Both the Mount’s men’s and women’s rugby teams dominated Family Fest Weekend Sept. 17. The women’s team defeated Lafayette College 83-5, followed by the men’s A-team, beating James Madison University’s (JMU) 36-24, though the B-team lost to JMU 38-12. This was the women’s second game of their season and the men’s first league home game, returning from their win at Georgetown University (45-24) on Sept. 10.
The women’s game began at 11 a.m. Lafayette received the ball first, leaving the Mount to attack. A turnover occurred early in the game, but was soon recovered by Lafayette. The possession didn’t last for long however, as Mount sophomore Kelly Eustace scored the first try of the game. The Mount’s second try was scored soon after by fellow sophomore Morgan Lippert, who was taken down by a hard tackle as she scored. After 20 minutes, two more tries were scored by the Mount, along with one successful conversion, putting the score at 21-0.
Other highlights from the first half include a second try scored by Lippert on a breakaway, and a try scored by senior Rachel Steelman in her first rugby game appearance. Lafayette was left unable to score until well into the second half.
Forward captain, senior Liz Gamble, said she was “completely happy” with how the game was played, adding that “it’s important to see everyone smiling” as they walk off the field.
The men’s A-team game began at 2:30 p.m. The players started out disorganized, and JMU made it clear early on that they were a force to be reckoned with. JMU played much rougher than anticipated, but the Mount men fought hard and made great tackles.
Senior Tyler Myles claimed this match was their “most physical to date,” but they were able to persevere, which stands as “a testament to playing 15 [players] as one [unit].”
Head coach Jay Myles described the game as a “David and Goliath” match. “We didn’t play to our full potential today, but we get better with each match.”
The men’s B-team played immediately after the A-team, the first match for many of the players. Though strongly played, the men’s efforts were just not enough to surpass JMU. The Mount was only able to score their first try after JMU had already scored twice, and though able to score another try and a conversion later on, they remained unable to catch up.
Many alumni were at the games, including Kayla Bishop, Class of 2014, who helped create the women’s rugby team in the fall semester of 2012. She was very excited to see the women play because when she started the team, no one knew how long the team would last.
“It’s very encouraging to see the growth, and to see how the family aspect contributes to the team,” Bishop said.