The Furies made history on Saturday as they joined the growing ranks of women’s teams successfully fielding two competitive 15s sides. Taking on local competitors NoVa 2 in the Mid-Atlantic Conference Plate Championship, the Furies Division 2 squad battled it out to finish fifth overall in the expansive regional bracket.
The Furies kicked-off at the start of the game, but regained possession and quickly settled in to their game plan, going through phases and putting the visiting team on their heels. Crashing through the defense, Co-Captain Tara Dunderdale (1) touched it down for an early 5-0 lead. The two teams then battled for possession before a break-away by the Furies back line dotted down a second try on the outside, gaining a 10-0 lead.
The game stayed physical as the teams traded for possession, and each faced tough defense from their opposition. They traded penalties and knock-ons for the rest of the half as both teams failed to find holes in the other line.
Setting up to receive the ball at the start the second half, the Furies regrouped to finish strong on a day when the weather seemed finally ready to cooperate. Quickly, the ball got out to the back line and Rachel Horsey (15) made a strong break, pinning her defender before popping off to Team Captain Suzanne Haggerty (9) who touched it down wide. Suzanne then made the conversion from the sideline putting the Furies up 17-0.
Maintaining possession through seven phases, the Furies found themselves facing a wall of purple jerseys, unable to gain forward momentum. Strong tackles, picks, and line breaks from Jenna Truax (13), Sonia Steckler (6), and Keemi Ereme (4) helped keep the ball in the Furies’ hands, but NoVa answered back with strong runs out of their back line. Fresh legs off the blue and gold bench helped keep the shutout going as a light rain started to fall.
With a penalty inside their 22, NoVa kicked to touch but Casey Lyons (16) kept it in bounds and gained ground for the Furies again. Building on the momentum, the home team continued to march down the field, coming together and executing plays using the width of the pitch. A scrum to DC deep in NoVa’s territory opened it up for a team try. Flyhalf Kerstin “Toad” Nordstrom got the ball out to Lindsey Riddell in the back line to touch it down. Another conversion from Suzanne and the Furies found themselves up 24-0 with only a few minutes left in the season.
Fielding the kickoff, Captain Suzanne zig-zagged down the field with her Co-Captain Tara running in support. When the defenders finally caught the scrumhalf, the prop was there for the pick-and-go, setting a ruck and moving NoVa backwards. Quick hands delivered the ball to Lindsey Riddell once again, who reached over her would-be-tackler to touch it down and get one final try in for the home team.
The 29-0 shutout win was an exclamation point on this inaugural Div 2 season for the Furies. Suzanne Haggerty took home a well-deserved POM for her leadership, communication, and strong all-around play. While the Furies are proud of their solid finish in their freshman season, all eyes look toward fall when they will be hungry for one of the top spots in the highly competitive MAC bracket. But not before taking a quick break for 7s of course. Stay tuned as both the weather and the competition heat up for the Summer 7’s program.