November 23, 2010
The women's side won the NRU Championship this past weekend and will be going onto Nationals again this year. This year the format of the National tournament had changed with USA Rugby formally recognizing DII women's rugby and all seven territories now sending a team. As a result, only one seed from the Northeast would advance, not the usual two. It was win or go home: We had finished the regular season 4-1 with our only lost coming against (final score: 30-15). As a result, Portland had the #1 seed and Albany was #2. This meant we would face the #1 seed from Met NY, Monmouth.
Our semi-final started out with both teams playing strong, Monmouth was especially tough at the breakdowns. Albany settled into the game quickly however and spent most of the first ten minutes in Monmouth's half. 13 minutes later and our hard efforts paid off with Ruth Robertson running in for a try and JoAnne Kos converting. The next 20 minutes of the match was much of the same with Albany applying steady pressure inside the Monmouth 22- the consistent effort was rewarded with a penalty kick and an unconverted try, both by JoAnne Kos. The last 5 minutes of the half saw Monmouth threatening to score as they parked themselves in front of the Albany try-line, but the girls put in a great defensive effort. Score at half would be 15-0 Albany.
Second half was almost a repeat of the first with steady pressure in the opening minutes paying off with a try and conversion (both by JoAnne Kos). Most of the half would see neither team able to score. Willow Eyers put the proverbial nail in the Monmouth's coffin at the 30 minute mark with a long run down the touch-line, JoAnne Kos converted and the score would remain 29-0 until the final whistle.
November 24, 2010
Sunday saw the girls tired and sore from their semi-final game but eager to avenge their regular season loss to Portland. Both teams took the field confident that they would win and first half was indicative of that- neither team would score a try and although Albany worked incredibly hard in front of the Portland try-zone, their efforts amounted to two converted penalty kicks (JoAnne Kos). Score was 6-0 at the half, meaning just one converted try would put Portland in the lead in what was turning out to be a great defensive battle. Albany hit the second-half hard, determined not to let a close game get away from them. Within a minute JoAnne Kos ran in from about 15 meters out to give the team a little breathing room. Ten minutes later and Willow Eyers get her second try of the tournament and score was 16-0 with about 30 minutes left in the match. (In our regular season match, Portland scored 3 tries on us in half that time so a 16-0 lead was anything but comfortable). True to form, Portland came charging back pressuring consistently in our 22, the pressure worked and we let in an unconverted try. Score was 16-5 with 20 minutes left in the match. Rest of the game was back and forth, played mostly between the 22's. (The forwards particularly hated one sequence where the backs traded kicks for about 6 phases in a row). With 7 minutes left in the match Ruth Robertson had a long break-away in which she out-ran all of the Portland defenders, to make the score 21-5. The score would hold and the match ended with the team exhausted but happy that they were back-to-back NRU Champions and would be headed to Arizona as the #3 seed in the country.
October 9, 2010
Albany 95- Burlington 5
Last regular season game for the club and our last home match as well. Albany looked forward to hosting Burlington as they were always a fun club both on and off the field. Burlington had had some close matches against our other league opponents this fall and in order for Albany to control their own fate and make play-offs we needed to win the match, so the team was ready to play and to play hard. The day also saw the return of some of the a-side players that we had been missing in the Portland game as well. As evident from the score line, Albany was able to exploit the defensive weaknesses of a young Burlington team. It started with a try at the 30 second mark by Ruth Robertson and didn't stop until nine different Albany players found the try zone, three of them more than once. Ruth was the leading try scorer on the day with 4 tires. With the victory Albany heads to the Northeast play-offs as the second seed behind Portland, on October 23rd. Scoring summary: JoAnne Kos 1 try, 10 conversions; Ruth Robertson 4 tries; Beth Fairall 2 tries; Rachel Start 2 tries; Kristin Bonomo, Claudia Braymer, Angie Craig, Tracy Cooper, Willow Eyers all had one try each A-side MVP: Rachel Start (for some really nice scoring runs and her excellent tackling at flanker) B-side MVP: Mary Pezzulo (for her hard work and excellent all around play)
October 2, 2010
Portland 30- Albany 15
