As a team, we maintain our commitment to the values of diversity, inclusion, and justice. We cannot stay silent on the injustices that have run rampant in our country for centuries and have reached a boiling point in the last week in light of the murder of George Floyd. Our team and our Middlebury community is comprised of black, queer, trans, POC, and femme identities whose lives we value and support: just like George Floyd, just like Breonna Taylor, just like Ahmaud Arbery and countless others. We believe that actions speak louder than words and have chosen to crowdsource a donation from MCWRC to BLD PWR: a black-led fund which “engages culture, education and activism to build and train an inclusive community of entertainers and athletes to advance social change.” We also believe that group silence contributes to a lack of accountability among individuals which justifies neutrality and inaction– thus serving the agenda of the oppressor. For this reason, we challenge other Middlebury organizations to take the route of action rather than just words. We challenge the administration to take action for social justice within our Middlebury community in addition to its emails that simply recognize the struggle. To our black teammates and fellow students: we see you, we stand with you, and we support you. Black lives matter.
We have been working hard practicing in advance of our 2017 Spring season. We hope you can make it out to see us play!
4/15: 7’s Tournament @ Williams
4/22: 7’s Tournament @ Bowdoin
5/6: Home vs. Dartmouth
It was a beautiful day for rugby this Saturday as we headed south down route 7 for our season opener. The panthers were eager to get playing, especially those seniors returning from abroad. Because of numbers, both teams agreed to play 10’s instead of the usual 15’s, with four 15-minute quarters. This gave both teams some much needed respite throughout the game.
The panthers came out strong, with scrum half Ellen “MY COW” Colton ’19 scoring within the first few minutes. The panthers would go on to score four more times in the first quarter, with a spectacular first try ever for Jess “Showtunes” Garner ’19.5. Special shoutout to Brenda “Bridget” Li ’17, who held the backs down at fullback/wing, and also scored during the first quarter.
Under the fearless leadership of coach KO Onufry, the panthers shook it up for the second quarter and tried some new positions. This allowed us to get more creative with our plays, most notably a switch between Melanie “Jane” Pascual ’19 and Hannah “It’s Just Blood” Phelps ’18 that resulted in a beautiful try from Phelps. A try from Williams during the second quarter left the score 41-5 at halftime.
For the second half of the game, the panthers focused on working cohesively, with members of the forwards and backs moving together. Tries were scored, blood was shed. The panthers moved well as a unit and were very successful in their lineouts.
Huge shout out to Calla “But I’m a Flanker?” Rosenfeld ’19 who played her first game for Middlebury in the back line and to all the players who tried new positions! High scorers were Ellen Colton ’19 (29 pts) and Heather Tourgee ‘17 (20pts). We hope to see all of our amazing fans next weekend (October 1) at home against Colby at 11am.
Ellen Colton ‘19 (5)
Jessica Garner ’19.5 (5) (Colton-2)
Heather Tourgee ’17 (5)
Brenda Li ’17 (5) (Colton-2)
Melanie Jane Pascual ’19 (5)
Jess Masinter ’19 (5) (Phelps-2)
Heather Tourgee (5)
Heather Tourgee (5)
Ellen Colton (5)
Brenda Li (5) (Colton-2)
Jess Masinter (5) (Colton-2)
Hannah Phelps (5) (Colton-2)
Heather Tourgee (5)
Audrey Pan ’19 (5) (Colton-2)
Ellen Colton (5)
Julia Struzyna ‘19.5 (5) (Colton -2)
It was a great day for rugby and an even greater day for turf burn as we geared up against St. Mikes on the men’s football field. Though KO was of course in Georgia for some incredible Eagles/rugby/amazingKO event, we were well equipped with Sargent Sarsh and Katie Linder (who’s essentially KO’s age anyways). St. Mikes scored first, but just like Brittany Spear’s career, we came back hard and our very own Kate Monroe scored us a beautiful try. After coming in low and hitting hard, Heather Tourgee aka Big Heat aka Emily-Scarratt-in-the-making, scored another try.
