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Category Archive for 'Alumni'

On a rainy day in Springfield, Mass, The Blue overcame 1 early defeat in pool play to take home the Plate Championship at the first ever Armory Collegiate 7′s Tournament hosted by AIC.

This was Middlebury’s first 7′s tournament of the spring and marked some of the first ever 7′s action for several players. Led by new captain Laird Silsby ’16, the team played some truly beautiful rugby at times to earn their first hardware of the spring 7′s circuit.

Up next is another East Coast Rugby Conference tournament at UMass on 4/5, followed by the final leg at Middlebury on 4/12. The points leader after the 3 tournaments earns an automatic bid to the ACRC National 7′s Championship in Virginia Beach on May 3-4.

Middlebury’s historic season came to an end on Saturday with a 12-34 loss to Penn State. Middlebury struck first with a converted try from Captain Allan Stafford, and later extended the lead with another try from 8-man Laird Silsby, but Penn State answered both times and the contest was even at 12 points each at the half.  Ultimately Penn State’s size, depth and skill proved too much for The Blue as the Nittany Lions pulled away in the second half to earn a berth in the title match. Our hats go off to an excellent opponent!

Despite the loss it was a special day as it was the first ever National playoff game held at Middlebury, and the campus and community came out to support in record numbers. Nearly a thousand friends and family were on hand to cheer on The MCRC and their shouts surely lifted the Boys in Blue to new heights.

Many thanks to all our alumni, parents and friends who have supported us throughout this incredible season. We wouldn’t be where we are without you!

On Saturday, November 23 Middlebury Rugby will host a National Semi-Final. Perennial powerhouse Penn State will make the drive north to take on the Blue. Kick-off is scheduled for 1pm.

The other semi-final pits Kutztown against Bowling Green, also this Saturday.

The American Collegiate Rugby Championship concludes in South Carolina two weeks later with the National Championship match at Furman University on December 7.

Please come and support The Blue for this historic game!

 

The MCRC crushed Empire Conference Champs Stony Brook University on their home pitch to the tune of 57-3 in last Saturday’s National Quarterfinal. The Blue dictated the action from the opening kick-off and never looked back.

Next up Middlebury will host Penn State in the National Semi-Final on Saturday, 11/23. The match will be the Nittany Lions first trip to Middlebury, and also marks the first time Middlebury will host a National play-off match. Penn State defeated Clemson by 1 point to reach the semi-finals.

Full match report:

Saturday the 16th dawned clear and crisp and full of promise. The Blue woke up rested and eager to take the pitch and would not disappoint. From the opening kickoff from outside center Adam “this IS a beard” Schreiber ’14, Middlebury dominated the play. Terrific defense kept the Seawolves pinned in their own zone and Midd captalized just 2 minutes in with an easy penalty kick. Inside center Jake “Flo” Feury ’16 slots it home to put the Blue in front 3-0.

The next five minutes are indicative of how this day is going to go, as Middlebury refuses to allow Stony Brook to get anything going. The first few scrums of the day are totally dominated by the Blue pack, with Middlebury driving back their opposites 5, 10 and 15 meters. The front row of loosehead Cliff “The Kraken” Hanich ’15, hooker Madison “Plank” Stebbins ’14.5 and tighthead Cole “LPF” Baker ’16 is absolutely savage. Together they take control of the scrum and make it clear that this is going to be their game.  Middlebury’s forward dominance earns another shot at goal which Feury converts. The score is 6-0 after 8 minutes of play.

The next five minutes see the backline start to connect with the pack and Middlebury shows it is a complete rugby team. The backs string together multiple phases, helping one another immensely with rock solid rucking after each tackle. After more constant pressure fullback Alex “Coco” Ruocco ’14 pins his ears back and scores the first try of the day in the corner. The difficult conversion is wide and Middlebury has the lead 11-0 after 14 minutes.

The game is still young and both teams have worked hard to be here. Stony Brook stormed through the Empire Conference en route to an undefeated season and nobody expects them to roll over. They attack in Middlebury’s half, but are undone by loose passes and knock-ons. With The MCRC firmly in control of the scrum the attacking opportunities are few and far between for Stony Brook. After a series of phases the Blue defense stands firm and clears out of danger. Solid work from all 15 players sees the Blue march confidently down the pitch and into the red zone. Feury takes a pass and despite being triple-teamed does what he has done all season long: score. The big man fights thru several defenders and then turns the corner on them showing a (un)surprising turn of pace. Feury converts his own try and after 24 minutes Middlebury leads 18-0.

