UMW travelled to James Madison University in what would be the last open 7's tournament of the season. With many teams dropping out of the tournament, teams would play a much shorter tournament with one less match in the day. Even though they went 3-1 for the day losing in the final, UMW was able to solidify their number one seed in the Conference Championship on April 13, hosted by the University of Maryland.
UMW Faced a Tough Defeat, but Clinched the #1 Seed
Posted: Mar 30, 2019
The first match of the day put UMW against Georgetown University starting the day off in high tempo! 7's Captain, Harry Masters, got the first try of the day against Georgetown within the first two minutes of the match with his quick decision making and even quicker feet. Ever faithful, Aidan Gallagher, was able to slot the conversion. One minute later Bradlee Nicholls responded with a try of his own from the team working the continual offloads that UMW has spent weeks working at. Aidan Gallagher once again nailed down another conversion. With three minutes left in the first half, Harry Masters once again was able to get yet another try in followed by Joseph Callery as the second half ended. Both tries were unconverted going into the second half with UMW leading at 24-0. Off of his never ending excitement, Callery was able to get a second try against Georgetown 45 seconds into the first half that Gallagher successfully converted. Matthew Gordon followed suit one minute later putting Gallagher in position for another converted try. After many matches of successful line breaks and great support runs, freshman Seamus Brennan was able to smash through the defensive line of Georgetown and score his first try of the day at the 11:40 mark. With two minutes left in the match and UMW leading 48-0, Georgetown really started to contain Mary Wash on defense. Georgetown was able to hold UMW for two minutes before Aidan Gallagher got his own try as the last seconds of the match ticked by. UMW won 48-0 against Georgetown.
With the drop in teams entered into the tournament, UMW would spend a long two hour gap between matches before facing off against Virginia Tech. VT proved to be a very tough match as they are quite versatile in the capabilities of their players. The first two minutes of the match saw both teams pressing and testing eachothers defense. Bradlee Nicholls was finally able to break through VT's defensive line and score a converted try at the 2:30 mark. The rest of the first half continued to show both teams strong defensive structure and hard hitting rucks. Aidan Gallagher was the only other player from UMW able to score during the first half putting the score at 12-0. Newcomer GianCarlo Pavan would score the last UMW try of the match eight minutes into the game that Gallagher would be able to successfully convert. With UMW winning, 19-0, and five minutes left in the match, VT put the pedal down. VT scored THREE uncoverted tries within that time, the last being at the 14 minute mark. The heavily defended match saw UMW walk away with a very close win, 19-15 over VT.
With pool play being done, UMW would take the number one seed for the day and face off against the number four in the semi's. As fate would have it, VT would be that number four seed putting them against each other once again in the third match of the day. UMW knew what to expect this match and decided to play smart defense and keep the ball flowing until VT let a gap in their armor show. VT kicked off with a sense of purpose and saw them put two converted tries on the board in four minutes! UMW trailed 0-14 and knew they had to flip the switch. Senior Justin Ford put the first try on the board 45 seconds later which set the tempo for the rest of the match. Matthew Gordon followed suit with the last try of the first half one minute later leaving UMW trailing by two. The second half saw both teams putting in hard hits and rucks, but UMW proved to be the stronger team. Joseph Callery, Matthew Gordon, and Seamus Brennan all put tries up with great ball handling and solid offloads. Aidan Gallagher converted all three ending the match with a win for UMW, 31-14 over VT.
The tournament final would see UMW facing their toughest opponent of the season, Kutztown University. After Kutztown's loss in the semi finals the week prior against Notre Dame College, they came to JMU to play. UMW played very solid defense attempting not to give Kutztown any holes to expose, but unfortunately with injuries and the light numbers UMW travelled with, it wasn't enough. Kutztown scored at the 2:04 mark and then were held with tough defense from UMW until the 6:00 and 6:50 mark, the last of which was scored off a lucky bounce from an uncontained kickoff. UMW trailed at the start of the half, 0-17. Senior Phil Harrison scored 45 seconds into the second half in what would be the only try scored by UMW this match. At 9:30 Kutztown was able to get one last try in putting the score 24-5. The last four minutes of the game was all defense from both sides and saw neither team able to bust through and score. UMW ended the day 2nd place in the tournament with their 2nd loss of the season.
The 7's team finds themselves with a weekend off to rest and prepare for what will be the Conference Championship tournament on April 13 at the University of Maryland. The Man of the Tournament goes to 7's Captain Harry Masters for once again leading his team in a great day of rugby and continually leading defense from the front.