First week in October saw Albany on the road again to take on their toughest opponent of the season. Two seasons ago, Portland had ended Albany's play-off hopes and Albany returned the favor by ending Portland's play-off chances with a last minute victory last year. The game was going to be close and hard-fought and the outcome was anything but certain for either club. The billing proved to be true- it was an exciting match to watch with the lead changing 6 times over the course of the day. Portland got on the board with first with a penalty kick at the 6 min mark. 12 minutes later Albany got on the board with a try by Lauren Sirkin, 5-3 Albany. At the 24 min mark Portland got their first try, 8-5 Portland. In injury time just before the half, JoAnne Kos scored and converted her own try to give Albany the lead again, 12-5. Second half saw Portland score in the first couple of minutes to go up by one, 13-12. 10 minutes later Albany capitalized on a penalty in front of the Portland posts to take what turned out to be their last lead of the match, 15-13. Shortly after that, Albany had a huge 10 minute lapse in defense that saw Portland run three tries thru their defenses. Last seven minutes of the game saw Albany re-double their defensive efforts but the damage was done and the final score was 30-15. Not the outcome hoped for but a chance for the club to re-focus and adjust as they headed into their last regular season match. Scoring summary: JoAnne Kos 1 try, 1 conversion, 1 penalty kick; Lauren Sirkin 1 try A-side MVP: Mary Pezzulo (for her high work-rate at the breakdowns, hard runs and composure at prop) B-side MVP: Caitlin Casey (for some excellent runs on the wing and her spirited play)
September 25, 2010
Albany 32- Seacoast 0
Third game of the season saw the Albany women back at home to take on Seacoast, always a tough league opponent. In keeping with the first two weeks of the season, the weather was again sunny and warm. Seacoast arrived early and was ready to play, there was no doubt that they had every intention of leaving with a victory. If Albany was going to come out with a victory, we had to play at our best. First-half saw solid play in the forwards that gave the backs a stable base to attack from. We were able to put their defense under pressure early, especially with Kristin Bonomo's hard runs up the center. Eventually the pressure paid off and Albany was able to get three tries in the first-half (at the 7min, 14min and 28min marks). Score was 17-0 at the half. Second half started off with a quick score by Beth Fairall, from that point on the match was a stalemate with neither club able to capitalize on opportunities with points. The scoring drought ended at the 27 min mark with a drop-goal by JoAnne Kos. Another try at 33 min by Kristin Bonomo ended the scoring for the day.
Scoring summary: JoAnne Kos 1 try, 2 conversions, 1 drop goal; Beth Fairall 2 tries; Kristin Bonomo 1 try; Ruth Robertson 1 try
A-side MVP: Kristin Bonomo (for her effective, hard runs up the middle and smothering tackles at inside center)
B-side MVP: Lauren Sirkin (for her excellent heads-up play and long runs out on the wing)
September 18, 2010
Albany 66- Worcester 5
First road trip of the season for the club and Albany traveled strong on another warm and sunny early fall day. Worcester is a club with a long history in New England rugby and even though our past several match-ups have seen lop-sided score lines, they always play with a lot of heart and this game was no different. They were tough at the breakdowns and played hard all game long. Albany was able to take advantage of Worcester's developing back-line, and despite the narrow field, we were able to exploit their defense for 9 tries. The forwards added a try of their own when Janelle Fayette powered in late in the game. Beth Fairall was the leading try scorer with 3 tries. JoAnne Kos was 7/7 on conversions and Jenna Watson became the youngest scorer in our club's history, who at the age of 15, converted our last try of the match.
Scoring summary: JoAnne Kos 2 tries, 7 conversions; Beth Fairall 3 tries; Tracy Cooper 1 try; Willow Eyers 1 try; Janelle Fayette 1 try; Kate Fuller 1 try; Ruth Robertson 1 try; Jenna Watson 1 conversion
A-side MVP: Angie Craig (for tireless efforts at the breakdowns, hard runs and excellent tackling at flanker)
B-side MVP: Hannah Whipple (for her strong go-forward style of play and great support all game long at flanker)
September 11, 2010
Albany 40- Hartford 0
Sunny and hot weather greeted Albany as they opened up their 2010 season at home against Hartford. Hartford has always been a formidable opponent- tough in the forwards with excellent defense in their back-line. Last year Albany escaped with a one point victory off a last minute score, so we were expecting a battle for a home opener. We got on the board quickly with a try by Ruth Robertson at the 4 min mark, JoAnne Kos missed the conversion but it would be the last time she would miss a kick on the day as she went 5 of 6. The next 15 minutes saw the team working out their early-season kinks and we tested the Hartford defense but weren't able to capitalize. At the 20 min mark Beth Fairall got in off a nice run when she slotted into the back-line from fullback. Kate Fuller finished the scoring just before the half with a try of her own. Score was 19-0 at the half, a deficit that Hartford could easily turn around on our club if we let down in the second-half. Fortunately the second 40 minutes saw much of the same from Albany and we ran in three more tries (at 9min, 18min and 25min). Overall a well-played match and a great start to the season.
Scoring summary: JoAnne Kos 1 try, 5 conversions; Beth Fairall 2 tries; Ruth Robertson 2 tries; Kate Fuller 1 try
A-side MVP: Kate Fuller (for her great fielding of kicks and nice runs at wing)
B-side MVP: Kristin King (for her fearless play and hard-charging runs on the wing)
Albany's competitive DII women's rugby club.