ANNAPOLIS, Md. – It was a dominant performance from start to finish for the Navy women’s rugby team (6-4) in its CRAA semifinal match on Saturday versus Northeastern (5-1). The Mids scored a season-high 52 points to defeat the Huskies 52-5 at the Prusmack Rugby Center to advance to the CRAA D1 Championship for the second straight season.

Credit: Navy Athletics

“Great showing today by the entire team. The girls came out and played really tough defense while contesting at almost every single breakdown,” said head coach Murph McCarthy. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way they played today, and we’re pumped to head down to Charlotte to have a shot at winning the CRAA Championship again.”

Navy put the pressure on right as the match began, getting inside Northeastern’s 22-meter line less than two minutes in. A foul by Northeastern forced them to back up into their try zone, and Eliza Herring bulldozed across the line for Navy’s first score just 3:31 into the match. The Mids pushed the ball deep into Huskie territory again just a few minutes later and Marissa Meyer supplied the second try after juking out two Huskie defenders simultaneously to put Navy ahead 10-0 at the 16-minute mark.

Northeastern’s offense began to gain some ground for the first time, but a quick turnover and a deep kick from Dina Giles put Navy right back on Northeastern’s side of the pitch. Navy continued to gain ground by kicking the ball deeper into the Northeastern zone before Herring powered her way just outside the try line. Rather than attempting to score herself, Herring made a great pass out to Miracle Haynes who walked in untouched in the 23rd minute for Navy’s third score of the match.

Northeastern got inside Navy’s 22-meter line after the 30-minute mark, but Navy’s defense held strong to keep them off the board. Navy flipped the field with a big run from Grace Oliver and Abby Hershner then scored her first try of the season in the 35th minute to give Navy a 20-0 lead.

Meyer got the crowd on its feet right away in the second half. After Northeastern dropped a pass, Meyer scooped up the ball and sprinted past the entire Northeastern defense to score her second try just 64 seconds out of the halftime break. Nicole Deprey extended Navy’s lead to 27 on her first made conversion kick of the match after Meyer’s score, and then added another three points on a penalty kick in the 48th minute, putting Navy ahead 30-0.

Navy’s dominance continued with another two tries over the next seven minutes. Margaret Foulkes scored her first try of the season in the 53rd minute and another conversion from Deprey gave Navy a 37-point advantage. Herring scored her second try less than two minutes later and made the conversion kick to put Navy up 44-0.

The Huskies scored their only try in the 58th minute, but Navy wouldn’t surrender any additional points for the remainder of the contest. Megan Leitz scored Navy’s eighth try of the match in the 63rd minute and Anna Hoang put Navy over the 50-point mark with a penalty kick in the 68th minute for her first points of the season.

Navy finished the match with eight tries, which is tied for the second most scored in a match this season. Herring led Navy in scoring with 12 points on two tries and a conversion kick for her first match in double figures this season. Meyer raised her season points total to 50 with her two tries, giving her a try in five straight matches and a team-leading 10. Haynes scored her second try of the season and her first since Navy’s match versus New Haven back on Oct. 2. Deprey added seven points on two made conversion kicks and a penalty kick.

The Mids have outscored their two playoff opponents 64-8 and look to continue their dominance in two weeks when they battle Rocky Mountain champion Utah State for the CRAA D1 Championship in Charlotte, N.C., the second-highest championship level in collegiate rugby behind the Division 1-A Elite Championship. 

Box Score

  • 3:31 – Navy – Try – Eliza Herring (5-0)
  • 15:55 – Navy – Try – Marissa Meyer (10-0)
  • 23:05 – Navy – Try – Miracle Haynes (15-0)
  • 35:37 – Navy – Try – Abby Hershner (20-0)
  • 41:04 – Navy – Try – Marissa Meyer (25-0), Conversion – Nicole Deprey (27-0)
  • 48:00 – Navy – Penalty Kick – Nicole Deprey (30-0)
  • 53:07 – Navy – Try – Margaret Foulkes (35-0), Conversion – Nicole Deprey (37-0)
  • 55:40 – Navy – Try – Eliza Herring (42-0), Conversion – Eliza Herring (44-0)
  • 58:15 – Northeastern – Try (44-5)
  • 63:05 – Navy – Try – Megan Leitz (49-5)
  • 68:59 – Navy – Penalty Kick – Anna Hoang (52-5)

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