Two years ago, they didn’t win a game. Now they’re headed to the national tournament.
Sparked by an electrifying 55-yard run from sophomore Kayla Cronin, St. Bonaventure (7-0) defeated Plattsburgh Saturday afternoon, 12-0, at McGraw-Jennings Field to capture the New York State Rugby Conference Division III women’s title.
The women move on to the quarterfinals of the National Small College Rugby Organization tournament Nov. 12 in Northhampton, Mass. SBU will face the winner of the New England Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference tournament, to be decided Nov. 5. The four regional winners advance to the final four in Cherry Hill, N.J., Nov. 19-20.
Plattsburgh (4-2) controlled field possession for the first 10 minutes, but Cronin outraced a half-dozen defenders — many of whom had the angle on her — from beyond midfield to give SBU a 7-0 lead after senior Jessica Misiaszek’s conversion. Freshman Laura Clesse added a try (touchdown) 13 minutes into the second half to give Bonaventure some breathing room.
“Plattsburgh was very strong and took away our wings, but Kayla found some holes that turned the game around,” said junior Nichole Dylag, club president.
Dylag said team chemistry has been crucial to the team’s success.
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, but we’ve trained really hard,” she said. “I think it really helps that we do everything together, on the field and off.”