Bard Shows Promise in Season Opener

Fordham hosted the Bard Women’s Rugby team for its first game of the season on Saturday and, playing across the street from the Bronx Zoo, the Raptors were in beast-mode for much of the afternoon. While the final scoreline reads 41-32 to the hosts, when the second half shifted from 13s to 10s rugby, Bard turned up the heat and outscored Fordham 32-17. 

Bard Women 32 vs 41 Fordham Women

Tries: Patricia Sicat (3)

Cons: Patricia Sicat (1)

The game began encouragingly as Bard kicked to Fordham and an immediate knock-on led to possession in enemy territory. That’s where the action remained for the next ten minutes as senior Ariadne Sinnis-Bourozikas ran a tight ship at scrumhalf and an extremely wily pack anchored by a front-row of Grace Sanger-Johnson, captain Nellie Bowen, and Abby Freer dominated rucks. Bard won nearly a dozen phases consecutively deep in Fordham’s half and looked like a well-oiled machine out of the gates. While the physicality in rucks was dominated by Bard, the technicality was not quite up to the same par. Poor placements after tackles or players kicking balls going into rucks prevented Bard from scoring early and allowed Fordham to clear the end with an athletic run, keeping the game scoreless.

The Raptors then lost Sinnis-Bourozikas to injury and her steadying presence was immediately missed. Co-captain Patricia Sicat stepped into scrumhalf, moving Tilly Barickman to flyhalf, Amber Fowlie to center and Lou Rosenblatt to fullback. The offense lost its fluidity and Fordham gained confidence. Rosenblatt threw themself around, making a couple try-saving tackles and looking like an experienced veteran despite being their first game; they did their best to keep the score 0-0 nearly 20 minutes into the game. While individual players made their tackles, the backline defense did not always look like a unit and too often Bard did not come up to meet ball-carriers. Eventually, Bard’s backs not coming up allowed Fordham to score the first try and gain a 7-0 edge. The hosts added three more tries to take a 24-0 halftime lead and Bard’s confidence seemed shaken.

The second half, however, was played with 10 players per side and, with more open field, the Bard players thrived. They could’ve folded at the half when their captain Bowen and Rosenblatt joined Sinnis-Bourozikas on the sidelines with injuries, but instead rallied and ran up the score in the second half. Bard scored the first try of the half and Sicat converted making it 24-7. Then, Bard added the next try making it 24-12 and getting back into the game. Fowlie, in her first game action, bumped into scrumhalf and showed immense potential; at one point, she ran about 40 meters and made three solo tackles to prevent a try! Offensively, she had some incredibly athletic runs and generally decent passes. This also allowed Sicat and Barickman to move back to flyhalf and center respectively where they each excel. The 9-10-12 unit of Fowlie-Sicat-Barickman was an absolute nuisance in the second half; they supported each other and demonstrated poise, knowing when to offload and when to take the ball to ground for a ruck. Each was a threat to score, including a nifty runback off a kickoff from Barickman that almost went all the way. All in all, Bard’s backline was an offensive threat that Forhdam simply could not contain in the second half. Sicat ended the day with three tries but Barickman and Fowlie aided and abetted the attack.

Up front, the pack also had more room to run in the second half and took advantage. Sanger-Johnson and Freer both made some powerful romps down the field without yielding in the rucks. Freshman Rhayne Orta became more involved in the play as she gained experience in her first game action. The scrum looked much improved, also, as Bard scored three tries directly out of scrum plays in the second half!

At the end, Bard put up 32 points to Fordham’s 41. Still, Bard has to feel extremely proud of their effort and encouraged moving forward. 

Bard players: 

1) Grace Sanger-Johnson 2) Nellie Bowen 3) Abby Freer 4) Rhayne Orta 

9) Ariadne Sinnis-Bourozikas 10) Patricia Sicat 11) Lou Rosenblatt 12) Tilly Barickman 15) Amber Fowlie 

*Forhdam provided subs to fill in missing positions

Before the bruises attained their fulfillment

Bard College Women’s Rugby: Tri-State 7s Championship

Bard & Marist Form “Barist” Team to Compete In Championship

Poughkeepsie, NY (04/28/2019)— On April 28, a trio of Bard players trekked to Vassar for the Tri-State 7s Rugby Championship. They joined forces with five Marist freshmen to form a “Barist” team that competed valiantly against three experienced sides. Despite cold and rainy conditions and a lack of organization that came from not having played together previously, the “Barist” team played physically and deserves commendation for their efforts.

