Nov 05, 2016
University of Mary Washington Men's Rugby moved to 5-2 in the Chesapeake Collegiate Rugby Conference with a rollercoaster win over the University of Maryland in College Park, MD on Saturday, November 5th.
UMW started quickly but failed to score and Maryland jumped out to quick 7-0 lead, with some slick passing and a full field march after off a UMW miscue on their goal-line. UMW's sophomore Andrew LaMarca (Fredericksburg VA and James Monroe HS) scored a nice try in the corner after multiple UMW phases but this score was quickly countered by another Univ of MD try. A penalty kick from junior Justin Ford (VA Beach) brought the game to 14-8 in favor of MD. Despite some excellent work from UMW's forwards, MD kicked a penalty then scored a nice open field try that was unconverted to lead 22-8. UMW finally got some real momentum behind a 30 meter rumbling run by junior Ryan Iskowitz (Chesterfield, VA), which was finalized in the corner by junior Mattson Bueche (Chesterfield, VA). The half ended with Univ of MD leading 22-13.
UMW has relied on a lot of young players this season and this may account for some of the slow starts to games - there are no easy weekends in this league and the games start fast. UMW for the second week in a row came out a different team in the 2nd half. The backline started to find a rhythm on offense and defense and meet MD's very shifty backline before they could gain speed or hit gaps in the defense. The offense started with UMW's only senior on the field and student body president Alex Clegg (Arlington VA) working the ball wide which led to a long run by freshman George Northwood (Farnham, England) - Univ of MD was not able to scramble to cover and Andrew LaMarca scored again closer to the posts this time - which Justin Ford converted - the score was now 22-20 to Univ of MD. This was the start of 24 straight UMW points that was generated by quick ball through the backs and intense work in the trenches by the UMW forwards.
About 7 minutes later, UMW stole a Univ of MD scrum by simply driving them back, freshman scrum half Ewan Corley (Leicester, England) slipped in to score near the posts and this was converted by Justin Ford to make it 27-22 UMW. A few minutes later Mattson Bueche pushed forward and broke free, almost scoring, on the ensuing phase George Northwood touched down from about 5 meters - Justin Ford missed the conversion, 32-22 UMW. UMW closed out their scoring with about 10 minutes left in the game when Corley popped a nice kick over Univ of MD and Justin Ford rushed forward and pounced on Maryland's miscue - this try was scored exactly as called by coach Min Chae and really was a nice finish to the day for UMW. On the ensuing kickoff MD did march down and scored an unconverted try that was too little too late but certainly showed why Maryland are a team that could not be ignored.
UMW (5-2) hosts VA Tech (5-2) next Saturday at the Battlefield at 1pm in a game that could have national playoff implications and will decide 3rd place in the 9 team conference. This will be the first time these traditional rivals have met in 10 years in what is sure to be a physical and fast game.