The Middlebury Panthers were very excited to return to Williams in the spring, this time for their season-opening sevens tournament! It was a beautiful day for rugby, with temps in the mid-60s, but the wind sent drop-kicks flying in all directions, much to the chagrin of our all-star kickers, Franny “HUMBLE.” Suarez ’17 and Ellen “I don’t need a break” Colton ’19.
Eager to prove their mettle, the Panthers took to the field in their first match against Springfield College, which was expected to be the toughest of the day. Tries from Middlebury in the first few minutes cemented their lead early on, though, and they were able to defeat them despite some great breakaway tries from Springfield, for a final score of 20-10.
Following a short break between our first and second matches, the Panthers soaked up some sun after a long Vermont winter, resulting in some truly terrific sunburns (see photo below).
They hit hard again for their double header in the afternoon, this time against Connecticut College for their second win of the day (32-0), and Williams for their third (29-5). Players were rotated through, and new combinations kept the Camels and the Ephs on their toes.
The Panthers secured their tournament victory with a decisive win over Wellesley College (46-0). A B-Side game against a combination of Williams and Conn players provided a great opportunity for some younger players to take initiative on the pitch, and three new players played in their first-ever rugby game!
A huge thank-you goes out to the Williams College Rugby Club for hosting and to all the teams for a beautiful day of rugby! Thanks also to our loyal fans, canine and human, who traveled to watch us play! This weekend was a huge start for our season as we continue to prepare for the ACRA-qualifying tournament at Bowdoin College next weekend!