Mention must be made of the season of Mr. Jake Feury. In this his first full season with the team, Feury played both inside and outside center and had a torrid campaign. Jake led all try scorers in the Conference with 13 tries, and also all scorers with an amazing 110 points (thru 6 games.) This total was nearly TRIPLE the next closest scorer and higher than the cumulative season point total of three teams in the ECRC. Needless to say, Feury presents opposing defenses with countless problems and his day was far from over.

Stony Brook knew that it was now or never and they came out clawing at the subsequent kickoff. The two teams duked it out, but the home side is unable to break thru. Rock solid defense from lock Tom “Deep Heat” Lynch ’14 and flyhalf Captain Allan “El Natural” Stafford ’13.5 set the tone. Stafford is unbelievable making tackle after tackle, while Lynch is relentless at the breakdown clearing one ruck after another. Fellow senior flanker John “Escuter” Hawley ’14 is totally dominant at the lineout, and one almost starts to feel bad for the hosts. Almost.

Stony Brook earns a penalty at the breakdown near midfield and takes the rare chance for points. The kick is good from over 40 meters and the score is 18-3 after 32 minutes. These would be the Seawolves only points on the day.

Middlebury swept the ECRC by taking advantage of opportunities and always answering back after a score. The Blue kicks off and immediately puts Stony Brook under pressure. Middlebury earns a penalty and kicks to touch, gaining valuable ground. The forwards win clean ball and drive it up with loosehead Hanich pounding thru the defense. Quick ball sees Stafford free and he unselfishly pops to roommate and fellow captain lock Ben “Firenuts” Stasiuk ’13.5 for the easy try under the posts. It is a beautiful and well-earned team try, which Feury, of course, converts. 25-3 with five minutes remaining in the half. The play also demonstrates the growth and maturity of Stafford who is used to scoring tries. The career fullback made the switch to flyhalf mid-season and continues to improve each week. “El Natural” finished the regular season the 2nd leading try scorer (and 4th leading scorer overall) in the conference, but this simple pop pass shows he more than just a pretty face and a try scoring machine. Allan Stafford is a rugby player.

Feury converts one more penalty just two minutes later and Middlebury goes into the break with a 28-3 lead. Midd knows it is their game to lose and the focus remains laser-like. Injured 8-man Silsby challenges his teammates to bring a renewed energy and the team returns the pitch ready to go.

As expected, Stony Brook comes out of the gate with new life. The teams trade blows for nearly 20 minutes with neither team able to turn opportunities into points. Middlebury knows it needs to weather the storm and they do so brilliantly with shutdown defense and lethal counterattacks. Middlebury penetrates deep into Stony Brook’s territory and attempts to pound it across the goal-line but the ball gets buried underneath a pile of bodies and the referee blows the whistle. Scrumhalf Alec “Beefcake” Mackenzie ’15 and flanker-turned-8-man Griffin “Gym Rat” Jones ’16 link up for what looks to be a picture-perfect try, but the exchange is ruled forward and the scrum is given to the Seawolves. No matter, as the Blue pack steals the put in, drives them back, and Jones is able to touch down for the try. Feury converts and the lead is 35-3 with 21 minutes remaining.

Middlebury takes advantage of its depth and Jones comes off with flanker Miller “I need a nickname” Judge coming on to flank and Hawley taking over the #8 duties. Hanich also gets to rest, with Baker moving to the #1 spot and tighthead Mike “Traps” Wysota ’14 coming on with fresh legs. Sam “Gluten Free” Finkelman ’14 takes over the hooking duties for Stebbins, and Middlebury shows what it means to have a true squad.

A few minutes later the Seawolves have an opportunity inside Middlebury’s 22 but the ball is turned over by openside flanker Devin “I’m so glad he’s on my team” Risinger ’14. Risinger has been a force all day, nay, all SEASON, at the breakdown and his breakdown work sets free the backline who counterattack roughly 75 meters down the field. Stony Brook, penalized repeatedly at the breakdown, finally commits one infraction too many and earn a yellow card. Feury drives home the penalty kick and Middlebury stretches the lead to 38-3.

