Saturday was rugby day as the Lion’s Women’s Rugby Club, a Division II team in the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union (EPRU), was able to defeat a Division I Garnet Tide at Swarthmore College, 22-10.
The Lions were able to dominate the first half of the match, starting off with a three-point penalty kick made by senior eight-man Kate Daniels.
“Swarthmore is a DI team, and beating them was a real confidence builder for us,” Daniels said. “Especially being in a new division, this was reinforcement that we belong there.”
Erin Scaglione, a sophomore prop and flanker, scored the first try of the match, and Daniels made the conversion kick. Since the Lions were missing a lot of their players during the match, many players played in different positions between the first and second half.
“Everyone on the team has tremendous heart and really came together,” Daniels said.
After the half, senior inside center Grace Rarich was able to fight through Swarthmore’s defense and touch in a try.
Although the Garnet Tide was able to score two tries in a row after Rarich’s score, the Lions did not allow the match to end on the opposing team’s score. Rarich was able to score another try deep into the second half. Daniels made the second and final conversion kick of the match after Rarich’s try.
“Grace is an amazing athlete,” Daniels said. “Her runs and scoring opportunities were amazing and she is extremely valuable to the team.”
“Although this win doesn’t affect our official standings, this is the first time in the past three years that we’ve beaten Swarthmore, a Division 1 club,” Michelle DiFedele, junior hooker and president of the College’s Women’s Rugby Club, said. “I think it goes to show how much we’ve improved and that all our hard work is paying off.”
Men: Lions 34, Scarlet Knights 10
Rugby fans from all over gathered to watch the College’s Men’s Rugby Club dominate in an exciting night match against the Scarlet Knights at Rutgers University on Friday.
Josh Ganz, senior wing, helped his team by contributing 19 points of the 34 scored that evening. Ganz scored the first try of the night with an assist by senior scrum half Ben Atchison and only narrowly missed the conversion kick.
“This was the big game of the semester for the whole team, but especially for the upperclassmen,” Ganz said. “We have won and lost against Rutgers, and the seniors wouldn’t accept anything else but a win.”
Ganz added, “This was, by far, our best game of the semester.”
The Scarlet Knights were able to return and tie up the score with a try before the first half was over, but they were unable to pull ahead the rest of the match.
The second half proved to be a high scoring one for the Lions, with an exciting play starting with Jeff Baer, senior fly half. Baer kicked the ball down field just in time for senior outside center Matt Jacobsen to touch it in for a try.
Jacobsen and Baer had chemistry once again on the pitch, when Jacobsen wowed the crowd with a behind the back toss to an awaiting Baer, who gained significant yardage due to the fancy passing.
Ganz was able to rack up more points in the second half by scoring his second try with another assist by Atchison and making three conversion kicks for two points each and a long distance penalty kick for three points.
The crowd, consisting of fans from not only the College and Rutgers, but also Princeton and local high schools, obviously was impressed after the kick.
“As far as our play is concerned, everything clicked,” Ganz said. “The forwards were awesome. They fought hard in the rucks and scrums. This allowed (the backs) to get the ball out and run up the score.”
Atchison also commented on the teamwork between the back and forward players.
“While our back line has been the key to scoring, we wouldn’t have gotten any points on Friday if it wasn’t for the strong presence of our forwards throughout the full 80 minutes,” he said.
Rutgers was only able to manage to score one more try after Atchison scored another try for the Lions.
“Each man did his part, and we managed to beat a solid Rutgers team,” Atchison said. “This was the last truly meaningful game for myself and some of the other veterans who will be leaving.”
The Lions were able to get one more try, scored by sophomore inside center Doug Adams, in before the end of the game.
Rutgers is a Division I team as members of the Metropolitan new York Rugby Union and the College is a Division II team in the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union (EPRU).
The Women’s Rugby Club’s next game is the division championships this weekend at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn.
The Lions men will attend the Lafayette Tournament on April 27.