Harvard women's rugby will be making its first trip to the
USA Rugby Division I National Championship (Harvard Athletic
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first season as a varsity program, the Harvard women’s rugby team will get the chance to compete for a national title at the 2014 USA Rugby Collegiate Division I National Championship. The competition begins April 26 at Bowling Green, when the Crimson will take on North Carolina in a first-round contest at noon.
Harvard is one of 16 teams in the championship bracket and the only Ivy League institution in the field. The Crimson earns a spot at the Division I championships in just its third year competing at that level, having elevated to the Division I level prior to the 2011-12 season. Harvard has captured a pair of USA Rugby Division II national championships, earning titles in 1998 and again in the spring of 2011.
It has been a successful run for the Harvard rugby team in its first season as a varsity program, as the Crimson posted a 5-2 overall record in the fall and captured the Ivy League Rugby Tournament championship. In Hanover, N.H., for the Ivy Rugby Tournament, the Crimson cruised to the final thanks to a decisive 31-5 win over Brown. The championship game pitted Harvard against top-seeded Dartmouth, the only league team to best the Crimson during the regular season. Harvard had the last laugh, however, keeping the Big Green from scoring a single point in a 29-0 victory to secure the league title.
The spring season has seen Harvard compete in four games, resulting in a 2-2 record. The Crimson led off with a 22-5 win over West Chester, followed by a 56-19 loss to AIC. Harvard rebounded with a 105-0 pounding of Boston College, before dropping a road contest to Penn State, 50-12. West Chester, AIC and Penn State all earned berths in the national championship bracket, with a potential second-round matchup looming between Harvard and AIC.
The Crimson wraps up its home spring schedule Thursday when it hosts local club team Beantown Rugby in a 7:30 p.m., matchup.