Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

Lindenwood Opens With Solid Win Over Army

irish rugby tours

Lindenwood Opens With Solid Win Over Army

The Lindenwood University Lions traveled to West Point Saturday and won the program's opening first-side game of the season 27-10.

Army has struggled through some tough close losses, but Head Coach Matt Sherman said the team was getting better.

"We're a good team and we've shown some good things, and we're getting better," said Sherman, who added that playing in the Rugby East can be quite unforgiving. Army has beaten Dartouth and Iona, but lost to Trinity College Dublin, Kutztown, Notre Dame College, and now Lindenwood.

"It doesn't get any easier," said Sherman, whose team faces St. Bonaventure, Mary Washington, Air Force, and Penn State the rest of the fall.

The Black Knights took an early lead, mauling the ball nicely to the line and putting prop Marco Carrabotta over.

But after that the Lindenwood defense held firm. The Lions mauled one over with hooker Kayleb O'Donoghue finishing it off, and then Lindenwood-Belleville transfer Tinashe Muchena, starting at No. 8, crashed through for a try. Flyhalf Andreas Livadaras converted and Lindenwood led 12-5.

The teams battled back and forth until just before halftime. Lindenwood secured a turnover and center Tyren Al-Jiboori fed fullback Connor Burns, who sped 65 meters for a try and a 17-5 lead.

In the second half wing Cael Hodgson sidestepped his way trough. Army replied, putting prop Larry Williams, Jr. over. Lindenwood's freshman wing Morgan Purcell sealed it with a try.

It was a good start for Lindenwood, which had fielded a largely reserve side in a win over Principia earlier in the week. Head Coach Josh Macy put his team on a 20-hour bus ride to play the game, giving the players an early taste of what playoff rugby can be like with the arduous travel and having to pitch-up and perform.

"I think it gave them all a bit of Stockholm Syndrome so now we can instill in them what we want," he joked. Stockholm Syndrome is what it's called when someone who has been captured or kidnapped begins to sympathize with his/her captors.

Macy said he was most pleased with his team's defensive effort, adding that they were "not only aggressive but defending smarter," he said. "Especially for the newer players, it's tough going form being The Guy on a team to being a player on a team where everyone is talented. Sometimes it takes time for players to learn that. Going through all of this helps prepare them for further down the road; it's only going to get harder."

Lindenwood 27
Tries: O'Donoghue, Muchena, Burns, Hodgson, Purcell
Convs: Livadaras

Army 10
Tries: Carrabotta, Williams, Jr.