Charles River Women Inches Short in Season Opener

In the inaugural game of the spring 2013 season, Charles River fell to perennial rival North Shore, as the Monsoons edged the Rats 22-17.  The Orange and Green had rallied late, staging a comeback after gaining momentum in the second half of a pack-heavy match.  The rally cry was dramatically silenced, though, as in the final play the referee ruled that North Shore had held up a Charles River try attempt that would have tied the game.  After the ruling, the referee blew his whistle to signal the close of the match.

The Rats showed strong promise in their opening contest, having practiced only twice, and featuring several new faces in their starting lineup.  The Rat Pack scrummed well, gaining energy and momentum as they coalesced over the course of the match.  The energetic flankers of the Lady Rats, Susan Lackey and Kara McAuliffe, were formidable foes against the North Shore flyhalf and loose forwards.  Each had several runs, including a try assist by McAuliffe.  8-Man Christina “C” Andronico melded strategy with speed, punching in one of River’s three tries.  Jen Garner played a noteworthy match, filling big shoes in the wake of the retirement of one of River’s key forwards.  She hooked very well until an injury forced her from the game.  Debuting for Charles River in her stead, Hooker Megan Tenca made her foray into women’s club rugby after retiring from the Holy Cross Crusaders.  Newcomer Jamie Carrillo started at Outside Center; Carrillo ran well, punching several carries through the defense.  The ever-steady 2nd row combination of Anne “Wales” Beaumont and Jess Packard helped River maintain ball possession through its carries.  Beaumont would also assist on River’s second try, after she plowed through several North Shore defenders before dishing to Wing Katy Wilks running in support.  Wilks drove the ball into the corner of the try zone for the score.

Despite maintaining the lion’s share of possession time, particularly in the second half, Charles River fell victim to several North Shore runs, having some trouble adjusting away from breakdowns.  Charles River was also heavily penalized during the match, not yet having settled into clean, mid-season form.  Despite the untimely possession losses, fullback Alex Schmidt policed the back of the line extremely well.  In loose play, she ably chased down and returned most of North Shore’s frequent kicks.  Schmidt would earn a Woman of the Match nod, as North Shore’s selection for their visitors.  Other Stars of the Game, named by Captains Junguenet and Maegan Hoover, were Garner, at #2, and Carrillo, at #13.

Charles River handily tipped the scoreboard in B-side play.  Having lacked many subs in the A-side, River shuffled its lineup to diversify for the second game.  Afforded some additional room to run, Maegan Hoover unleashed, touching down four tries and putting her evasive running on full display.  She would earn North Shore’s Player of the Game award for the B-side.  Carrillo, moving to Inside Center, touched down her first score as a Charles River Rat.  Sabrina Neuman stepped in at lock in the pack, while veteran rugger Karen Smith returned to Prop after a lengthy absence due to an injury.  Smith impressed in her return, earning the Star of the Game from Charles River’s Captains.  Veteran Linda Morris, an able Flanker, generously took a turn at Wing after an injury challenged a River back line already lacking any available substitutes.  Flanker Kara McAuliffe relieved Morris on the outside for the final fifteen minutes.  All told, River played a second side with much promise, displaying skill from newcomers like Alex Zadel, playing in her sophomore season with the Rats, alongside its balanced veteran talent.

Charles River would like to thank North Shore for hosting them for a competitive match, and for the post-game social.  River also thanks the fans that traveled to catch the match.  The Lady Rats will take on local rival Beantown this Sunday, April 7th, as they travel to Sudbury for the 11AM kickoff.