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Chesapeake Season Coming to a Head

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Chesapeake Season Coming to a Head

Mary Washington liked moving the ball. David Hughes photo.

The top teams keep winning in the Chesapeake, but there is a showdown coming.

Mary Washington  hosted Virginia Tech Rugby Saturday and came away 76-12 winners. These two programs have a long and respect-filled rivalry but the COVID shutdown has been tough on the club teams in the Chesapeake. 

Seb Schefermann led UMW with three tries while Aidan Gallagher slotted six conversions as UMW enjoyed the lion's share of possession. Wing Conn Foster scored on a 75-meter run, fullback Bill Tamani was dangerous, and the third member of the deep three, wing Lewis Naylor, scored twice. 

Prop Cameron Giwa and flanker Tobey Barnfield-Lee also touched down as Mary Washington led 57-0 at the break. 

With Seamus Brennan and Barnfield-Lee leading a strong defensive effort the Mothers looked completely in control. But Virginia Tech did fight back and got in two tries late in the game.

UMW is 4-0 in the conference, and so Queens University Charlotte after defeating Southern Virginia 42-17. The Royals took a 21-3 lead into halftime and finished it off well. Campbell Van Rooyen was the main try-scorer and Tom Scott kicked five conversions without a miss before yelding to a reserve.

Leading the conference is actually Mount St. Mary's. The Mount has one more point than UMW or Queens, but has played one more game, and at 4-1 is unlikely to finish 1st. Still, things are going well at the Mount, which is hosting a forum on the global rugby scene this week. With Evan Corbett playing some strong rugby at center and partnering well with James Blair and Jude Fangmeyer in the middle of the backline, they continue to produce some good rugby. MSM shut out NC State 69-0 on Saturday.

Corbett is second in the conference with 65 points scored, being only Hilton Olivier of Queens, who has 79—almost 20 per game.

"The guys have really embraced the challenges," enthused Head Coach Jay Myles. "With the University behind us and a really good team approach we feel we're getting better and better."

Flanker Hunter Herzog has been an excellent defender all season and hooker Ray McGettigan is a rock in the middle of the scrum.

So now comes the big challenge. While the Mount has already played against and lost to Queens (29-22 on October 2), UMW has yet to play the big dogs. But this coming weekend Mary Washington hosts Mount St Mary's for their homecoming weekend. It will be a huge event, and somewhat pressure-filled, for both teams. If UMW wants to win the conference, they need to win that game. 

And then a week later UMW goes to Charlotte to play Queens in what will be the regular-season decider. 

There's a chase on lower down as well, with Virginia Tech and SVU sitting at 1-3 and NC State (1-4) and Maryland (0-4) chasing them. It's likely we'll see Southern Virginia end the season at .500, as they take on Maryland and NC State in the next couple of weeks. Tech, meanwhile, has to get through Queens on October 23 before finishing up against Maryland.