Smelling the blood in the water, The MCRC moves in for the kill. Risinger scores a forward’s try off a beautiful driving maul which Feury pushes just wide from out wide. New assistant coach Junior Tuiqere (long time head coach of the Burlington Men’s Club) has helped take the forwards to another level, and the maul is the finest example. It is a well-earned try and gives the Blue a 40 point lead.

The Blue strike again quickly, with young Canadian winger Julien “Why is it so cold?” Miller ’17 turning on the jets and finishing off another attack in the host’s try zone. Feury converts and the lead is 50-3 with roughly 10 minutes remaining. Stony Brook’s player returns from the sin bin and his absence has been a costly one for the home team as Middlebury tallied 15 points in those 10 minutes.

Lock Charlie “What does the fox say?” Kunze ’15 relieves teammate Lynch and immediately announces his presence with authority thru several crushing tackles. The fresh legs in the forwards keep the Seawolves on their back foot and they are called for another penalty. Middlebury kicks to touch, wins the lineout, and attacks. Stafford looks for space, but it isn’t there, but Stasiuk is and he is not to be denied. The big captain muscles through several would-be tacklers and pounds down the ball for his second try of the day. Schreiber slots the conversion to extend the lead to 57-3 with just minutes to play.

The final whistle blows and Middlebury has a convincing victory and first ever Division I playoff win. It is an unbelievable team effort and well-deserved celebration for the club. Many thanks to Stony Brook for hosting and for a hard-fought match. We have no doubt we will see this team again in the future!

FIRST XV: Cliff Hanich ’15, Madison Stebbins ’14.5, Cole Baker ’16, (C) Ben Stasiuk ’13.5, Tom Lynch ’14, John Hawley ’14, Devin Risinger ’14, Griffin Jones ’16, Alec Mackenzie ’15, (C) Allan Stafford ’13.5, Sam Schwarz ’16, Jake Feury ’16, Adam Schreiber ’14, Julien Miller ’17, Alex Ruocco ’14

RESERVES: Mike Wysota ’14, Sam Finkelman ’14, Miller Judge ’16, Charlie Kunze ’15, Henry Thomson ’17, Vince Mariano ’14, Tucker Hopkins ’16, Max deJong ’17

SCORING: Feury – 25 points (1 t, 4 p, 4 c), Stasiuk – 10 points (2 t), Alex Ruocco 5 points (1 t), Griffin Jones – 5 points (1 t), Devin Risinger – 5 points (1 t), Julien Miller – 5 points (1 t), Adam Schreiber – 2 points (1 c)

 

On a windy day in Beantown The Blue avenged last year’s narrow loss to BC and soundly defeated the Eagles 35-15. Middlebury won it’s sixth straight match, all bonus point wins, to finish the regular season a perfect 6-0. This marks Middlebury’s first ever undefeated regular season in D-IAA and is the team’s second straight ECRC Championship.

Middlebury now prepares to meet the winner of the Empire Conference in a National Quarterfinal on November 16.

For the second year in a row Middlebury has won the East Coast Rugby Conference title! After soundly thumping Albany 78-22 the MCRC kept an eye on the twitter feed of the Saturday evening match up between AIC and Boston College. Although AIC was in front the entire match, BC punched thru a late try to close the gap and be in position to earn the losing bonus point. AIC, however, responded with a try of their own in the final moments to win the match 20-10. Neither team earned a bonus point which benefited The MCRC.

The weekend’s results leaves the standings with Middlebury alone in first with 25 points (5 bonus point wins) after 5 games played, AIC in second with 24 points after 6 games played and their regular season complete, and BC in third with 14 points after 4 games played.

By virtue of the conference title Middlebury has qualified for the National Quarterfinals to be played Saturday, November 16 (location TBD).

Middlebury’s final regular season game is Saturday, October 26 against Boston College at 1pm. Please come cheer on the Boys in Blue!!

Pitch Address:

LAKE STREET & ST. CLEMENT’S FIELDS (BRIGHTON CAMPUS)

From Downtown Boston: Follow Commonwealth Avenue to St. Johns Seminary (Enter on the 4th Right after Foster Street). Follow the road until you see the parking area on your right. The field to your right is St. Clement’s field and the field ahead and to the left is the Lake Street field.

