It was a bittersweet day on the pitch yesterday as the Panthers faced off against Dartmouth’s B-side for their final match of the season, and the final match ever for six senior players. Despite the wind and the rain, it was a beautiful day for rugby, and lots of fans came out to show their support.
To accommodate Dartmouth’s limited numbers, the game was split into three twenty-minute periods rather than the usual 40-minute halves. Dartmouth scored early in the first period, but was unable to convert due to the heavy winds in Midd’s favor. The Panthers pushed back hard, but were unable to make it into their try zone. A penalty kick for points from Ellen “Wait What” Colton ’19 would be Middlebury’s only chance to score.
Despite putting up a tough offense, Dartmouth was not immune to the pressure of Middlebury’s defense. The game was very physical and the Panthers never gave up in trying to keep the ball away from their opponents. In the end, Dartmouth would score twice more, for a final score of 3-15.
The mood was far from despair, however, as both seniors and underclassmen were excited to end their season on a competitive note. Seniors Brenna “Am I Mini Yet?” Christensen ’17, Camille “Chamillionaire” Kellogg ’17 and Canary “Still A Cradle Robber” Ly ’17 all had amazing last games. Although they are sad to be going, the seniors are confident that next year’s squad will be up to the many challenges the team will face going forward. Many Middlebury players broke the sport’s main rule: There’s No Crying in Rugby. If you looked close enough, even stalwart curmudgeon/ fullback extraordinaire Brenda “Bridget” Li ’17 could be seen shedding a tear.
After the match, Dartmouth players awarded Midd Captain and 8-(wo)man Franny “Francesca” Suarez ’17 with “Player of the Match.” Midd in turn bestowed the same honor on Dartmouth’s 8-(wo)man. Both players had tremendous games, showing off their technical prowess and leadership. Flanker Emilie “Miscellaneous Bird Sounds” Seavey ’18 was bestowed with Midd’s own version of Player of the Match, Mr. Tackle.
If the awards were up to me, though, I would have chosen team dogs Moxie Pearl “Maxi Pad” Onufry and Kels “I’m going to ride him like a horse” Onufry for Players of the Match, whose dedication to shedding on people and running straight into line-outs are both adorable and a force to be reckoned with.
Thank you to Dartmouth for traveling and for playing through the rain and wind, and to our fans who came out to support us. The senior class would like to thank coaches KO Onufry and Kevin O’Brien for all they have done for us over the past four years.
Class of 2018, all we can say is this: Good Luck!