After a tough loss at New England College, the Red Ruggers returned home to host the East Coast Rugby Conference’s top team, the University of Massachusetts. UMass is made up of 11 All-Americans and came into the contest undefeated. Fairfield struggled as they were held scoreless and UMass picked up the win 72-0.

Coming into the game, Fairfield was without one of their most productive players, Justin Paton ’17, as he was serving a two-game suspension, after receiving a red card against Albany.  This forced the Red Ruggers to play around with their lineup as they were missing other key players due to injuries.

“We prepared no different than any other week. We train hard in the gym and on the field. We were confident in our ability. We still are, however, UMass beat us straight up. This will just serve as fuel for us when we see them again,” said Hunter Boesch ’18.

UMass jumped to an early lead as they drew first blood on their first try of the game, crossing it to the goal line and slamming the ball on the ground for their first five points of the game. Throughout the first half, UMass displayed aggression as they continued to score and defend the Red Ruggers’ offense. UMass held an early 30-0 lead through the game’s first 15 minutes.

Although the Red Ruggers were fighting valiantly, the height and strength of UMass was to their advantage. UMass was pushing its way past Fairfield’s defenders and turning on the jets to make it to the goal line. With less than two minutes remaining in the half, UMass scored once again. The Red Ruggers headed into the half down big, as UMass led 39-0.

When asked about UMass’s quick start to the game, Boesch said, “They fought hard and were resilient. They executed very well, however it was nothing that we cannot defend.”

The Red Ruggers looked to fight their way back into the contest, but UMass continued where it left off in the first. In the very first possession, UMass would score again to push their lead 42-0 and followed with a penalty kick to give them a big lead just five minutes into the second half.

UMass’s defense was able to lockdown on passing and scoring, resulting in Fairfield’s inability loss of possession and inability to convert at the goal line, despite having several opportunities. “Certainly receiving a beating like that shows a team’s true character. Toward the end of the game, our guys were showing a great deal of heart. No one likes losing, but it’s how you recover and come back the next game that shows what a team is made of,” said Boesch.

UMass held Fairfield scoreless for the rest of the way giving them the 72-0 shutout victory. “We started out with a great win over Albany, and had two bad beatings the next two weeks. Our losses are our own fault and no one else’s. However we prove to ourselves every day in the gym and in practice what we are capable of, so I have no doubt that we are destined for success,” said Boesch after the loss.

Fairfield holds a 1-2 record after Saturday’s defeat and will look to bounce back as they are set to host University of Connecticut next Saturday at Grauert Field.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.