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Rugby season is here once again, and the women from MIT have wasted no time in getting back to work on the pitch. After capturing the Division III championship at the annual Beantown College Tournament, where they blanked all four of their opponents, they were ready for the first test in their new Division. Last Saturday, the Tufts University team visited Briggs field to kick off the season with MIT.

Coming off a very successful season last year in which the Engineers were promoted from division four to division three, the ladies were excited to prove they belonged. The first half was a back and forth struggle for both Tufts and MIT. Twenty minutes into the first half, MIT struck first when outside center Rachel E. Forman G dotted down for the opening try of the season. The struggle for structured play continued to plague both teams until late in the first half when MIT’s forward pack started to make their presence known behind the play of senior prop Sarah E. Dee ’10. Off of a ruck set up by Dee and her forward mates, Captain Alyssa M. Baccarella ’11 slung the ball out to Sarah T. Gomez ’11, who quickly worked the ball down the line to wing Adedoyin T. Ogunniyi ’11 , who slid in for another try.

MIT kept the pressure on Tufts for the remainder of the half and saw a near try by Junior Caroline H. Hunting thwarted by a Tufts defender who slipped a hand under the ball before she could place it down. The score at halftime remained 10-0, MIT.

During halftime, the team was able to analyze their mistakes — as well as their opponents’ — and adjust their game play accordingly. Forty-three seconds into the second half, the forward pack scored a try, and conversion was made by Gomez for a score of 17-0. MIT’s next score came on a cross-field kick by Gomez to Samantha R. Cohen ’11, who tapped it down for her first try of the season. Tufts replied with their first score, but MIT scored twice more make the score 34-5.

MIT’s defense, led by rookie Brooke A. Jarrett ’10, clamped down on Tufts, delivered hard hits, and conceded only one try the rest of the game.

Baccarella added a final score to end the game, and the Engineers were victorious, 41-12.