NEW LONDON, N.H. - The Norwich University women's rugby team dropped its 2019 season opener by a 34-15 score on Saturday afternoon in National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) Division III action.
Norwich took a 15-12 lead in the 59th minute with an unconverted try by junior Molly Higgins (Thetford Center, Vt.). However, Colby-Sawyer (1-0) dominated the final 20 minutes, scoring four straight tries and 22 unanswered points to run away with the victory.
Junior Emma Parizo (Grand Isle, Vt.) scored two first half tries to pace the Cadets' offense in the opening 40 minutes. She scored to open the scoring in the seventh minute to give Norwich a 5-0 lead.
The two teams proceeded to trade tries for the remainder of the first half with Colby-Sawyer scoring one converted try to take a 12-10 lead into the halftime break. Colby-Sawyer scored the converted try in the 11th minute, while Parizo touched down again in the 16th minute to regain the lead at 10-7. Colby-Sawyer battled back though in the 19th minute with its second try of the day to take a 12-10 lead.
Higgins scored to open the second half scoring and then Emily Ngo picked up a yellow card in the 61st minute that ignited the Colby-Sawyer offense. The Chargers scored in the 63rd and 65th minute to take a 24-15 lead and then added two more tries in the 70th and 80th minutes to cap the scoring.
"I was impressed with how we played given the circumstances we faced today," said NU head coach Austin Hall. "We have two starters and four reserves play their first-ever games of rugby and for 60 minutes we played with Colby-Sawyer evenly."
Norwich will travel to New England College on Saturday, Sept. 14 for a 12 p.m. kickoff in its first-ever meeting with the Pilgrims in women's rugby.