Continue reading Bard College Women’s Rugby: Tri-State 7s Championship

Bard Manhandles Manhattanville & Defeats Drew On Home Turf

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (04/13/2019) — Last fall, Manhattanville visited Bard and defeated the hosts handily in a game of 12s; this spring, the script was flipped. With a slip ‘n’ slide for a field and the temperatures pushing 80 degrees, revenge was best served wet and hot as Bard ran the score up to 29-0 after the first half versus the Valiants. Manhattanville, who sent up two full sides, played a close game with Drew before Bard also played Drew and beat their New Jersey guests after a courageous last-minute defensive stand.

Game 1: Bard College Women 29 vs. 15 Manhattanville College Women

Tries: Leah Leiner (2), Ariadne Sinnis-Bourozikas (1), Tilly Barickman (1), Nellie Bowen (1)
Conversions: Patricia Sikat (2)

This was Bard’s first game of the spring and the first half saw a barrage of tries from the home team. It didn’t take long as Bard scored within the first minute to the delight of cheering fans. In a truly all-around effort, the Raptors kept piling on the tries: captain Leah Leiner scored twice, Tilly Barickman sped into the try-zone for the first time in her career, Nellie Bowen and Ariadne Sinnis-Bourozikas got in on the action and Patricia Sikat made a couple of difficult conversions. While rookie Niskua Medina may not have reached the promised land beyond the try-line, no solo tackler brought her down all afternoon; the former roller-derby player is a nightmare to stop.

Sikat, whose presence is ubiquitous whenever she stays on the field, had the play of the day in the first half. She made an annihilating tackle and popped up to poach, but was rucked out by two Valiants. Unfazed, she pumped her legs and single-handedly overtook the opposing ruckers, which led to scrumhalf Sinnis-Bourozikas picking, dummying, juking and scoring. Sinnis-Bourozikas ran a tight ship all day, demonstrating the leadership necessary from a halfback; teammates need to learn from her example and communicate with each other at all times. Captain Leah Leiner rained stiffarms left and right and didn’t shy from tackling significantly larger women, and Bowen is a reliable, steady force for the team. Barickman is a speedster with the right attitude and paired nicely with Sikat who found a new home in the back-line, combining for multiple scores. The hosts let off the gas in the second half and gave up a try when they did not set up quickly for a penalty conceded and another by misplaying a scrum, but still managed to cruise to the win.

Game 2: Bard College Women 12 vs. 10 Drew University Women

Tries: Patricia Sikat (2)
Conversions: Patricia Sikat (1)

In recent history, Bard has played many close matches with Drew and this game proved no different. Each team was a bit winded by the time this, the final game of the afternoon, rolled around. Not only had Bard played its own game already, but most of their players joined the Drew women in a match versus Manhattanville. The fatigue showed; whereas in its first game, Bard took the ball eagerly into contact and made wise offloads, this game saw too many ill-advised, contact-aversion offloads. On the other side, at times, the defense did not come up, which led to gaps that Drew tried to exploit.

Still, Bard played physically, making their tackles and containing Drew. It was encouraging to see every Raptor swoop in, eager to bring their opponents down. Drew had the opportunity to win the game in the final couple minutes, all spent within five meters of their try-zone. They were turned away multiple times, however, by Bard’s brave goal-line defenders. In the end, each team put in two tries, but a conversion from Sikat was the difference in this one.

Big thanks go out to David Lindholm and the athletics department for its support all year, including in setting up the field; Bard EMS for being onsite throughout the afternoon; Building & Grounds for providing supplies; and friends for coming out to cheer the women on. Bard and Drew enjoyed the day after the final whistle, staying to have a BBQ and soak up the sun.

Bard will try to build on its success as it prepares for the Tri State 7s Championships at Vassar College on April 28.