Lady Warthogs win state title

On Oct. 31, the Lady Warthogs made history as they won the New York Rugby Union Championship, 12-6, against Siena College, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern division. Geneseo was the top-seeded team from the West.

According to senior Jessica Friedman, team president, it was the only the second time in club history that a team from Geneseo had won the championship. "It's a little bit different because they changed the format so there's no actual state playoff system," Friedman said.

The victory, fought in cold, miserable conditions in nearby Batavia, N.Y., earned the team the fourth seed in the Northeastern Rugby Union regional playoffs and a chance to move on to the national tournament in the spring. Friedman reminisced that these conditions were extremely similar to the last time the team faced off against Siena several years ago.

Freshman Liz Felix, who scored in every game this season for the Lady Warthogs, scored the first goal. "Liz has been fantastic for us," said senior Geni Beninati, club captain. "She's only a freshman but she's been playing for six years so she has a lot more experience than most of us." Friedman also gained the final try to secure the victory.

"That was probably the best feeling ever - coming off the field against Siena I've never seen so many happy, crying faces," Beninati said. "Our fans were off the wall. It was all about our idea of one team, one heart, one goal."

The Lady Warthogs then moved on to face off against Radcliffe, the women's club team from Harvard University, on Nov. 7. Going into the match the Lady Warthogs were ranked 22nd in the nation, while their opponents were ranked third.

"Obviously, they were the better team going into the game," Beninati said.

"It was rough but we played with them for the most part," Friedman added. "We just couldn't get possession of the ball." Geneseo fell in the end, 46-5.

Friedman and Beninati said despite the loss they were proud of their team and the effort they put forth this season. "Our coach [Colin Partridge] said it was the best season he'd seen," Friedman said. "After the Siena game he told us it was the most beautiful game of rugby he'd seen and that when we play like that it was a joy to watch."

Both players gave credit to the fans that came out to see them play. Friedman gave specific mention to both the men's rugby team and the women's softball team for coming out to support them despite the weather.