The MCRC is pleased to open our Fall 2012 raffle, and honestly, it’s the best selection of prizes we’ve ever had. Patriots tickets? You bet! Red Sox vs. Yankees tickets? No doubt! And that’s just the tip of the iceburg. As a club, we rely on your support for everything from coaching salaries, to uniforms and team travel. Please support your Boys in Blue! Just click on the link below to see all the prizes and buy your tickets today!
Category Archive for 'Media'
On Saturday, September 29 the MCRC was scheduled to travel to New Haven, CT to take on the Owls of Southern Connecticut State University. Unfortunately, word came thru late friday night that the pitch was under water and unplayable. The game has been re-scheduled for Saturday, November 10.
In the meantime, the Development Squad traveled north and took on the B-side of St. Mike’s. This was the first ever rugby game for some of the men in Blue and not only did they hold their own, they shut out St. Mike’s 22-0. How great is that!?
On a beautiful fall day the MCRC hosted the reigning ECRC champions Northeastern, who had yet to suffer a defeat in the young conference. The Mad dogs came out strong and dominated all aspects of play in opening a 12-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. Another score surely would have put the visitors firmly in command, but the Boys in Blue had other things in mind. Middlebury applied solid pressure and patiently build phases. 16 minutes in All-American flyhalf Brian Sirkia ’12.5 takes a quick ball and kicks to the far corner. Who is there to gather it in and touch it down? None other than try-scoring machine Allan “El Natural” Stafford ’13.5. The wind makes the conversion attempt from the sideline that much more difficult, and even Captain Sirkia can’t make this one. 5-12 Northeastern.
After this both teams settle down and the possession is back and forth with neither team able to mount a successfull attack. The early scrummaging domination of Northeastern begins to wane, and the Middlebury forwards start to pick up steam. At the 30 minute mark the relentless pressure earns Midd a penalty which Sirkia converts. 8-12 Northeastern.
But Northeastern is an experienced, hard-running team and not a group to quit playing. Their relentless attack pays off in another try (unconverted) at minute 36 and they take a 9 point lead just minutes before the half. But minutes are plenty of time in rugby, and Middlebury attacks again. Another infringement at the breakdown by Northeastern and Sirkia slots home the penalty in the last play of the first half. The score is 11-17 at halftime.
The second half begins with more hard-hitting rugby, but thankfully no more scoring from the visitors. The only half-time substitute is greenhorn Aaron Yappert ’16 who comes on to relieve Kennedy Mugo ’12.5 on the wing. Yappert came to the MCRC as a forward, but one look at his skills and the coaches moved him to the backline. Yappert takes the field exclaiming “But I’ve never played wing before!” No worries, Mr. Yappert. The mad genius of Head Coach John Phillips is at work, and in the Mad Genius we trust!
The half begins and the teams exchange volleys, with neither able to deal a decisive blow. As the half wears on, the fitness of Middlebury begins to pay off. The forwards start to take control of the scrum, and more fresh legs come on in the form of another freshman with Griffin Jones ’16 replacing Nate Brown ’13 at flanker, and lock John “Scooter” Hawley ’14 replacing Andrew “I don’t need no stinkin’ intestine!” Jones. Hawley and Jones make an immediate impact making tackle after tackle and the constant pressure pays off 17 minutes into the half as who but Allan Stafford beats his man, turns the corner and scores under the posts. The try makes the score 16-17 and Sirkia drills the easy conversion to make it 18-17. Middlebury is in front for the first time all day, but there is plenty of rugby left to play.
Northeastern attacks again and quiets the huge crowd when they re-take the lead at the 24 minute mark with penalty. The score stands at 18-20 Northeastern with just 15 minutes left on the clock. Middlebury, however, is far from done, and with the fans and pep band cheering them on attack right from the kick-off. The Blue earn a penalty at minute 27, but Sirkia’s kick is held up by the strong wind as Northeastern gathers it right in front of the posts. Keeping the pressure on full blast the MCRC earn another penalty 2 minutes later, but again Sirkia in unable to convert.