 

The MCRC traveled to New York for it’s penultimate regular season fixture and ran riot past UAlbany 78-22. Jake Feury led all scorers with five tries and six conversions. The Blue now stands alone atop the ECRC with 25 points.

Up next is BC on 10/26.

On another spectacular day The MCRC dismantled UConn 93-6 in front of a big home crowd. The Boys in Blue ran in 14 tries with scoring spread among 10 different players.

Middlebury started off strong, immediately controlling possession and pushing down field. The first scoring chance came just 90 seconds into the match with a Blue scrum out wide on the opposition 5-meter line. 8-man Laird “Contact” Silsby picked from the back, went left and touched down, but the touch judge made a late call that his foot went out first. No bother, as Midd kept UConn pinned deep. Just minutes later inside center Jake “Flo” Feury would put Middlebury on the scoreboard, touching down and converting his own try. 7-0 Midd with 5 minutes gone.

The MCRC received many kickoffs on the day, but struggled a bit to collect the ball in the first half. Snaps to UConn’s #10 who repeatedly put The Blue under pressure with his skillful kicks. On this one, however, their flanker was called offsides giving Middlebury the free take at midfield. A few phases later and Captain lock Ben “Left Eye” Stasiuk punches thru on a beautiful line, fending would-be defenders like so many mosquitos and touching down. The conversion is no good and Middlebury is in front 12-0 after 9 minutes of play.

The next 11 minutes marked the day’s longest passage of play without a Middlebury score. Vice-captain Allan “El Natural” Stafford finally decided that enough was enough. This long time fullback, newly converted to flyhalf, is beginning to take hold of the #10 position and is ALWAYS a scoring threat when in the same country as a rugby ball. Stafford looks wide, steps in and glides through the defense untouched. Feury converts to extend the lead to 19 points at the 20 minute mark.

UConn, surely recognizing that their scoring chances will be limited, go for goal after being awarded a penalty near midfield just after the kickoff. Their flyhalf slots the 50-meter kick to put his team on the board with three points.

Next up for The Blue is winger Sammy “The Skier” Schwarz who has emerged as an outstanding finisher in just his second year with the team. A converted ski racer, Schwarz demonstrates his balance and breakaway speed to score Midd’s 4th try of the day. The difficult conversion is no good, but not only does the try give Middlebury a 24-3 lead, it also earns the team the scoring bonus point (for 4 tries) just 28 minutes into the match.

The Huskies are able to take advantage of Middlebury miscues after the ensuing kickoff and run phases in the Midd half. Feury makes a strong tackle that draws “oohs” from the crowd, but the referee deems it to be a tip tackle and sends Feury off with a yellow card. Video replay would later show that the hit was clean and within the laws, but there is no instant reply (yet) in collegiate rugby. UConn converts the penalty kick to make it 24-6 after 30 minutes of play. This would mark UConn’s last score of the day.

With Feury in the sin bin, outside center Adam “das boot” Schreiber takes over the place kicking duties. He drives home a penalty kick to extend the lead to 27-6. Just moments later fullback Alex “Coco” Ruocco decides to get in on the fun scoring a try which Schreiber converts. The whistle blows for the half and Middlebury has the lead 34-6.

The starting 15 retake the field for the second half, but all reserves would get in the game before the final whistle. Flanker Devin “I Didn’t Do It!” Risinger, having an absolute stormer of a senior season, does what he does best and regains possession of the ball for the Blue. Middlebury counterattacks wide, linking several beautiful passes, and sophomore flanker Griffin “Gym Rat” Jones is there to finish things off. Schreiber converts (get used to that phrase!) and The MCRC leads 41-6 after 4 minutes.

After the score scrumhalf Vince “Happy Feet” Mariano comes off for teammate Alec “Beefcake” Mackenzie. The two have shared #9 duties all fall giving the team great options and challenging defenses with their different styles of play. Moments later junior Charlie “Clash of Clans” Kunze comes into loosehead, sliding sophomore Cole “Cassanova” Baker to tighthead as senior Mike “Doctor Doctor” Wysota comes off. The third substitution sees sophomore Miller “Shotgun” Judge take over the blindside flanking duties from Jones.

