The Middlebury College Rugby Club
MCRC Continues Dominance Against Eastern Connecticut
The MCRC went to 3-0 over the weekend with a dominant win against Eastern Connecticut State University. With a crowd of parents and alums over Fall Family Weekend, Middlebury scored early and often en route to a 79-0 shutout victory.
Play opened with an early penalty against East Conn, off of which fly-half Alex Milligan ‘25 launched a beautiful kick to touch, giving Middlebury a lineout on East Conn’s 5-meter line. A maul by the blue pack overpowered the East Conn forwards over their own try line and prop Gar Olson ‘22 got the ball down for his first score of the day. Straight off the restart, the MCRC got the ball to the edge off of runs and offloads from flanker Lucas Donavan-Lafuente ‘23 and Milligan, with fullback Sam Madden ‘22 turning on the jets for the second try of the day, converted to give Middlebury an early 12-0 advantage. Another penalty deep in East Conn territory turned into a try by 8-man Jake Thompson ‘21.5.
It took 10 minutes for Middlebury to find the scoreboard again, but they did so off yet another East Conn penalty in their own half, with Olson securing his second try of the match. Soon after, the new addition to the A side—inside center Jed Hodulik ‘24—picked up an errant East Conn pass and offloaded to outside center Will Ebby ‘22 who took it the rest of the way. After a East Conn threat off a penalty was prevented by lock Dan Brey ‘22 taking down the unfortunate East Conn fullback, Ebby sent a long left handed pass to Madden, who cut inside and set up a Milligan try. Just inside of 40 minutes, a patented insert into the back line by Olson completed his hat trick and gave the MCRC a 43-0 lead at the half.
The second half opened in a similar fashion, as the boys refused to let up the pressure. More textbook back line passing gave Madden his second try on the outside. A jackal by Olson was run in by scrum-half Griffin Shapiro ‘22. Dan Brey broke free for his first big run of the day to set up a try by prop Charlie Doyle ‘24. An East Conn clearance kick was countered by winger Eli Horton ‘22 for another score. Dan Brey broke free again, and though the ref declined to reward the big man with his first try, rookie winger Will Thompson ‘22 was right there to take it the last half meter for his first ever score. Thompson rounded out the day with a tightrope act along the touchline to get his second try for good measure. With 5 conversions from Milligan and 2 from winger Yuta Kato ‘22, the MCRC finished with a season-high 79 points for a resounding victory. Jed Hodulik was named the Man of the Match after the impressive performance in his first ever full game.
While the A side lads enjoyed a post-game feast provided by the parents in attendance, the Killer B’s got their first chance against Plattsburgh. The B’s put up an impressive showing in what was the first ever match for many, falling to an athletic Plattsburgh side 20-5. Prop James Flaumenhaft ‘24 got the lone score for the B’s, but several individual performances stood out on a great day for Middlebury Rugby.
The boys get a well-deserved bye week this weekend for Fall Break. Up next is the regular season finale at Holy Cross on October 23rd with enormous playoff implications. With a win, the MCRC clinches a return to Middlebury to host the first round of postseason play on the 30th. Thank you to all the fans who came out in support this past weekend, and the club hopes to see you again at Holy Cross and in the playoffs! Until then, keep up with the club on the Instagram and Twitter (both @themcrc)!