No. 5 Dartmouth Big Green (7-1) vs.
No. 4 AIC Yellow Jackets (3-5)
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 – 5:00 p.m.
Springfield, Mass. – Ronald J. Abdow Field
The Dartmouth women’s rugby team will head out on the road Saturday to take on American International College (AIC) in the quarterfinals of the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) national tournament.
HOW WE GOT HERE
The Big Green earned a spot in the national postseason for the second time in as many years thanks to winning the 2016 Ivy Rugby Championship last Sunday in Cambridge. Top-seeded Dartmouth took down the second-seeded and host team in Harvard, 14-5, securing a spot in the NIRA Championship.
Saturday, Oct. 29 Ivy Semifinals:
No. 1 Central Washington – BYE
No. 2 Quinnipiac vs. No. 7 West Chester
No. 3 Army West Point vs. No. 6 Norwich
No. 4 American International College vs. No. 5 Dartmouth
LAST TIME OUT
The Big Green overcame a 5-0 halftime deficit to score twice and convert on both tries in the final frame to earn the nine-point win against the host Crimson. Freshman Isabel Boettcher and junior Frankie Sands were responsible for the two tries with the latter coming on an incredible run that earned DartmouthSports.com Plays of the Week honors as well as being named the Female Athlete of the Week. The comeback helped Dartmouth secure its second straight Ivy Rugby title.
The Big Green and Yellow Jackets comprise the 4/5 matchup in this year’s seven-team tournament. Despite Dartmouth’s season-opening victory, AIC was ranked ahead of the Big Green and will play host in Saturday’s quarterfinal contest.
- The Yellow Jackets got off to a bumpy start in 2016, losing their first three games to Dartmouth (22-24), Quinnipiac (0-44) and Army (14-37). Since then, AIC has rebounded, going 3-2 over the final five games of the fall.
- In the regular-season finale, the Jackets nearly pulled the upset bid at Quinnipiac, falling just short in a 38-36 loss.
- AIC might have played the toughest schedule in the nation this year as all eight of their games came against teams who would reach the NIRA tournament.
Not only did sophomore Kat Ramage connect on both of her conversions Sunday, she also was instrumental in setting up the tries that led to her kicks. In both instances, Ramage was the player who got the ball out wide to both Boettcher and Sands on their scores.
Dartmouth is looking to rebound from last season’s postseason disappointment. The Big Green were also the five-seed last year, but actually hosted the game against Norwich at Brophy Field. Dartmouth fell, 14-7, to the Cadets, finishing their 15s season 7-2.
The winner of Saturday’s game in Springfield will advance to the NIRA Semifinals, which are held this year at West Point. The top-seeded Central Washington team that earned an automatic bye into the semifinal will be the opponent waiting on the outcome of the Dartmouth/AIC tilt.
COACH DOWTY'S KEYS TO SUCCESS
Depth: The depth of our roster continues to be key in our ability to play deep into the post-season and add a second-half spark in tight, competitive matches.
Heart: We've become known for our relentless defense, but at the core of that defense is the unbelievable heart and resilience of this team. Our high success rate at the tackle stems from a fierce, tireless mindset, and will be a major factor against AIC's strong ball carriers.
Execution: In closely contested matches like those we are seeing in the post-season, it all comes down to who can execute their game plan better under pressure. We know we can rely on our defense to keep the opposition at bay, but we need to put points up on the board to beat the other top teams in the country.
- head coach Katie Dowty
Those looking to follow the action Saturday at AIC can do so by watching a live video stream at AICYellowJackets.tv. Fans also looking for in-game details and insights are also encouraged to follow the team’s official Twitter account: @DartmouthWRugby.