the Crimson up 12-0. Kronish followed up with a perfect kick, expanding the lead to 14-0.

Just seconds later, a steal by senior Akweley Okine led to a brilliant offensive flash, allowing Weigel to convert another try for the home team. Kronish once again followed up with a confident kick. Harvard built its lead to 21-0.

With the end of the half nearing, Notre Dame College (2-3) finally found some luck and broke through with a five point score. Regardless, the Crimson defense protected its turf, preventing any remaining attempts to end the frame. A large part of its competent defense was the success of its scrums.

“The girls set some goals before the game...they really wanted to maintain pressure and get their cadence going,” Harvard coach Mel Denham said, “Getting all eight working together on the scrum was something that really stood out.”

In the second half, Kronish and Weigel each scored within the first ten minutes, with Kronish going two for two on the conversion attempts and leading Harvard to 35-5. With 13 mins left, the Falcons found a break and ran away with a try, closing the gap between the squads to 35-12.

A penalty kick for the Crimson by Kronish brought the score to 38-12. Finally, a late score in the last minute by the New York native only served to expand the established Harvard lead to 43-12 and end the game.

“It was cold and there were a few handling errors, [but] there was just some really good team play,” Denham said.

The Crimson will next host Brown on Saturday, October 20, at Mignone Field.

“Next week is our last regular season game, so we’re looking to really use that game to polish up the finer points of our game and to get everyone firing on all cylinders at the same time with the same intensity,” Kronish said. “Come Ivy Championships and National playoffs, we are going to dominate and take it all the way.”

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