With time running short the coaches make two more changes, sending in Vince Mariano ’14 to relieve Alec Mackenzie ’15 at scrumhalf, and Cole Baker ’16 to take over at loose head from Cliff “The Kraken” Hanich ’15. Cole Baker’s first ever play for the Blue is an absolutely crushing scrum as he thoroughly dominates his opposite. The Middlebury scrum drives back Northeastern, Mariano whips the ball wide from the base, and it’s try time and back-to-back Hat Tricks for the other worldly Allan Stafford who once again steps his man and then beats him to the corner. The sideline erupts as the referee awards the try and Middlebury takes the lead 23-20 with just 5 minutes left to play.
Middlebury knows that the lead is a narrow one and that Northeastern isn’t going to give up. The final minutes see some incredibly physical rucking as both teams give everything they’ve got. As the visitors prepare to throw in a line-out just inside Midd’s 10 meter line the referee announces “Last Play!” The Mad Dogs win clean ball and attack in tight, but are unable to gain ground thru Middlebury’s stalwart defense. Tackle after tackle and breakdown after breakdown and the crowd is going wild knowing that the finish line is just inches away. Finally the patience and discipline of Middlebury pay off as the ball is won at a breakdown and fed back to Yappert who boots it into touch and seals the victory. The whistle blows and the Middlebury bench rushes their teammates on the field as all celebrate this hard-earned victory!
Hats off to Northeastern who played a physical, attacking game from whistle to whistle. They are a demanding opponent and we look forward to seeing them again!
FIRST XV: Cliff Hanich ’15, Sam Finkelman ’14.5, Mike Wysota ’14, Ben Stasiuk (C) ’13.5, AC Jones ’12.5, Luke Dauner ’13, Nate Brown ’13, Laird Silsby ’15, Alec Mackenzie ’15, Brian Sirkia (C) ’12.5, Kennedy Mugo ’12.5, Dylan Whitaker ’13, Adam Schreiber ’14, Jebb Norton ’13.5, Allan Stafford ’13.
Reserves: Dylan Igoe ’15, Tom Lynch ’14, John Hawley ’14, Cole Baker ’16, Griffin Jones ’16, Vince Mariano ’14, Alex Ruocco ’14, Aaron Yappert ’16
First cap: Aaron Yappert, Griffin Jones, Cole Baker
The MCRC traveled to UMass-Amherst on Saturday and won a hard-fought, back-and-forth game, 33-31. Higlights include tries by scrumhalf Alec MacKenzie ’15, prop Mike “Traps” Wysota ’14 and a hat trick from fullback Allan “The Natural” Stafford ’13.5.
Match Report Week 1: MCRC at UMass
The Blue opened their second season in collegiate rugby’s first division with a thrilling 33-31 win over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in Amherst, MA. After a grueling training camp that capped off a summer of hard work and skill building, the Middlebury College Rugby Club aimed to reestablish themselves in the Northeast following a 2011 season characterized by tough loses both on the roster and on the pitch. Lead by the senior tandem of fullback Alan Stafford (3 tries) and inside center Dylan Whitaker (16 tackles), the Blue managed to avenge last year’s 20-24 loss and set high expectations for the season to come.
The first half belonged to the Blue, both on the scoreboard and in the scrum. Commanded on the field by senior captain Ben Stasiuk, the Blue pack dominated in the trenches and lay the foundation for the first half scoring. Of the team’s three first half tries, Stafford contributed a pair thanks in large part to seamless ball movement amongst the backline, while sophomore scrum half Alec Mackenzie added the third on the halftime whistle in a brilliant individual effort, picking the ball from the scrum and gutting the Minutemen from 40 meters out. Senior captain Brian Sirkia was a perfect 3 for 3 for conversions in the first half, sending the team to the sidelines up 21-12.
Middlebury picked up where it left off in the second half, with Stafford scoring his third try in the 46th minute to bring the lead to 26-12, but from then on, the landscape of the game changed decidedly in favor of the Minutemen. UMass, not content to be steamrolled by a school one tenth of its size, battled back to tie the game at 26 and eventually take the lead 31-26 in the game’s waning minutes.
In the final minutes of the game, after seeing their lead dissolve before them, the Blue showed their true character. With determination and composure, the Blue methodically marched down the pitch, driving the Minutemen back to their own try-line. Twice in a row the Blue pack had their scrum turned only to rally and turn the Minutemen’s scrum immediately after, maintaining possession on the doorstep. Finally, in the 76th minute, junior prop Mike “Traps” Wysota found a gap in the UMass defense and dove across the try-line to tie the game at 31. Captain Brian Sirkia missed the conversion by a hair, but the referee called a re-kick due to excessive shouting from the Minutemen and their fans during set up for the kick. Sirkia, with ice in his veins, drilled the second conversion to give the Blue a hard fought win over a competitive and athletic UMass side.
