Lions take huge bite out of Explorers

Both the College’s Men’s and Women’s Rugby Club teams shutout the LaSalle Explorers on Saturday. The Women’s Rugby Club defeated LaSalle University 44-0 while the Men’s Rugby Club performed a 25-0 shutout later in the day.

“For our first game, I think we played really well,” hooker Michelle Difedele said.

“Any problems we had I think are from not playing together for a whole semester,” Difedele said.

“We played smart and clean and I’m looking forward to this season,” she added.

The Women’s Rugby match opened with a try by sophomore flanker Erin Scaglione.

Her try was followed by tries made by junior prop Val Vaccaro and senior inside center Grace Rarich, increasing the Lions lead to 15-0 after no conversion kicks were made.

Vanessa Polizzi, junior flanker, and Victoria Welsh, junior outside center, also scored tries in the first half, where the Lions held a commanding 25-0 lead.

“They were a young team,” Polizzi said. “They just started last semester. They have a really good coach and they played really well, but they just aren’t up to our standards.”

Senior eight-man Kait Daniels scored a conversion kick after Welsh’s try, which closed out the first half 27-0 lead over the Explorers.

In the second half, Rarich scored two more tries, one of which was followed by a conversion kick by junior fly-half Kristine Sinisi.

Freshman inside center Kerri Matthes scored the final try of the day.

The match closed with a 44-0 commanding victory for the Women’s Rugby Club, as the team, currently Division III, heads into a Division II challenge match against the University of Scranton.

If the Lions defeat the University of Scranton, they will advance to become a Division II team in the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union (EPRU).

“We worked really hard in practices this week and that prepared us for this game,” Rarich said.

“LaSalle is Division III,” Rarich said. “The rest of the season we will be playing Division II and Division I teams, so the rest of the season we’ll have more competition.”

“I feel we played really well with a lot of intensity and we’re definitely ready for Scranton, but I just wish we had more hitting because LaSalle pitched the whole game,” Welsh said.

The Women’s Rugby Club had a B-game against the LaSalle Explorers, in which just one half was played.

During the B-game, Matthes scored the first try while Daniels scored both conversion kicks and the second try of game, which ended with a Lions B-game win, 14-0.

Men’s Rugby:

Lions 25, Explorers 0

The Men’s Rugby Club was led by the athletic speed of senior wing Josh Ganz, who scored three tries, one of which he sprinted from over half the pitch.

“I was a little worried going into the game after beating Lehigh the previous week,” Ganz said.

“The win gave us an ego boost and I was concerned that this would cause us to lose focus,” Ganz said. “However, we all maintained focus and worked as one, that is what contributes to our recent success.”

Senior full-back Kevin Cashman began the match with a try, followed by three tries by Ganz.

After Ganz’s second try, junior fly-back Jeff Baer scored a conversion kick. The final score of the match was a 3-point penalty kick by Ganz, resulting in a final score of 25-0.

“We lost to LaSalle the last two times we played them, so this is one of the games this season that I especially wanted to win,” junior outside center Matt Jacobson said.

Upcoming Game

The College’s Women’s Rugby Club has a scrimmage at Princeton University on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and a challenge match at the University of Scranton at noon.

The College’s Men’s Rugby Club has an upcoming match at the Schuylkill River’s Mayor’s Cup on April 5 and 6 beginning at 9 a.m.

The College’s Men’s Rugby Club’s next home game is on April 12, at 1 p.m. against Iona College.