The Vermont Youth Rugby Association has hosted the championship game for the past five years.
“Sunday’s win over Essex was a team victory,” said Adirondack coach Tammy Morgan. “Every one of our players walked onto the field knowing this was going to be their toughest match yet, and up until the moment the game whistle was blown, neither team ever lost momentum.”
Adirondack’s Brenna Whitney of Lake Placid opened the scoring with a try, but Essex responded with two tries and two kicks to take a 14-5 haltime lead.
Adirondack scored a try in the second half after several phases of rucking by its powerful forwards, who produced the ball for scrumhalf Terra Levesque who scooped to Elizabeth Leff for a try. Valerie Maguire scored Adirondack’s second try of the half to set the score at 15-14.
Essex sustained a prolonged attack deep into Adirondack’s 22-meter zone at the end of the game, but the Adirondack defense held up to secure the victory and the state championship.
Maguire, who lives in Watertown, was named most valuable player of the game “for turning over more balls and for her stellar defensive play.”
Adirondack went into Sunday’s game not knowing what to expect since the teams’ regular season game was forfeited due to a lack of players. It was Adirondack’s only loss of the season.
“We had the opportunity to attend the New York State championship games Memorial Day weekend in Niagara. Our girls played with passion, intensity and confidence at those championships,” Morgan said. “They learned so much about the game that, regardless of the final scores, it was a successful weekend, and the newly acquired skills were evident in this past weekend’s Vermont championship game.”
Adirondack scrumhalf Tara Levesque prepares to defend an Essex scrum put-in during Sunday’s Vermont state championship game in Burlington.