Rugby completes unbeaten season
The Puget Sound men’s rugby team has had an eventful season as they concluded their fall session Saturday, Nov. 10. Although it has been a hard and rough season for the team, they managed to pull through and stay undefeated in their conference to become champions in the Pacific Northwest.
After holding their own against multiple D1 and D2 schools all season, the Loggers faced off against Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) for their final match. Both teams were competing for a spot in the regional tournament next spring, where they will have a chance to compete in the national tournament.
The Loggers and OIT were close throughout the game until the very end; however, it was the Loggers who pulled through and won the match. The first half of the match started slow for both teams but 20 minutes into the half, the first move was made by the Loggers.
Senior Cole Mcilvaine (Bellingham, Wash.) scored the first three points for the Loggers with a point conversion putting them on the board 3-0 against OIT. The half continued as both teams traded possession of the ball while attempting to outscore each other.
When OIT gained possession they were determined to score before the half ended. Sadly, the Logger defense was not enough to hold the score 3-0 and OIT scored in the end zone bringing the score 3-5 in their favor at the end of the half.
When the second half started, the Loggers came out strong and their momentum from the first half really came through towards the end of the match. Sophomore Alex Lunt (Tucson, Ariz.) scored for the Loggers with an assist from Mcilvaine.
OIT also continued to score during this half to keep up with the Loggers, but it was not enough to overcome the Logger offense. Once Mcilvaine scored again from his second penalty conversion, the Loggers were barely ahead of OIT. During the last play of the game sophomore Aidan McDonald (Issaquah, Wash.) scored in the end zone making the final score of the match 23-17 for the Loggers.
“The UPS men’s rugby team finished last season after returning from the small college national rugby tournament with a top 10 ranking. This year we have gone 8-0 during league play and are now the Pacific Northwest Conference champions, and secured our trip back to the regional tournament and a chance to play for the National championship,” Mcilvaine said.
“We may have secured a berth to the tournament, but are dedicated to working even harder next semester, as some of our competitors are varsity programs that provide their players with scholarships. Whereas we are a club organization which operates with our own budget and provide no scholarships, yet we compete with the top teams in college rugby,” he continued.
The 8-0 undefeated Puget Sound men’s rugby team will continue to regionals next spring to face off for a chance to play in the national tournament once again.