The game continued on. Thing got tense. People lost their cleats. And most stressful of all– Jess’s nose wouldn’t stop bleeding all over our beautiful new white jerseys. Then, out of nowhere, like the first person in line at breakfast-for-dinner in Ross, Ellen Colton broke away, and scored her very first, but definitely not her last, try! But then, St. Mikes fired back, and much like one of Heather’s male suitors, embarrassingly scored twice. That brought the scored up to 15:15 and things were tense. You could practically see the vein bursting out of Brenda Li’s temple due to adrenaline and anticipation. But then, Jess Masinter, took off and scored just in time to win us the game!
But hey hey hey — the game didn’t stop there. B-side commenced with many a new player and some oldies-but-goodies. Must like many of the marriages that happen in Las Vegas, there was a certain confused but committed feel to the game. Hannah Phelps, living up to the athletic expectations of her last name, scored a fantastic try! With a fabulously talented scrum-half in the mix, and of course the determination, hard work, and resilience of the team, we played a great game!
Final Score, 50-20, loss
This past weekend MCWRC headed up to Burlington to play UVM. Since they couldn’t get access to any outside field space, we were slated to play on turf inside at the Edge sporting facility in Williston, VT. This ended up being a fortunate turn of events since it snowed that Saturday. We knew going in that the game against D-1 UVM would be tough, but everyone donned their outrageous prom dresses and geared up for the challenge. Since the field was quite small, we decided that there would be no kicking except to kick-off, there would be 3 20-minute periods, and that we’d play 14s (no fullbacks). After some laughter and a quick warm up the teams set up with Middlebury kicking off to UVM. The game began fast-paced and tough as UVM quickly broke through our defenses and scored a try. The first minutes of play were exhausting and UVM’s forwards lived up to their reputation as they ran “power” after power off of the rucks.
The first period was challenging, and we struggled to maintain possession and keep control on such a small field, but captain Katie Linder ’15 scored Middlebury’s first try of the game. Play calmed down slightly in the second period as Middlebury began to hit its stride. After a few line-up adjustments and some water we hit the field again with an eye on rucking and setting pillars/posts. This time both Linder and Sylvia Lynch ’18 scored tries. As we started to figure out their forwards’ strategy, our backs gained more space for longer runs and deeper passes (despite the small field). The third period felt more settled, and we changed around positions again. At this point in the game, many players were in positions they’d rarely, if ever, practiced. Everyone met the challenge with a spirit of flexibility, determination, and fun. In the final period Kristin Richards ’17 scored her first ever try. Shout-out to Hannah Phelps ’18 and Kate Monroe ‘18.5 on their first game with MCWRC! Even though we lost it was a tough but great game to open our season, and I’m looking forward to our next games and tournaments.
Final Score (Loss): UVM 50-Middlebury 20
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for rugby—this year we sacrificed our Halloween. But somehow the game made up for it. We arrived at Bowdoin to play Colby (in this case not a trick, just confusing). We put on our costumes, all dressing as rugby players and encountered the most frighteningly talented witch of all: Jade! But we played scarily well that day. Miss Jen Wenzler playing scrum half for the first time, was eerily good at the position. Our back line was well coordinated and clever, like a good couples costume. Lissa scored a try, kicking butt and then kicking us a few more points. At the end of the game, the score was like any store-bought costume: uncomfortably close. But with two more tries executed by Franny and Skravitz and the hard work from our team, we won 17-10, marking the end of our season. This victory was sweeter than any halloween candy we could’ve possibly gotten.
The day of the game against Bowdin felt similar to gearing up for battle—the terrain dangerous, the spectators nervous, and the stakes high. The cold frost that came down from the north with Bowdoin’s team had turned our field into a swamp of quicksand, and we had to play on for our families, for glory, and Franklin’s grandmother. MCWRC pulled through and fought fiercely and inspirationally for the entire eighty minutes. Despite the end score at 60-0, we played the game like the score was 0-0, giving our all. We even played a fierce B-side game, showing our bravery and persistence. Though many walked away with battle wounds, our pride remained in tact. Until next time, Bowdoin.