Exiles break Colgate’s three-year winning streak

By Daphne Assimakopoulos ’17

Amid this Saturday’s fog and mist, the men’s rugby team stepped onto Minor Field prepared to dominate. And they delivered, winning an exciting game of back-and-forth action 27-24. In turn, the Exiles handed the undefeated Colgate Raiders their first loss during the regular season in three years.  Colgate and Hamilton had faced each other earlier in the season at Colgate’s Academy Field, where the Raiders won 39-3.  But this weekend, the Exiles were ready to defend their home turf and to even the playing field.

Colgate took an early lead, scoring two quick tries at the beginning of the match, leaving Hamilton down by 14 points. Despite the large deficit, the Exiles came together and began to close the gap on their rivals.

Fly-half Matthew Graylin ’15 had a strong defensive game and scored a try off of a deflection on a kick in the first half. Prop Philip Shulman ’14 also scored a try, and despite a rib injury, he managed to play for most of the match.

Hamilton put the pressure on Colgate in the second half of the game, as they severely limited offensive opportunities for the Raiders. Hamilton also drew many penalties, giving them an advantage over Colgate.

The excitement from both the team and the fans was apparent as the amount of time in the match steadily ticked away. Fans hollered support for the Exiles throughout the afternoon and seemed to energize the team as they battled it out for a win.

Going into the last seconds of play, Hamilton’s Will Marsden ’14 scored a game-winning try in the last scoring opportunity of the match to finish off the Exiles’ comeback and seal the win.

The thrill of the win was clear as fans and players alike celebrated the excitement of the Exiles’ successful comeback. A true team effort was put forth on the field as everyone worked together to accomplish the incredible win.

Alex Hollister ’17 commented on the level of support the team received, noting, “it’s amazing how much support the men’s and women’s rugby teams receive and show for each other at games.”

Forward captain Shulman was incredibly proud of the way the team played last Saturday, especially considering Colgate’s dominant status in the league. “Beating them, especially for the seniors,” he said, “has been a long time secondary goal and winning it the way we did was the most thrilling experience I’ve had as an athlete.” With a total of five lead changes throughout the game, Exiles perservered, not letting the other team’s pervious success intimidate them.

The Exiles will take on Buffalo State this coming weekend, looking to continue their hot streak. Although Buffalo State currently sits in third place on the league table, Hamilton is confident in its chances after knocking off top-ranked Colgate. The Exiles will return home on Oct. 26 to take on LeMoyne College in their last game before the playoffs. With two games remaining during the regular season, Hamilton has a very real chance of moving up at least two spots in the league tables.


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