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.
Game 1: Bard College Women 0 vs. 30 Marist College Women
During the first game, Marist’s “A” side played against a team comprised of majority Marist freshmen! All things considered, the “Barist” team played a tough game. Patricia Sikat had a couple of decent kickoff returns, including one with a well-timed offload to teammate Nellie Bowen, a steady and consistent presence in the forwards. Unfortunately, Bowen lost the ball in contact when it was poached from a slow-forming ruck. Freshman Tilly Barickman did her best to keep the team in the game with a host of tackles, but the lack of ball retention was impossible to overcome. For “Barist,” Marist players were often zigging while Bard’s players zagged and the lack of cohesion was understandable and evident. Still, the “Barist” side had too many players go alone into tackles and not enough players stepped up in rucks.
Game 2: Bard College Women 0 vs. 15 RPI Women
The second game saw a noticeable improvement from the “Barist” side. Bard (and Marist) tackled well and Barickman once again showed off her speed. She needs to work on protecting the ball when she does go into contact, although her ability to get away from tacklers is enviable. This game, Bard attempted to offload more to prevent losing the ball in rucks. Too often players took offloads flatfooted, however, and were in even worse shape than had the initial ball-carrier taken the responsibility. The final scoreline should’ve been a little closer because Barickman dove in for what she thought was a try with a minute left in the game. Unfortunately, the line she dove for was 5-meters out, a mistake she surely won’t make again! Still, Bard should be proud of only ceding 15 points to a dangerous RPI team.
Game 3: Bard College Women 0 vs. 25 Montclair State Women
The last game was similar to the first two for Bard in that there were some good individual efforts, but the team understandably did not play together. Sikat once again returned kickoffs with aplomb but didn’t quite make it to the try zone. Barickman flashed her speed but lost the ball alone in contact. Bowen made steady gains but could’ve used more pace in her runs. The Marist players gave it their all, but their inexperience showed. No one can knock the ladies’ effort, however, nor their willingness to put their bodies on the line for the team. Montclair won the division and also shutout Marist and RPI. While giving up 25 points is nothing to be thrilled about, Bard once again played bravely and lost to a very good team.
All in all, Bard’s players gained invaluable experience and, as all three of these players will return next year, they’ll look forward to reuniting with the rest of their teammates. Each player fronted up physically and will need to work on skills and building team unity to improve next year.