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Mary Washington Wins Third Straight Tournament

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Mary Washington Wins Third Straight Tournament

UMW hosted a 7’s tournament at home today and once again came out on top after five victories over a tough field.

The first match of the day kicked off at 9am in cold windy conditions against North Carolina State. Bradlee Nicholls scored the first try of the tournament at the 1:05 mark making quick work of NC States defense with his quick footwork on attack. Two minutes later he followed up with yet another try. Two minutes of hard pressed defense from NC State held UMW at bay and after great offensive work, they were able to score.

Joseph Callery replied for UMW and the Mothers led 7-7.  UMW came out strong for the second half and scored three tries, two from Harry Masters and one from senior Phil Harrison to win 34-12.

The second match of the day for UMW saw them face Kutztown II a little over an hour later. Mary Washington played a good possession game, and running the phases they put Callery through for a try, converted by Aidan Gallagher. In his 7s debut, Matthew Gordon followed up with a try of his own two minutes later off a well-executed lineout play. Harry Masters broke through for another, and in the second half Aidan Gallagher, Callery, Masters, and Jordan Sacks scored to cap off a 43-5 victory. 

Match three of five for UMW put the Mothers against rivals Mount Saint Mary’s for the first time this season. The first five minutes of the match saw both teams battling it out on defense before a try was scored. Every time either side got close to scoring, the other team would force a turnover or penalty. While MSM had some solid ball movement and line breaks, UMW always followed suit with quick defense and aggressive cover defense. UMW would take the win 21-0 with tries scored by Justin Ford, Masters, and Sacks. This victory clinched 1st in the pool for UMW.

The past two tournaments of this season has seen UMW playing James Madison in the final. On this day, with some highly-rated outside teams playing in the more open tournament, these two met in the semis.

Callery chased down the kickoff and tapped back to Gordon, who scored in the first ten seconds of the match. The next six minutes showed exactly why these two teams face off tournament after tournament. Neither team could break the other team's defensive line. Finally, right before halftime, Gordon was able to break through for another try and a 10-0 UMW lead.

Two minutes into the second half Masters raced in. Gallagher converted for the 17-0. They would need that one as JMU battled back to score twice to make it 17-14. That last try was at the end of the game, however, and UMW made it to the final.

And there they took on Notre Dame College who, like Kutztown, was in as an out-of-conference invitee.

This was a defensive battle as neither team was able to score in the first half. UMW performed with patience while sweeper Bradlee Nicholls stopped every single NDC break.

Two minutes into the second half, senior Justin Ford raced to the corner. NDC replied with a superb try and tied it at 5-5. 

In the final 15 seconds of the match, Gordon threw a long skip pass across the field. Seamus Brennan tapped it along to Ford. With NDC spread and rushing to the far side of the field, Ford swung it back to Masters who ran a switch with Gordon driving it in at the last second for the game winning try. Gallagher converted to end the game 12-5.

Man of the Tournament went to Bradlee Nicholls, whose defense was superb.

This was an impressive showing by UMW considering the level of competition.