No. 5 Harvard will face rival No. 1 Dartmouth today (11/17) at 1pm EST at Quinnipiac University. The NIRA Postseason Semifinals begin today with No. 2 Quinnipiac University and No. 3 Central Washington University playing at 10am EST, the Finals will be this Sunday (11/19) at 12pm EST. All of these matches will be broadcasted on The Rugby Channel.
Coach Mel Denham of Harvard Women’s Rugby discussed the team, the Fall season, beating Army, and the preparation that has gone into this week. “This team is absolutely selfless and supportive of one another. It is full of talented athletes who are driven to be great people, great athletes and always looking to improve themselves and those around them. Very special group.”
Some goals this Fall for Harvard were to, “build depth in our roster, develop our skills and take care of ourselves on and off the field.” Denham continued, “this team is very driven and supportive. Everyone really committed to that process, so things have come together in a positive way.”
Concerning last week’s matchup with No. 4 Army. “We enjoyed the challenge of playing Army and were pleased with the outcome. They are a strong team and it’s always going to be a battle with them.”
The battle turned in favor to Harvard this time, with strong execution. “We were happy with our performance, and know there are areas where we can still be better. It’s awesome now to have the opportunity to continue to improve and see how well we can play this weekend. We are looking forward to another challenge.” Playing undefeated Dartmouth will be a great challenge, the team just coming off of a 80-12 win over No. 7 AIC.
Having matched up with Dartmouth women before, “we know they play an aggressive defense and have a couple strong finishers so we will have to play smart and think tactically.”
Denham moved into what has been going on with the team this week. “We have been keeping the focus mainly on us, and doing the simple things really well so that we can go out there and play as well as we can.”
“Our forwards have been setting a strong platform for attack in the set pieces, complemented by very dynamic and skilled backs who are able to create exciting opportunities around the pitch.” Center Caitlin Weigel is an exciting player to watch, with a powerful run and heavy hits in the backline. This is supported by Number 8 Robyn Beese, a strong ball carrier and defensive wall.
No. 2 Quinnipiac University and No. 3 Central Washington University will be playing at 10am EST, the Finals will be this Sunday (11/19) at 12pm EST. All of these matches will be broadcasted on The Rugby Channel.
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