On a beautiful fall night in Hamilton, NY (not to mention Colgate Day), Colgate welcomed nationally ranked SUNY Cortland to Andy Kerr Stadium for a rare Friday night conference match under the lights. Following a much needed Fall break, our student-athletes were feeling rejuvenated and ready to go. We still had the lessons learned from our previous match against Syracuse University fresh on our mind and were confident coming into the match.
The first half kicked off with Colgate receiving the ball. It didn’t take long for our men to implement our attacking strategy and begin knocking on the door in the green zone (opposition’s 22 meter). With a narrow field to play on (as nice as Andy Kerr’s field is it is a narrower field than what we have become accustomed) and facing a fast and strong defensive line, chip kicks and territorial kicks would have to be utilized a lot throughout the match. During the first 35 minutes of the game, both teams would put several phases together but would eventually be shut down by the oppositon’s defense. However, it would be at 39th minute that SUNY Cortland would slip through a small crack in Colgate’s defense to dot down the first score of the game. Colgate had a few opportunities of our own throughout the half, but could not put the final piece of the puzzle together. FIRST HALF SCORE: SUNY Cortland 7 Colgate 0
SUNY Cortland received the second half kick-off and began the attack. The first 15 minutes of the half, both teams would have possession and test each others halftime tweaks. However, it was SUNY Cortland that would get the upper hand at the 57th minute with continual pressure inside our red zone. Colgate would eventually give up 2 more tries in the game (63rd and 76th minute), but it would become evident throughout the second half that our young men continued to gain an understanding of how to play Colgate’s brand of rugby. Unfortunately for us we were not able to capitalize on a few of our scoring opportunities in the second half which would ultimately give SUNY Cortland the win. FINAL SCORE: SUNY Cortland 26 Colgate 0.
As mentioned before, our young team have come along way these past 2 months as we have been faced with several season ending injuries to key players. This has put our first year players under a lot of pressure to learn everything on the go. Without any hesitation or fear, each one of them have quickly learned how to play rugby at a high level. Starting 5 freshman that have never played rugby before arriving on campus is difficult, but having to do so in the top rugby conference in the nation makes it even more of a tough ask. However, these gentleman have accepted every challenged they have been given and I can not help but be proud and excited for the future Colgate Rugby!
Our next match will be October 21st @ the University of Albany at 12pm (University at Albany, State Quad Field, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222). If you are in the area, we would love to have your support as we continue to gain experience and compete in our conference. If you are unable to attend, you can get match updates via Twitter (@Colgate_Rugby). Looking forward, the remainder of our schedule is as follows:
– 10/28 – v University of Binghamton (Development Match)
– 11/3 [Friday] – @ Fordham University
– 11/10 [Friday] – @ Northeastern University
Until next time, cheers and go ‘Gate Rugby!
1) Jack Johnson ’21
2) Billy Bingo ’19
3) Michael Rasmussen ’19
4) Ian Cummins ’21
5) Will Baker ’20
6) James Nash ’21
7) Dorian Washington ’19
8) Will Pitkin ’19
9) Cris Kusner ’20
10) Adrian Heath ’19
11) Jack McKenna ’21
12) Benji Pratley ’20
13) Austin Hatch ’18
14) Grady Grissom ’18
15) Bennett Pelino ’21
Jack McKenna ’21 for Hatch at the 50th minute
Michael Vitale ’19 for Johnson at the 55th minute
Andy Kerr Stadium / 50 degrees and windy
SIR: Pat Laczkowski