Charles River again took to the road, traveling to Springfield for a morning match with the Rifles. River catapulted out of the gate, scoring in the first minute on an adept switch between flyhalf Alex Schmidt and inside center Amanda Martin. Fullback Maegan Hoover capped the try with a 2-point conversion. The Lady Rats rested on their early score, though, settling into strong play, but lacking the starting-gun aggression. Despite threatening several times, Charles River would struggle to score again. With the ball funneled to the center of the pitch for much of play, the Rat Pack controlled the flow. Loose forwards Susan Lackey (flanker), Linda Morris (flanker), and Kara McAuliffe (#8) stalked Amoskeag’s flyhalf and loose forwards, caging them and forcing turnovers. River’s tight-5 put in a herculean effort, packing down repeatedly after numerous knock-ons perpetrated by both sides in slippery conditions. Julie Trautwein, Lisa Natalicchio, Nina Rόma Agvanian, Jess Packard and Jordan Ciciliano gathered recurrently in scrums, battling proficiently against a strong Rifle pack.
In the second half, the Rifles gathered themselves, pushing Charles River into deep defensive territory. The stodgy Rats orchestrated a ten-minute goal line stand, where they held the encroaching Springfield ladies, holding up a try in the process. Relieved by flyhalf Alex Schmidt’s kicks, the Rats began to counter. Charles River pushed down the pitch, holding Springfield back on turnovers, and gaining steadily whenever they managed to spin a slippery ball out wide. River’s insurance try came on a nifty weak side play, again devised by flyhalf Alex Schmidt. Schmidt dished the ball to wing Sarah “Bee” Wetherbee, who stiff-armed one defender before heading for the corner of the try zone on a slide. The touch-down made the score 12-0 for the Rats, providing some much-needed breathing room. A resilient Springfield countered, finally scoring at the end of the match when the Rifles’ inside center cut through the line and tore in on a breakaway. There would be no other Springfield surges, though, as the referee’s whistle signaled the end of the game soon thereafter. With the final score 12-5, the Rats gained their fifth win of the spring season. Captain Amanda Martin acknowledged fullback Maegan Hoover for her timely last-line tackles and pressure-relieving kicks, and lock Jordan Ciciliano, who has consistently impressed this season in the pack. Springfield named flyhalf Alex Schmidt, whose play calls led to both River tries, as their chooice for MVP from the Lady Rats.
Charles River would like to thank Amoskeag and Springfield for hosting them for well-fought, competitive matches. Final Score, 12-5. The Lady Rats will travel to Burlington this upcoming Saturday the 12th for their final regular-season contest.