Men’s Rugby Catching the Spotlight
The Mount St. Mary’s Men’s Rugby team has had quite the season this fall. It has been a season of grit, next man up mentality, overcoming adversity and sticking together when the going gets tough. The Mountaineers finished their regular season with four wins and two losses. With the playoffs just around the corner, there are a few things to look back to see what got Mount to this position.
The Mountaineers started off the season with two comfortable victories, the first one being a 35-0 win against Virginia Tech and a 36-3 victory over Maryland. The first loss suffered by Mount, however, came at the hands of Queens. That game ended in a 29-22 loss, but it is important to keep in mind that Queens has finished the season with a perfect 6-0 record. The Royals victory over the Mountaineers was the closest game they faced all season, which says a lot about this gritty Mount team.
The next three games would be identical to the first three. Another two games would be won against Southern Virginia and NC State. Both victories being rather comfortable, with a 39-15 win over the Hokies and a 69-0 win over the Wolfpack. Just like the first half of the season, however, the third time was not the charm. The second loss of the season for Mount St. Mary’s would come at the hands of Mary Washington. The 42-13 loss was a tough pill to swallow, for a victory would have put the Mountaineers in a more comfortable position for the pending playoffs picture.
Even with the loss suffered by the Eagles, there is still hope for Mount. Due to the overall 4-2 record, the Mountaineers were guaranteed a spot for the playoffs. Given this opportunity, Mount will take full advantage.
Damon James, who is a junior at Mount St. Mary’s and a Premier player for the team, spoke about how the mentality from the start of the season was a championship winning mentality. “When we came into preseason, our coach let it be known to us that this was one of the more talented Mount rugby teams that has ever been on this campus.”
The chance to continue this championship run came at a crucial time, for many of the Mountaineer players were injured during the season. Now, many have healed up and are ready to make the push at a national title.
Doug O’Donnell, a Mount senior and Premier player, has been injured for a part of the season. He knows as well as anyone what damage injuries can do to a team. He spoke, however, on how confidence has grown since and as the season has progressed. “Every week, it seemed as if somebody new was dropping because of an injury. It created a little bit of a loss of confidence, but it’s gained just right back with whoever steps up to the plate.”
It is that next man up mentality that kept this team going throughout the season. It is, along with other factors, a big reason why this Mount team is where they are today. That is a quality and a mentality that can win a championship.