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Fairfield, Vassar to Clash for Tri-State

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Fairfield, Vassar to Clash for Tri-State

Now we’re down to two teams in the Tri-State Men’s DII collegiate conference, with Vassar and Fairfield winning their semifinals this past weekend.

Fairfield downed a solid RPI team 58-10 Sunday, while Vassar had to battle to push aside Sacred Heart 48-34.

Vassar led 28-17 at halftime and even though the Brewers pulled ahead 45-22, they couldn’t shake Sacred Heart, which scored two late tries to put a scare into the hosts. Adam D’Agostino, Kenta Hasui, Alex Voynov, Geoff Matthes, and Matt Brown scored tries for Vassar, and Joe Simon scored two.

Vassar Head Coach Tony Brown made this comment after the game:

“There is no doubt that the defensive efforts of Vassar will need to be tenfold better as they take on Fairfield University next Sunday. The missed tackled count was embarrassingly high and everyone knows that it is defense that wins championships.

Since Fairfield has been averaging 71 points a game, scoring 58 seemed like a letdown.

“RPI were tough,” said club president and captain Anif McDonald. “It was a dogfight all the way through. For us 58 pints is low and they did a pretty good job of stopping us for a while. But for us, we know fitness wins all, and we ended really well.”

Fairfield doesn’t get too fancy in their approach. They work hard on their fitness and take pride in their defense. And it works.

“It’s nothing special,” said McDonald. “We’re working out butts off in the gym and working our butts off on the training field. We’re happy with our plan and we communicate really well as a team, and that’s just going to get better.”

Fairfield has been playing well as a unit, but it’s been interesting to see young players make an impact. Joaquin Moraiz is a utility player who has slotted in as a back and a forward. The freshman seems to make big players no matter what number is on his back. Meanwhile Jamison Wellman is a big freshman lock who has emegred as someone who could anchor the front eight for several years.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Vassar does need to think on a defense that gave up almost as many points on Sunday as they did all through the regular conference season. Fairfield? “All we have to do is just play rugby,” said McDonald.