By ANDREW KADA
This past Saturday the University of Mary Washington Mother’s Rugby team traveled to Richmond to take on Virginia Commonwealth University. The team was victorious with a final score of UMW 11 and VCU 3.
As a big strong team, VCU came out hoping to win the scrums and dictate play through grinding pack play and tight defense; but it soon became evident that the Mothers had something else in mind. Despite missing some key players from the forwards and backs, the team showed strong cohesion and dictated play from the first punishing tackle to the final whistle.
Strong line-out steals were made by seniors Ryan Payne, Michael Schmidt, Matt Amrod, junior Tito Garcia and sophomore Conor O’Hara which set the tone with quick and decisive tackles that shut down the VCU game plan and sparked a solid defensive game.
Junior Henry Jones and senior captain Scott Hoffmann orchestrated great backline play, supported by juniors Fitz Maro, Tristian Sonnett, Connor Kantwill and Mark Rhines.
VCU was under constant pressure with over 80 percent of game play in their defensive half forcing them to frequently kick the ball away to junior fullback Kyle Hoffmann, who was able to produce multiple offensive counters against the kicks.
Following a questionable call that overturned a try for 5 points, the Mothers were forced to settle for a place kick to solidify their 8 point win, and bring their season to a 3-0 overall record, 2-0 in Division II play.
The Mothers have had a very successful season thus far, but are dedicating more time and effort than ever for what’s next on their agenda.
“Our spirit and will are in it 100%, but it is the small errors so far that have kept us from pulling away with a large lead. These flaws can and will be fixed easily in practice, and will be shown in the William and Mary game this Saturday,” said junior Harrison Lyman.
“We are feeling quite confident, but are keeping our heads in the game and not letting our record affect our outlook; William and Mary is a great school and is always capable of being a formidable adversary,” added Maro.
In other rugby news, the Mother’s have just announced their team wide tour of Ireland this coming spring break. Joining current team members will be alumni from as far back as 1991 as well as prospective players. The team will spend seven days abroad, playing against Ireland’s finest universities, attending professional matches, and touring the historical country.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do this, and I couldn’t imagine doing it with any better company. The fact that we’ll be going head to head with teams founded in the 1880s is something that I could have never imagined I’d get to do, and the setting is only going to make it better,” commented Maro.
The UMW Mother’s Rugby team has always been able to attribute their success to their teamwork, commitment, and loyalty to the sport.
“Being a player for the team always makes me feel very proud; wearing crest is something that I’d never be ashamed to do. Most students know how hard we’re working day in and day out. We always encourage prospective players to come out to practices,” said Maro.
This Saturday’s game against the college of William & Mary will be hosted by UMW at the Battleground rugby pitch at 1 p.m. and all UMW Eagles are encouraged to come out and support the Mother’s.