Men’s Rugby Dominates Again
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 17:10
Oh the weather outside was frightful, but the end result for the Men’s Rugby team last Friday was oh-so delightful. The Crusaders took on UMass Lowell in a game where every preliminary detail screamed upset for the Lowell side. The Crusaders had a short week after their decisive victory over Merrimack the previous Sunday and so were a little beat up and perhaps a little bit over confident. They were also without senior Matthew Witcofsky who had broken his nose the previous week at Stonehill College and had anti-Owen Wilson surgery on it prior to Friday’s game. UMass Lowell had also given the Crusaders a lot of trouble in past meetings, knocking them out of the playoffs two years ago, and the wet weather seemed as though it would make it a lot harder for Holy Cross to play their best game. But the Crusaders were not affected by any of this.
“We weren’t affected by any of that,” stated sophomore Stephen O’Loughlin, “We knew we had to be focused and play hard if we wanted to win. UMass Lowell was really just in our way but we couldn’t let up even a little bit because then they might have destroyed what we’ve worked so hard for.” Stephen, who scored a try Friday night, was among many who contributed to the 48-0 win in which the Crusaders utterly dominated their opponents in every facet of the game. If it hadn’t been raining the score may have been much worse.
This team possesses a defense that is the only one in their division to have not surrendered a single point yet through three games this season, a feat that is extremely hard to accomplish no matter what level of rugby you are playing. It can also score, seemingly at will, from any position on the field. Senior Thomas Keeley had 3 tries in the match and senior Zach Burdeau scored the first try of his rugby career that night as well, illustrating the point that even if Senior Carl Locito or Junior Arthur P. Norden have a slow night there are other players to pick up the slack.
When asked what helped him to stay focused and perform so exceptionally well despite the rain, senior Scrum Half Alec Bonelli answered, “All of the great, insightful advice bestowed upon me by alumni as we reconnected at the tailgate.” Junior James Marino, who received a healthy dose of playing time in the second half of the game and played exceptionally well, made a point to mention that: “There is no “I” in team and you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It’s not really about winning or losing but about having fun when you’re out there” he said, as a satisfied smile sat on his face. Junior Mike Maresca, who looked to be in good shape and was quite naturally strong during the game, had no comment.
The B-side also played exceptionally well defeating UMass Lowell’s B-side 55-5. Junior Robert Keilig scored the first try of his career, stating afterwards that “Zach Lanning taught me everything that I know”, and freshman Byron Udegbe made an impact in the first game as a Crusader. When asked to comment on the two victories and their impact on the season, Ryan “Caveman” O’Kane replied “Caveman no know. Caveman just a pawn in the game of life.”
The Crusaders have a bye this week going in to fall break, but their next game may be the most important one of the season. They take on Bentley, who are a nationally ranked program, next Friday. With hopes of becoming nationally ranked themselves the Crusaders are going to fight hard for a win and hopefully they will prevail.