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St. Bonaventure University

No. 2 SBU explodes on Oswego in second half; advance to rugby title game

Oct 22, 2023

A game that didn’t look like much of a game suddenly became one.

Down 22-0 late in the first half, Oswego rallied to cut St. Bonaventure’s lead to 27-17 midway through the second half in a semifinal match of the Upstate New York Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference tournament Sunday evening.

And then? Kaboom!

The Bonnies, 6-0 and ranked No. 2 in the National Collegiate Rugby small-college poll, scored six times over the last 18 minutes to douse whatever flicker of hope Oswego had en route to a 65-17 win and a berth in the UNYWCRC title game next weekend at Cortland, which defeated Niagara Sunday morning in the other semifinal.

All-American Makenna Ramsey, a graduate student from Syracuse, opened the scoring just over a minute into the game and broke open the match in the second half with four straight tries, flashing her breakaway speed and power on three scoring runs of more than 50 yards. In all, Ramsey scored seven times.

Freshman Harley Brown and sophomore Kyla Nentarz each added two tries and Nentarz had five kick conversions on a raw and windy evening at the Marra Athletics Field Complex.

“I’m not sure what happened (when they cut the lead to 10), but I’m happy it did,” said Meredith Pyke, the Bonnies’ second-year head coach. “When you’re winning games by such large margins, what does that teach you? We got a little complacent when we were up 22. What we take from this is that we have to play every minute like we played the last 20 minutes.”

A little kick in the behind from a captain didn’t hurt.

“Abby Beres told me that she said, ‘Guys! What the heck is going on here?!,’” Pyke said with a laugh. “And then they really turned it on.”

The Bonnies now have a chance to avenge their 48-17 loss to Cortland in last fall’s conference title game. Pyke is confident her team will put up a better fight this time.

“Absolutely. 100%,” Pyke said. “I’m excited for our athletes to have this opportunity.”

The conference winner will earn an automatic bid to the regional brackets of the NCR Small College national tournament in November. The title-game loser could earn an at-large bid, which the Bonnies did last fall.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).