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April 27, 2012
Vol. 53 No. 22

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Rugby tries, tries again vs. Huskies

SHUTTING IT DOWN
Courtesy of Minni Renna
SHUTTING IT DOWN - The Susquehanna and Franklin & Marshall packs get ready to scrum down.
SHUTTING IT DOWN
Courtesy of Minni Renna
SHUTTING IT DOWN - A Crusader makes a tackle.
SHUTTING IT DOWN
Courtesy of Minni Renna
SHUTTING IT DOWN - Freshman lock Gloria Darko charges upfield.
Looking at the final score of the Susquehanna women's rugby game against Bloomsburg on Saturday, it's hard to believe the Crusaders were losing 10-5 at halftime. A strong second half propelled the team to a 43-10 win over the visiting Huskies.
Bloomsburg, a Division II club, maintained most of the possession in Susquehanna's (3-0-1) end of the field for the first 10 minutes, and it paid off when the Huskies took a quick-tap penalty and worked the ball left for the winger to score in the corner.
"Bloom was able to read the field well," club president Becca Tutela said. "On defense we were not always set up as we should have been and this gave an advantage to Bloom."
The Crusaders had a scoring opportunity when sophomore hooker Becca Sokoloff barged over the try line, but Bloomsburg got underneath and held the ball up, preventing the score. Tutela later said she considered Sokoloff the MVP for the game, referencing her tough aggressive play.
Strong ball carrying from freshman lock Gloria Darko, junior outside center Carly Kuhns, and junior fullback Lauren Strella brought the Crusaders close, before Kuhns sprinted 20 meters for a try. Senior flyhalf Amanda Bittner's conversion fell short, leaving the score at 5-5.
Bloomsburg responded shortly before halftime with an unconverted try, making the score 10-5.
During the break, Kuhns emphasized taking the attack to Bloomsburg. Junior flanker Tutela advised her team to use more forward plays.
Tutela said, "[The forwards] knew what they were supposed to do but it was not until the second half of the game that they were really able to turn the play around by keeping possession and supporting the back line."
The second half was all Susquehanna. The Huskies were called for coming in the side of the ruck and Susquehanna took advantage of the quick tap, passing the ball to freshman inside center Katie Benton who stretched over the line. Bittner landed the conversion to give the Crusaders the lead.
Despite Bloomsburg's size advantage, the Susquehanna forwards consistently pushed them back in the scrums and rucks, winning possession to create a steady platform for the backs.
"I think that it was clear in the game that our forwards were just as strong as Bloomsburg's and in fact were able to overpower them at certain times," Tutela added.
Benton soon scored her second try off another big run by Kuhns. Bittner's conversion increased the lead to 19-10.
Unconverted tries by Kuhns and Tutela brought the score to 31-10. With time winding down, the Crusaders stole a Bloomsburg lineout, leading to junior winger Sarah Martin's 30-meter sprint for a converted try.
Susquehanna's final score came off a scrum deep in Bloomsburg's half. Senior number eight Kara Jerez was tackled and the ball was passed to Bittner, who gave an inside switch to Kuhns for the try. Kuhns ended the match with a hat trick in the decisive 43-10 win.
The team ends its season at home versus Juniata on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

SPORTS HEADLINES

Track channels inner Greyhound at Moravian invite

Softball reaches new high in sweep of Dutchmen

Crusaders advance to finals with 5-4 win

Women's lacrosse hangs on for 16-12 win over McDaniel

Rugby tries, tries again vs. Huskies

Crusaders edged in last conference matchup

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