All the substitutions must have fired up Feury as he muscles down two more tries over the next few minutes. Schreiber converts 1 of the 2 and the Middlebury lead is 53-6.

The break allows The Blue to make two more substitutions, with senior hooker Sam “Who Dipped Their Bread In My Borscht?” Finkelman coming off for fellow senior Madison “Coach, I Need a Nickname” Stebbins, and freshman Jackson “Yes, Coach” Yang taking over for classmate Julien “Facebook Hacker” Miller on the wing. Before things can settle down, senior lock John “Scooter” Hawley comes on for senior Tom “Deep Heat” Lynch.

Hawley makes an immediate impact as he skies up and secures the ball from the kickoff. The forwards, in control at the breakdown all day, hammer the ball up pushing UConn onto their back foot. Mackenzie moves the ball from the base, and Stafford finds 8-man Silsby punching thru. Silsby takes the ball at pace, draws the defender and unselfishly pops back in side to Hawley who runs untouched to the try zone for a well-earned try. Schreiber converts to make it 60-6 with 20 minutes remaining.

Only 2 minutes later Silsby gets in on the action and scores Middlebury’s 10th try of the day which Schreiber converts to make it 67-6. It’s worth highlighting the play and season of Mr. Silsby who is pretty much doing it all this year. A beast in the lineout, diesel at the back of the scrum, a veritable tsunami at the breakdown, Silsby has been giving opposing teams fits all year. And somehow he manages to have the vision and energy to insert in the backline numerous times each game. Silsby is a special player having a special season.

All season long Middlebury has aimed to Finish Strong, and the Boys in Blue only know one speed. Schwarz punches thru again (Schreiber converts), and Stebbins takes advantage of a tired defense,quick  picking from the ruck and muscling thru no fewer than 3 would-be tacklers for the try. Schreiber has a rare miss and Middlebury is firmly in front 79-6 with 11 minutes remaining.

The final two reserve players come on with freshman lock Henry “I’ll Play Flyhalf” Thomson taking over for Captain Stasiuk, and sophomore winger Simba “Solar Decathalon” Chakauya relieving Schwarz.

Middlebury continues to delight the alumni, parents and fans and records two  more tries before the final whistle with the scores coming from Stafford and Feury. Schreiber, of course, converts both. The referee signals time and Middlebury wins 93-6. The game marks the biggest Division I win in team history and is also the highest point total and largest margin of victory in the brief 2+ year history of the East Coast Rugby Conference.

FINAL: 93-6

FIRST XV: Cole Baker ’16, Sam Finkelman ’14, Mike Wysota ’14, (C) Ben Stasiuk ’13.5, Tom Lynch ’14, Griffin Jones ’16, Devin Risinger ’14, Laird Silsby ’15, Vince Mariano ’14, Allan Stafford ’13.5, Sam Schwarz ’16, Jake Feury ’16, Adam Schreiber ’14, Julien Miller ’17, Alex Ruocco ’14

RESERVES: Alec Mackenzie ’15, Charlie Kunze ’15, Miller Judge ’16, Madison Stebbins ’14.5, Jackson Yang ’17, John Hawley ’14, Henry Thomson ’17, Simba Chakauya ’16

 

On yet another picture-perfect fall day The MCRC traveled south to take on the Huskies of Northeastern. This eagerly anticipated match between the last two ECRC Champions lived up to the billing with a very physical encounter. In the end, the Blue proved to have superior fitness, depth and intensity, pulling away to a convincing 37-7 victory after trailing 6-7 at the half. The win is the team’s third bonus-point win in a row and Middlebury stands alone atop the ECRC with 15 points.

Up next is a bye week, followed by the team’s final regular season home match on 10/12 against UConn during Middlebury’s Fall Family Weekend and The MCRC’s Alumni Weekend.

Full Match Report Here:

Coming off of a huge win over AIC, the MCRC was ready to sink their teeth into a new opponent and they had their sights on Northeastern. The sun was shining as the team made their way onto the pitch at the Irish Cultural Heritage site in Canton, MA for their third game of the season. After a few tweaks to the starting line up over the course of the week, the Blue were ready to solidify their dominance in the ECRC.

