The West Chester Rams rugby team entertained the Senior Day crowd on Saturday with a stellar victory that showcased all three seniors scoring a try in their final home day game at West Chester.This is not actually the final home game of the season for West Chester, but the seniors wanted to have their Senior Day on their own field between the baseball and field hockey fields.
The visiting team, LaSalle, was no match for the Lady Rams, as West Chester proved unstoppable on their first drive. Erin Furlong became the first of the three seniors to cross the tryline, making it a 5-0 game only 43 seconds into the contest.
“We wanted to set the tone of the game early…I think we accomplished that,” Furlong remarked.
Junior Devon Tucker later upped the ante, scoring a try in the twelfth minute and giving West Chester a ten point lead. LaSalle would make a stab at it by scoring next to make it a 10-5 game, but that was as close as they got, as West Chester did the rest of the scoring en route to a 46-5 stomping.
Senior Brittany Heckman was the second senior in the game to score. A rookie last season, Heckman scored two trys in the game, which were the first two trys of her career at West Chester. She was not the only first time scorer of the day. Freshman Mary Kate Heaton and Junior Mary Bocchino each scored their first ever collegiate trys in the second half, a monumental moment in each of their careers.
The other two scores came from Beverly Schmitz, who made it a perfect day for the seniors on their Senior Day. The team totaled eight trys in all, along with three conversions to make their final score of 46.
This is just what the team needed at this point in the season. In two weeks, the Golden Rams will be facing arguably the most difficult team in the nation, Army, in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen Tournament. In that match-up, they cannot make any mistakes because Army will capitalize on them.
The game against LaSalle had a favorable outcome, but West Chester was not flawless on the field. There were times when their play became sloppy. A big contributor to that was the fact that everybody on the team, including the B-team, played in the game.
These three games before the tournament are almost like a tryout. The Golden Rams cannot take everybody to Florida with them, so this is the players chance to show Coach DeRemer what they have and show him their best in order to earn a spot in the tournament.
“We’re just trying to make sure everything flows together and we’re playing our game,” Furlong said.
This game, along with the two next week, are crucial for West Chester to work out everything. They need to master the fundamentals, like the passing, blocking, and scrums. They must know all signs and be able to communicate out on the field. Everything must run smoothly out of the huddle. These games are instrumental to good showing in nationals.
The teams win over LaSalle marked their eighth win on the season, moving them three games over .500. This next week, they have two games to prepare them for Florida. Wednesday night, they will host Temple in Farrell Stadium in the final home game of the year. The next night they are traveling to Rutgers for their final regular season match of the season. Then they have a two-week break until Florida for Nationals.
Ryan Frisco is a second-year student majoring in Communication studies. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.