As exciting as retaining the Claret Mug for a fourth year in a row was for the guys this past weekend, we were just excited to kick off our inaugural DIA Liberty Conference season. With a long week of internship and job interviews, info sessions, and fraternity/sorority recruitment, our focus on the pitch was pretty strong. Just a typical week as a Colgate student-athlete!
On a beautiful warm day in Binghamton, the men won the toss and elected to kick-off in order to apply pressure early. We gained possession and for the first ten minutes we applied strong pressure with our attack, but we could not break through Binghamton’s defensive line. After these ten minutes, we were bogged down with a couple of tough penalties and Binghamton would move the ball into our half of the field. Within a few minutes, Binghamton was able to put up the first points of the game with a strong run following a collapsed maul. Receiving the ensuing kick-off, our attack was halted by a series of handling errors. Over the next 10 minutes, Binghamton would be able to score 2 more tries off of strong runs and offloads. This would not slow down our men as our attack gained some urgency and we were able to connect a few passes and phases together which saw Billy Bingo ’19 cross over for our first try of the game (Cris Kusner ’20 converted the try). The final 10 minutes of the first half would show a resilient Colgate side, but mistakes in the defensive line would creep in again and Binghamton was able to score another try in the corner before the half ended. In the final 2 minutes of the half, we would maintain possession of the ball for 11 phases only to knock it on into Binghamton’s hands. This frustrating series of events would bring the first half to a close. FIRST HALF SCORE: Binghamton 26 Colgate 7.
The second half began with Binghamton taking advantage of us missing a player in the defensive line and scored a try in the corner. Colgate would receive the ensuing kick-off and came to life by maintaining possession totaling 13 phases. This drive was capped off with a try by Mike Rasmussen ’19 (Kusner converts). The following 10 minutes would see Colgate put together 10 phases and 8 phases consecutively, but lose possession due to a handling error. Binghamton would take advantage of both errors and capitalize with tries (both converted). The following possession, Colgate would work the ball through 19 phases and 75 meters only to lose possession due to a knock-on. Binghamton would gather the knock-on and score a try running 95 meters. This would happen 3 more times throughout the second half with handling errors ending our drives and Binghamton taking advantage of the opportunity with tries of their own. FINAL SCORE: Binghamton 66 Colgate 14.
Although the match ended with the result we did not want, we can take several positives away from this match. Several first year players were able to get their first collegiate rugby cap and not to mention the impressive ability to move the ball around the pitch. With the level of rugby growing in the region, we know our work is cut out for us to keep up, however, Colgate will continue to step up to the challenge each week. The men have been pushing themselves this week to correct a few areas and look forward to taking on SUNY Brockport this Saturday at 12pm on Academy Field. If you are in Hamilton this weekend, we would love to have you out at the match. If you are unable to make it to the match, then check out our Twitter feed for updates.
PS – We are still working out the kinks of the Liberty Conference YouTube channel and are hopeful it will be ready to go soon. As soon as it is, we will make this known for everyone to have access to our matches.
1) Will Pitkin ’19
2) Billy Bingo ’19
3) Mike Rasmussen ’19
4) Jack McPhail ’20
5) Will Baker ’20
6) Adrian Belvitt ’20
7) Dorian Washington ’19
8) Ewan Ferguson ’21
9) Cristiano Kusner ’20
10) Ben Moore ’19
11) Junaid Mahmood ’21
12) Adrian Heath ’19
13) Andrew Jahns ’20
14) Austin Hatch ’18
15) Joe Werthan ’20
Grady Grissom ’18 for Moore @ 41st minute
Jack Johnson ’21 for McPhail @ 50th minute
Mike Vitale ’19 for Pitkin @ 55th minute
Jack McKenna ’21 for Werhan @ 60th minute
Dillon Forester ’20 for Ferguson @ 62nd minute
Jack Flanagan ’21 for Jahns @ 70th minute
Sam Wittmann ’20 for Belvitt @ 70th minute
Pitkin for Johnson @ 77th minute
Bingo and Rasmussen = 1 a piece
Kusner 2 for 2 conversions
Binghamton University / 88 degrees and clear
SIR: Patrick Laczkowski