Middlebury Defeats UNH

By: Colin Mackintosh

This past Saturday, the Middlebury Rugby Club looked dominant in their first home game of the season against the University of New Hampshire. The MCRC scored early and often en route to a convincing 58-3 win. The team had strong contributions from essentially every position, and overall it was a very good team win. In particular, senior backs Jackson Yang ’17 and Co-Captain Jake Feury ’16.5 created numerous scoring opportunities. Paul Molloy ’17 looked in command of the back line, despite starting for the first time at scrum-half on A-Side. Molloy had no issues communicating with Dylan Gorman ’16.5, who effortlessly distributed the ball among the backs. As for the forwards, Co-Captain Kyle Dickey ’17 had a strong performance, as did fellow seniors Henry Thomson ’17 and Colin Larsen ’17. With the win, the MCRC moved to 1-1 on the season, after falling in the season opener at Norwich University. 

Senior Jackson Yang '17 started the scoring in the first few minutes when he sprinted through the UNH defensive line and managed to dive across the try-line to touch the ball for the score. Yang was in the middle of the action on the very next possession as he passed to Gorman, who masterfully kicked the ball past the defense. Scott Westvold '19 was on the end of the kick and scored to put Middlebury up 10-0. UNH cut the led to 10-3, converting a kick off of a Middlebury penalty, but they would be kept off the scoreboard the rest of the game. Jake Feury '16.5 continued the strong play for Middlebury in the first half with two scoring runs, powering through the UNH defense as he refused to be tackled. Feury also had a penalty conversion near the end of the first half, giving Middlebury a 27-3 lead going into halftime. 

Middlebury continued the momentum throughout the entirety of the second half. Jackson Yang started off the second half with another try to extend Middlebury's lead to 32-3. Yang scored yet again later in the half as did Feury. The pair combined for six scores throughout the game, and are shaping up to be a very dynamic duo for Middlebury going forward. The remaining Middlebury trys were scored by Kwame Mukasa '19 and Julien Miller '17. Mukasa played on the wing the whole game. His fast pace and elusiveness had UNH stumbling for 80 minutes, and he opened up large gaps in the defense that were continually exploited by himself and his teammates. Miller, the President of the MCRC, entered the game as a substitute and delivered much energy on defense, in addition to showing off his speed during his long scoring run. In the end, the MCRC played very good and entertaining team rugby in front of a strong crowd of pleased alumni and students. 

The MCRC look to continue their strong play next weekend away at the University of Rhode Island. With a win, the MCRC would move to 2-1 on the season, and could put themselves in a strong position within the conference and DII. The next home game will be on October 8th against Norwich University, and the club would love to get another large home crowd to watch some exciting, high-quality rugby!

Middlebury College (1-1) - 58
University of New Hampshire (0-2) - 3

Middlebury Tries: 
- Jackson Yang '17 (3)
- Jake Feury '16.5 (3)
- Scott Westvold '19
- Kwame Mukasa '19
- Julien Miller '17

Middlebury Penalty Kicks:
- Jake Feury '16.5 (2)

Middlebury Conversions:
- Jake Feury '16.5 (4)
- Henry Kremer '19