Colgate Falls to A Strong Syracuse University Squad

​Coming off a strong performance the previous week against SUNY Brockport, we were back to work to clean-up a few areas from that match. Our areas of focus were: connecting more in the defensive line, clean-up our attacking lines in the forwards, and increase our options with ball in hand. Feeling positive about our week of training, we welcomed Syracuse University to Academy Field.

After receiving the kick-off, Colgate began to work the ball down the field. A few Syracuse penalties along the way helped us along the way as we eventually would end up attacking inside the green zone (Syracuse’s 22m). Unfortunately our attack would be stalled by a penalty which would prevent us from scoring. Syracuse would then work the ball down to our end of the field through well placed kicks and good ball handling. Colgate would hold strong for the first few surges, but eventually Syracuse would win their scrum and drive over for a try (unconverted) in the 8th minute. Over the next 20 minutes, a series of Colgate handling errors and immense pressure would be see 3 more tries being scored by Syracuse (12th minute, 17th minute, and 25th minute, only one converted). After a dangerous tackle by Syracuse, the momentum would begin to shift back to us as the decision was made to go to the corner for a line-out. A well executed back pod throw and smart read in the backline would open up the Syracuse defense and within a few phases, Forwards Captain Mike Rasmussen ’19, would drive over for Colgate’s first try in the 31st minute (Cris Kusner ’20 would convert the try). Gaining confidence with our attack, the men would begin putting the phases together and strike again with Jack Flanagan ’21 crossing over for another try (Kusner converted) in the 38th minute. On the ensuing kick-off, Syracuse would win the battle at the breakdown to gain possession and begin attacking. After a short line break, Flanagan did well to cover the gap but unfortunately would finish the tackle above the shoulders. This would result in a yellow card. The first half would quickly come to an end after a Syracuse mishap at the line-out. FIRST HALF SCORE: Syracuse 22 Coglate 14.

Needing to tighten up our attack with better support at the breakdown, the men were ready to start the second half. Colgate kicked off and Syracuse began attacking our outside center channel. With Flanagan still in the sin bin for the high tackle, this would cause some issues. Our backline would continue to defend and make several tackles, but in the 43rd minute Syracuse was able to get around our defensive line and score in the corner (unconverted). Over the next few minutes, Colgate’s defense would continue to work and keep Syracuse out of the try zone. With Flanagan able to join the game again, bad luck would strike as Jack McKenna ’21 would be pinged for another high tackle resulting in another yellow card in the backline. Syracuse would begin attacking the gap in our left wing, due to the yellow card, and in the 52nd minute would score another try (converted). Colgate would again tighten up the defensive line and hold out for the yellow card to be complete in the 59th minute. We would spend the next 10 minutes in the green zone (Syracuse 22m), but were unable to break through for points. Syracuse would take advantage of a couple penalties and strike again in the 70th minute (converted) and again in the 74th minute after some miscommunication in our defensive line (unconverted). Colgate would spend the remaining 5 minutes of the match in the green zone again, but would be unable to come away with points. The men never stopped fighting, but at the end of the day Syracuse’s dominant scrum and strong defense would prevent Colgate from getting the win. At the final whistle, it was Syracuse who would be victorious on the day. FINAL SCORE: Syracuse 46 Colgate 14.

With Fall Break fast approaching our student-athletes will be getting some much needed rest this week. With several players still recovering from injuries throughout the first half of the season, mid-terms and assignments coming due, our bye week is coming at a good time. After this weekend of rest, we will be back in action on Friday, October 13th at 7pm under the lights at Andy Kerr Stadium against a strong up and coming side in SUNY Cortland. If you are in the area, we would love for you to help fill Andy Kerr with support for our men! If you are unable to make it, you will be able to receive minute by minute updates by following @Colgate_Rugby on Twitter.

1) Jack Johnson ’21
2) Billy Bingo ’19
3) Mike Rasmussen ’19
4) James Nash ’21
5) Andrew Jimenez ’21
6) Ian Cummins ’21
7) Dorian Washington ’19
8) Luke Trautwein ’21
9) Cris Kusner ’20
10) Adrian Heath ’19
11) Jack McKenna ’21
12) Austin Hatch ’18
13) Jack Flanagan ’21
14) Grady Grissom ’18
15) Bennett Pelino ’21

Will Pitkin ’19 for Nash in the 15th minute
Will Baker ’20 for Jimenez in the 15th minute
Benji Pratley ’20 for Flanagan in the 49th minute
Mickey Sacks ’21 for McKenna in the 60th minute

Rasmussen and Flanagan = each with 1

Kusner: 2/2 conversions

Academy Field / 58 degrees and cloudy

SIR: Robert Figuieredo

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