Men’s club rugby has bright future

By Christopher Corso

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Collegian file photo

The Massachusetts men’s club rugby team came up victorious in a physical matchup against Albany, on Saturday, defeating the Great Danes, 25-20, to snap a three-game skid.

Head Coach Anthony Neverson described the victory as a tribute to a hard working and resilient team that contains a lot of depth and youth in a rebuilding year.

“The boys did a really good job today,” said Neverson. “I could not be more proud of the boys. Unfortunately our record does not reflect our play on the field this year, but we are a young and rebuilding team.”

The win was a rebound for the Minutemen, who had lost three-straight contests after winning their opening game of the season against Middlebury.

In the first half against the Great Danes, UMass jumped out to an early 13-0 lead as a result of solid play from its defensive unit.

UMass’s defense kept up its intensity all game long, but Albany countered later on in the match after trailing early. The Great Danes were able to move the ball effectively late and that allowed them to cut their deficit to just five points with under six minutes to go in the game.

Despite Albany’s attack, the Minutemen’s defense did not fold and held control of the pitch for the rest of the game, sealing the five-point victory.

“We graduated six starters last year and the nursery stepped up really well this season and I am really happy for them,” added Neverson.

Neverson sees a bright future for his team, keying in on how well the squad held a lead late in a game and stood tall in the face of a physical Albany team.

Freshman Todd Theodat is a bright spot for the young squad. UMass is a team that is trying to reestablish its reputation as an elite team, and having a young talent in his first year bodes well for the future squads.

“It was good, real good, we really wanted it, especially after the loss last week where we played poorly,” said Theodat.

Rugby is always a physical game, and this one was no different. Three Minutemen had to be carried off the field in the match, none of which returned after leaving the game. Spencer McKay, Nikolaj Wojtkielo, and Scott Newman all went out with some sort of injury throughout the game, and that forced younger players to step into their roles. The win displayed that the young players make up significant depth will allow the squad to win games down the road.

The Minutemen captains felt that the team worked well as a unit and displayed a lot of talent with long sustained drives.They described the win as a team effort.

UMass will host UConn at home next Saturday at home.

“We are looking forward to the next game after a huge win,” said captain Daniel Guzzino. ”We have a lot of momentum going into next week we just have to have a good week of practice to give ourselves a chance to go out there and win.”

Christopher Corso can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @MDC_Corso.