Article by: Colin Mackintosh
This past weekend the MCRC squeaked out a win in a low scoring affair at home against Fairfield University, newcomers to the ECRC, with a final score of 15-12. Fairfield scored a try early on in this game under the posts to take a seven to zero lead. Middlebury responded fairly quickly when Jackson Bock ’18 converted a penalty from about twenty meters out to cut the deficit to four. The rest of the first half was played mostly in the middle of the field as both teams struggled to get much momentum in attack. Middlebury put together a few strong attacking phases, but was ultimately thwarted at the goal line on multiple occasions by a turnover or a penalty.
Middlebury came out of the half with a little more energy and looked to take control of the game. Within the first five minutes, Adam Markun ’17 received the ball on the outside with space and scored under the posts after a great individual effort that included him making numerous Fairfield defenders miss. Within the next fifteen minutes, Middlebury was again threatening on the goal line. Middlebury was finally able to get the ball in for a try scored by Markun off a beautiful pass from Bock to go up 15-7. The game looked to be secure, but Fairfield made a strong push in the last ten minutes, and almost stole the game. Fairfield scored a try with about five minutes remaining to bring the game within three points at 15-12. Fairfield then did not relinquish possession for the rest of the game. Fairfield slowly made progress down the field, needing a try to win, or a penalty kick to tie. Middlebury just needed to get the ball into touch to get the win. After getting the ball within twenty meters of the goal line, Fairfield’s winger appeared to have won the game, scoring in the right corner of the try zone. The pass that led to the try was ruled forward, however, giving the victory to Middlebury, and deflating Fairfield after they thought they had won.
Next week, Middlebury heads south to UMASS to try and avenge last year’s loss to the Minutemen. Middlebury goes into the game at UMASS with notable injuries still hampering the MCRC from showing its true potential. Nevertheless, Middlebury could still move to 4-3 with a win at UMASS. Details about the address and time of the game next weekend will be forthcoming.