Right off the bat the Blue were faced with a pressing issue, which would last the entire match. After beautifully wheeling a Northeastern scrum the referee accidentally gave the ball to Northeastern, foreshadowing future calls throughout the game. Northeastern took advantage of their 2nd opportunity, won the scrum and a few phases later touched the ball down. The try would put Northeastern up 7-0 just 90 seconds into the game.

Battling through the Husky defense, Laird “Godzilla” Silsby ’15 and Julien “Caesar” Miller ’17 repeatedly worked their way up the field, only to get stopped by either handling errors or the referee’s quick whistle. Although the officiating was questionable, the boys would continue to apply pressure. The Huskies began to show strain under the weight and strength of the Midd pack, led by captain Ben “FireNuts” Stasiuk ’13.5. The Mad Dogs were out scrummed, mauled, and tackled throughout the first half and the grunt work began to pay off with The Blue earning penalties and electing to go for goal four times. ECRC leading scorer Jake “Flo” Feury ’16, starting his first game at inside center,  slotted two beautifully struck penalty kicks through the uprights to chip away at the Huskie lead. The last was just before half bringing the halftime score to 6-7 in favor of the home team

As the half ended, the team was quietly confident with their first 40 minutes. Despite the score Middlebury knew that it had dominated the action for most of the half. Captain Stasiuk reminded his teammates to keep faith in the game plan, and an inspired John Philips had a quick message for his team before they stepped back onto the field, “This is all about brotherhood!”

The brothers of the MCRC, rested, refreshed and ready to play some rugby, quickly stepped up their pace. Crushing the Huskies down the line with a beautiful maul off a linout, Northeastern’s #4 earns a yellow card for repeated offsides four minutes into the half. Middlebury kicked to touch, mauled again, and Cole “Just Put Me in Coach” Baker ’16 touched the ball down for Midd’s first try of the day at the five minute mark. Feury converts the difficult angle and The Blue is in front for the first time, 13-7 MCRC.

Next up would be fullback Alex “I’ll Be There Early” Ruocco ’14, collecting a loose pass and dancing around the Huskies and into the corner of the try zone. The kick from the touchline is no good but Middlebury still has an 18-7 lead 13 minutes into the 2nd half.

As the second half moves on the depth of the Blue comes into play. The coaches talk about “Squad” and this day is a great example. Veteran lock Tom “Best Hair on the Team” Lynch ’14 comes out 17 minutes into the half after playing the majority of the game with a sprained ankle with Charlie “The Antagonist” Kunze ’15 stepping in.  A few minutes later hard-hitting Sam “Siberian” Finkleman ’14 hands over the hooking duties to Madison “My Ball!” Stebbins ’14.5.

With relentless pressure the Blue takes the game into their own hands. 32 minutes in loosehead prop Cliff “Kraken” Hanich ’15 bulldozes his way into the try zone putting the Blue up 23-7. After this score tighthead prop Baker subs off the field with Michael “Trapezius” Wysota ’14 taking over the #3 duties. Middlebury refuses to let the ball out of Northeastern’s half until they get more points, and they do just that. Jake “Points on Points on Points” Feury ’16 touches down and converts his own try to put Midd up 30-7. The try earns Middlebury a scoring bonus point (for 4 tries) for the third game in a row.

But the Blue wasn’t done! Captain Allan “Staff Sergeant” Stafford ’13.5 finishes the game in usual form, scoring a try under the posts in the last seconds of play. The score keeps Stafford perfect with a try each game this season, and also marks this long-time fullback’s first try from the flyhalf position.  Feury converts on a drop kick to extend the lead. Middlebury wins with a final score of 37-7.

 

FIRST XV: Cliff Hanich ’14.5, Sam Finkelman ’14, Cole Baker ’16, Ben Stasiuk ’13.5, Tom Lynch ’14, Devin Risinger ’14, Griffin Jones ’16, Laird Silsby ’15, Vince Mariano ’14, Allan Stafford ’13.5, Jake Feury ’16, Adam Schreiber ’14, Julien Miller ’17, Sam Schwarz ’16, Alex Ruocco ‘14

RESERVES: Madison Stebbins ’14.5, Henry Thompson ’17, John Hawley ’14, Michael Wysota ’14, Max deJong ’17, Tucker Hopkins ’16, Jackson Yang ‘17

Spotted At The Game: AC Jones ’12.5, Sam Harrison ’11, Chris Vandergrift ’11, Dan Khan ’11, Sean Meany ’08, Chris Mutty ’09.5, Miss Vermont 2013

