Rugby dominates in home opener vs. LeMoyne

By Daphne Assimakopoulos ’17

This past Saturday, the Hamilton College women’s rugby team came out strong against LeMoyne College in their first home match of the season. Despite the gloom and clouds, the team lit up on offense and won the contest 93 to 5.

The team was full of excitement and energy as they defended their home turf, Minor Field, for the first time this season. Fans and players on the sidelines brought their own intensity with loud cheers and raucous support.

Hamilton got an early jump and scored frequently in both halves. Hannah Nekoroski ’15 and Andee Bucciarelli ’14 both contributed to the explosive offense, as did Lilly McCullough ’15. Nekoroski scored seven tries and McCullough contributed three throughout the game. HCWRFC was also solid defensively, and shut down LeMoyne’s offense.

The return of several key players has led to the team’s success so far. Newcomers also contributed to the success of the team, seamlessly weaving themselves into the tightly knit group.

Becka Gaines ’15 was proud of the way the newer players contributed to the form of play: “It was great that some rookies were able to play and did a spectacular job for their first time on the field.”

Senior captain Clare O’Grady stressed that “the key to our success against LeMoyne was dependent on our team’s unity. Even with a significant number of new players on the field, the communication, the support and the encouragement were all very much present.”

Similarly, Gaines said, “we had a lot of good communication and support between the backs and the forwards.” She was also impressed with their intensity, adding, “we stayed aggressive and played hard for all 80 minutes, [and] we were able to spot gaps in LeMoyne’s defense [allowing us] to run through and score.”

HCWRFC competes in the Excelsior Women’s Rugby League and hope to continue with their previous success in future games. They finished the 2012 fall season in second place, and with their drive and passion, it seems as if they can only improve from here.

O’Grady commented that “we were playing offense for most of the duration of the match, which provided us with a great opportunity to really focus on and try out some of our set plays and improve our field vision. I think these two factors are going to be integral to our success in upcoming matches.”

Looking ahead, the women’s rugby team will attempt to continue its hot streak and stay undefeated as it hosts Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this coming Saturday on Minor Field at 11 a.m. Following the women, the men’s team will play the second game of the day against the Engineers at 1 p.m.


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