First XV: Cliff Hanich ’15, Sam Finkleman ‘ 15.5, Mike Wysota ’14, Ben Stasiuk (C) ’13.5, Andrew Jones ’12.5, Nate Brown ’13, Luke Dauner ’13, Laird Silsby ’15, Alec MacKenzie ’15, Brian Sirkia (C) ’12.5, Geoffrey Genova ’15, Dylan Whitaker ’13, Adam Schreiber ’14, Jebb Norton ’13, Allan Stafford ’13.5.
Substitutes: John Hawley ’14 (AC Jones), Vince Mariano ’14 (Alec Mackenzie), Taran Veerman ’15 (Jebb Norton)
First Cap (competitive): Sam Finkelman, Nate Brown
The MCRC would like to wish a fond farewell and good luck to Muchadei Zvoma ’07 who is off to pursue an MBA at the Kellogg School of Business. After winning the Division II National Championship in his last game as a collegiate rugby player, Muchadei returned to Middlebury in the fall of 2008 to begin his coaching career. There must be something about this man from Zimbabwe for in his first year as a coach the MCRC went undefeated and won their 2nd National Championship.
Muchadei leaves us as the only member of the MCRC to win a National Championship as both a player and a coach, but his contributions to our club cannot be measured in wins and losses. For the past four years he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the MCRC, both on and off the pitch. He has been a constant advocate for the club and its members, and a valued friend to all.
To honor Muchadei and all that he means to the MCRC, he was awarded the first ever “Legend of the Blue” at this year’s pre-Commencement banquet. The “Legend of the Blue” aims to recognize the unique accomplishments and contributions of those special few who have changed the club forever. We can think of no better man to be the first ever Legend of the Blue!
Muchadei was also awarded the 2012 Evan Mangino Award, which states, “This award goes to the player displaying the highest level of Character and Courage, and a strong Commitment to the betterment of the MCRC. It was created to honor the achievements and contributions of Mr. Mangino, 2003.” For all those who know Muchadei, these words could have been written directly about him, and he is most deserving of this unique honor.
Muchadei, you are forever our friend and brother and we wish you all the best. You will be missed!
Please join The MCRC in congratulating Middlebury captain Brian Sirkia ’12.5 and loosie Ross Berriman ’12 on being named to Rugbymag.com’s DII All-Americans List.
Sirkia who plays both scrum-half and fly-half for Middlebury was named as scrum-half and Berriman was named in his preferred open-side flanker position.
Congratulations to all the players from across DII who were named to this list: click here for the rugbymag article.
Middlebury takes on Salisbury in the DII National Championship semi-final at Founders Field in Pittsburgh, PA. These two teams met in the corresponding fixture in 2007 in Sanford, FL. Middlebury, eventual national champions, beat Salisbury in that game 49 – 14. Four years on and anyone who played in that game has now moved on.
All of the DII men’s and women’s semi-final and final games will be streamed online at http://www.ustream.tv/usarugby.
Kick-off for the Middlebury semi-final is at 3:15 PM.
Great article by USARugby on Dudley DeGroot, captain of the 1924 US Rugby Olympic Gold Medal winning team, and his great grandson, Middlebury winger Zach Withers ’11.5 – now that’s rugby pedigree: http://tinyurl.com/3toojqd
Follow themcrc on twitter for live score updates: http://twitter.com/themcrc
During the NRU final game against U-Maine on November 9 the MCRC was delighted to be paid a visit by several parents of alumni including former “resident” photographer Ellen Harasimowicz. Mother to alumnus 8th man turned winger, Jeff “Mouse” Harasimowicz ’07, and aunt of winger, Drew “Mouse Jr” Harasimowicz ’11, Ellen’s ties to MCRC run deep and we have all benefited from her support and stunning camera work. With her trusty camera in her hand Ellen captured a host of incredible images from the Panthers victory. Click here to view and order images from the NRU final
Huge thanks Ellen!