Men’s rugby starts year in dominant fashion

RPI romps Marist Red Foxes at home with 43-12 victory pairing strong offense and defense

EXCHANGE STUDENT PETER CALAITZOPOULOS RUSHES with the ball in the opening rugby game Saturday September 20 at Anderson Field which RPI won 43-12.

The RPI men’s club rugby team took on Marist on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Anderson Field. The Engineers started strong in their first game of the year, crushing the Red Foxes 43 to 12. RPI has high hopes for the upcoming season after only winning one game and losing five last season. The team is led by senior captains Cody Clifford and Dominick Petrelle.

RPI started off the game vigorously as they dominated Marist in every aspect of the game. The Engineers’ forwards proved too strong for the Red Foxes as they constantly advanced the ball up the middle. Sophomore Brian Shoyer passed multiple Marist players as he found the try line only 1:30 into the game. The Engineers came right back off of the kick off, maintaining a relentless offense. The Marist defense couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced RPI offense as they constantly gained field position. Junior Immannul Hakim Mohamad Zaini found the try zone four minutes into the game to make the score 14 to zero. RPI couldn’t maintain the energy as Marist began to gain momentum on the Engineers. After back and forth play from both sides, the Red Foxes finally found the try zone 19:10 into the game. The Engineers couldn’t hold Marist off as they scored again 21:50 into the half, and after missing both point after attempts the score was 14 to 12. However, the Engineers’ senior leadership stepped in and fired up their team to regain the physical advantage over the Red Foxes. At 31:20 into the half, the referee called for a penalty advantage for Marist, resulting in a scrum. After losing the initial possession of the ball, the RPI forwards advanced against the opposing forwards, pushing them back 10 meters and regaining possession. Senior Mathew Lyon recovered the ball outside the scrum. After running over some withered Marist defenders, Lyon found the try line making the score 19 to 12.

The Engineers entered the second half making some key substitutions to solidify their lead. Again, RPI demonstrated their offensive prowess as junior Anthony Cormace ran through the Marist defense to make the score 26 to 12, 43:30 into the game. The Red Foxes did not make up ground for the rest of the game. Once again, Cormace broke through the Marist defensive line, scoring to make the score 33 to 12. After constantly gaining field position on Marist, Clifford plowed over some Red Fox defenders to score for the Engineers. After missing the extra point attempt, the score was 38 to 12, 71:35 into the match. RPI, pressed on as Lyon got his second try of the game 82:50 into the game. After failing to make the extra point attempt, RPI lead 43 to 12.

On September 28, the men’s rugby team travels to Vassar College for their next game. RPI starts off their season 1-0, showing real promise and the potential to make the DII Conference playoffs.