Lady Rats fall to Portland, Highlight Newcomers in B-side against Boston Women’s

At Moakley Park last weekend, Charles River fell to Portland, tipping the Lady Rats’ record to 1-2 in their new division.  A strong and organized Portland pack gave River trouble up front, and an impressive performance from Portland’s fullback challenged River persistently with open field bursts.  The usually supportive Charles River had trouble coalescing, and saw frequent turnovers after first phases.  Some controversial calls by the referee also ruffled the Rats, who had one of their tries overturned while two of Portland’s scores came under heavy scrutiny.  Overall, though, the Lady rats failed to muster the energy to sustain an offensive against their visitors.  Bright spots for Charles River came in the form of a nifty try from fullback Maegan Hoover, and several try-saving tackles and impressive runs by wing Katy Wilks.  Steady locks Jess Packard and Anne “Wales” Beaumont modeled consistency in a match where River was struggling to gather any.  The formidable Susan Lackey impressed with her tackling prowess, as always.  Despite some bright spots, at the final whistle the visiting Portland squad had amassed 25 points to River’s 7.  River’s lone attending captain, Amanda Martin, acknowledged wing Katy Wilks and lock Jessica Packard as MVPs of the match for the Rats.  Portland gave the nod to River’s veteran flyhalf Alex Schmidt.

For Charles River’s second match, the Rats were slated to play the B-side of Boston Women’s Rugby, a Division 1 club.  Owing to a laundry list of injuries and absences, though, much of Boston’s A-side entered the match against River’s second squad.  The young guns of the Orange and Green banded together, bringing all they had to challenge a very strong Boston team.  A fresh new front row graced the pitch for River, with newcomers Emily and Elyza Chadwick propping for rookie hooker Alex Zadel.  Sabrina Neuman came in to lock for River’s pack, and newcomer Rachel Gaffney debuted at #8.  Jen Garner, flanking, played a tremendous match for Charles River.  Garner made several difficult tackles to inhibit the forward movement of Boston runners.  Garner’s mirror, veteran Linda Morris, also played well at flanker.  With Boston surging forward, #9 Geni Beninati scooped the ball adroitly from rucks and scrums.  Beninati impressed at scrumhalf before suffering a foot injury that pulled her from the game.

With an aggressive Boston back line pressuring River’s every move, flyhalf Alicia Scahill had to be poised to move on both offense and defense.  Scahill made several key tackles in River’s end, proving to be a formidable defensive fortress through the hinge of the line.  Rookie Center Bridgette Macfadden brought her power to the middle of the line, while experienced rookie Casey Gavin impressed at wing.  Gavin has continued to improve each game for River, displaying quick thinking under pressure, and growing into a formidable tackler.  The wily Rats displayed unwavering tenacity, despite being largely overmatched in this bout.  At the referee’s final whistle, Charles River came together to celebrate a unified effort against a very challenging opponent.  Captain Amanda Martin acknowledged Alicia Scahill as the MVP for the B-side, for her calmness under pressure and her strong defensive play, and Jen Garner, who made several eye-catching defensive plays during the match.

Charles River would like to thank Portland for traveling to Moakley Park, and Boston Women’s for providing a full B-side match.  They would also like to thank the fans that came to support both sides, and Stadium Bar & Grill for hosting the teams during the post-game social.