This past weekend marked an impressive milestone for both the men and women’s rugby teams. For the first time in the teams’ history, both sides will be competing in the Division II playoffs for a chance at the state title.
The men’s team hosted SUNY Oswego this past Saturday on Anderson Field. The game was poised to be a showdown of two of the league’s best teams. Oswego came into the game as the league’s leading point scorer, while RPI’s versatile and dangerous offense feared throughout the league. With both teams competing for a playoff spot, the game was this season’s most crucial match.
Scoring early in the first half, Oswego took the lead 5-0. RPI was able to rally back early in the second half as freshman Will Babineau received a pass close to the try zone and made a diving attempt before being tackled out of bounds, tying up the score. After a grueling 80 minute match in torrential rain, both teams were met deadlocked at a final score of 5-5, eliminating Oswego from playoff contention. RPI relied heavily on its unyielding defensive core, which has shut down team after team throughout the season. Sophomore Alex Jannen’s dominating performance on both offense and defense won him the game’s man of the match award. The men finished the season with a 4-1-1 record and will travel to Buffalo State College next weekend for the first round of the playoffs.
The RPI women’s team had a record season as its explosive offense torched the rest of the league in points scored, and its solid defensive unit had one of the fewest amount of points scored against them. Senior Sarah Burch led the team in scoring with an impressive nine tries scored in four games.
Starting the season with an 85-0 win against Oneonta, the women’s team continued to dominate the league. In its last game of the season, RPI traveled to Siena College. Siena proved to be a tough match due to its player size advantage and undersized field. The women fought hard, but unfortunately lost with a final score of 12-5. The loss left the women finishing the season at 4-1. However, the otherwise dominating performance all season secured its spot in first place and in the divisional playoffs. The women’s team will host Fredonia State College next Saturday on Anderson Field for the first round of playoffs.
The men’s and women’s teams have established RPI as perennial contenders in the New York State Rugby Conference. We wish the best of luck to both teams as they continue on in the playoffs.