On another spectacular fall day the MCRC fought through the gusting winds and ran to a 37-12 victory over conference foe AIC. Playing into the wind in the first half, the Blue battled the headwind and handling errors but still made it to halftime with an 18-7 lead. The Yellow Jackets would capitalize on the kickoff to start the 2nd half, scoring an unconverted try just 2 minutes in to narrow the lead to 18-12, but Middlebury seized control of the game from there scoring 3 tries (2 converted) and dominating both territory and possession. Outside center Jake Feury ’16 led all scorers with 17 points (1 try, 2 penalties and 3 conversions). #8 Laird Silsby ’15 had an absolute stormer, scoring 1 try and completely wreaking havoc all over the pitch. Other try scorers include flanker Griffin Jones ’16, and Captains Allan Stafford ’13.5 and Ben Stasiuk ’13.5.

Up next Middlebury travels to Boston to take on Northeastern on 10/28 at the Irish Cultural Center, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA.  NEU is 1-1 (lost to AIC, defeated UMass). The first side kicks off at 1pm with the second game beginning roughly 2:45pm.  Middlebury currently stands alone in first place in the ECRC with 2 bonus point wins.

Full Match Report:

In what seems to be the trend of the season so far the MCRC battled AIC on a spectacular fall day, coming out on top with a 37-12 victory. Starting out fighting into a vicious headwind the Blue capitalized early on with outside center Jake “Point Man” Feury ’16 converting a very nicely struck penalty kick. Just a few minutes later Feury stepped into the line, intercepted a sloppy Yellow Jacket pass, and stung AIC with a 50 meter try under the posts. The man from New Jersey converts his own score to make it10-0 MCRC.

After a chippy period of play and some spectacular scrummaging from the Blue pack, AIC struck back and sent the ball wide into the Midd try zone. They convert an absolute gem of a kick from the touchline to tighten the match to 10-7. Middlebury maintained the pressure and earned another penalty in front of the post. Feury ’16 slotted the easy kick to give the Blue a six-point lead.

Before the half was over the MCRC enjoyed the phenomenal kicking skills of Adam “Golden Boot” Schreiber ’14, and some outstanding runs by both Allan “Roy Hobbs” Stafford ’13.5 and Sam “Do You Even Lift Bro?” Schwarz ’16. Middlebury camps out in the opposition’s half and the forwards keep pounding the fringes. The half ends with Griffin “Plow Horse” Jones ’16 ripping through the Yellow Jacket defense and touching down. The winds continue to wreak havoc and the conversions is no good. Halftime score is 18-7 Middlebury.

At the beginning of the second half AIC capitalized on Middlebury’s mishandling of the kickoff with an unconverted try just two minutes in to make it 18-12.  Fortunately for the Blue, this is AIC’s final score of the day.

The Blue began to work more efficiently and once a team becomes efficient they become productive, and productive they were. After a great push up the field Captain Ben “The Bee Tamer” Stasiuk ’13.5 hammered down upon the Yellow Jackets with an unconverted try. Then just minutes later, with complete disregard for human safety Laird “Poetry In Motion” Silsby ’15 FLEW into the try zone after a brilliant individual run to put the boys up 30-12 with 13 minutes left in the game. As the game clock wound down the boys would keep the ball in the AIC half with just pure aggression and tremendous line strength. Finally ending the game in the most natural way possible, Allan “El Natural” Stafford ’13.5 took the ball in for an easy try under the posts, which Feury converted with joy.

 

FINAL: 37-12

 

FIRST XV: Cliff Hanich ’15, Sam Finkleman ’14.5, Cole Baker ’16, Ben Stasiuk (C) ’13.5, Tom Lynch ’14, Devin Risinger ’14, Griffin Jones ’16, Laird Silsby ’15, Alec Mackenzie ’15, Adam Schreiber ’14, Dave Stillman ’14, Jake Feury ’16, Julien Miller ’17 (First Start), Sam Schwarz ‘16

RESERVES: Mike Wysota ’14, Madison Stebbins ’14, Charlie Kunze ’15, Henry Thompson ’17, John Hawley ’14, Vince Mariano ’14, Tucker Hopkins ’16, Alex Ruocco ‘14

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