Category Archives: Blog

Not your typical spring break

BFe6DoBCEAAL2di As most UMBC students travelled home for their spring break, UMBC Rugby had other plans.  Packing up in vans in the early morning hours, the team journeyed south down I-95 to sunny Florida to play some rugby and relax by the beach.  After checking into the hotel and unpacking, the team prepared for their game Saturday versus Daytona Beach Rugby club.  Arriving to the pitch to perfect 78 degree and sunny weather, both teams kicked off a great game of rugby.  In the end, Daytona Beach came out on top 43-15.  UMBC suffered its first loss of the spring season but learned what they needed to improve on for their next match.  Afterwards, the teams relaxed and shared stories to good food and drink generously provided by Daytona Beach.  Another day at the beach and UMBC packed up and returned to Maryland, eager for their next game against Towson on the 30th.

Debut of New Jerseys!

Team Pic SAP NS2 It was a beautiful rugby day - snowing sideways and bitter cold gusts of wind.  That, on top of playing on a wet and muddy field, made for a great debut of our new SAP NS2 jerseys!  George Washington made the voyage up to Walker Field for the home opener of the spring season - and things got off to a smashing start.

Big hits were delivered right from the initial kickoff, as both teams had something to prove after their regular season meeting last fall.  Early on in the first half, the ball popped out of a scrum where Wing Matt Phillips picked up the ball and ran 50 meters down the sideline, offloading to Scrum-half Matt "Ziggy" Zvitkovitz for the first try of the season.

Shortly thereafter, Ziggy would find the try zone again after an offload from Lock Tyler Tippett to Wing "Shadow" Mariko set up a ruck at the GW goal line.  A quick dummy-pass to the forwards drew the defense outside, which left a hole big enough for Ziggy to put UMBuC up 10-0 with his second try.

After the ensuing kickoff, the ball was swung out to Tippett, who delivered a crushing blow to the GW wing and the ruck formed drew a penalty in favor of UMBC.  From the tap-and-go,  the UMBuC backline showed off their hands and speed by punching through the GW defense.  Inside Center Matt Parks broke through a tackle and dove for the try zone to put UMBC on top 15-0.

GW wouldn't let the scoring go unanswered, with 2 tries in the second half.  Their quick hands, solid offloads, and hard running centers were able to find holes in the UMBC defense twice.  GW also converted both of their kicks, leaving them one point off the lead, 15-14.  But UMBC stayed resilient and pushed back the GW attackers with good kicking and setpiece play.  After a series of forward crashes, Lock "Highlander" McQueeney scored his first A-side try by driving back the opposing GW forward enough to touch the ball down.

Neither side managed to score again before the final whistle.  The final score was 20-14, an excellent game from both teams.  There is plenty for both teams to be happy about and plenty to improve on as well.

It's back to practice Monday for UMBC, as we prepare for next week's match.  Stay tuned!

UMBC Wins Second Consecutive Frostbite Champhionship

830382_211849608961770_829683268_o Waking up at 5:00am on a Saturday isn't typical college kid behavior.  But UMBuC ruggers had to journey 1.5 hours to Lancaster, PA, to defend their title as Frostbite rugby tournament champs.  Frostbite stayed true to its name as on Saturday, freezing rains and a cold breeze greeted the ruggers to Pennsylvania.  Nevertheless, UMBC was kitted up and ready for their 8:30am kickoff vs Neumann to start the day.

History was made with UMBC's first opponent, Neumann, as it was the clubs first ever 15's match.  While it wasn't a full match due to the 25-minute games played, UMBC was still glad to welcome in the team to the rugby community.  Both teams had some kinks to work out on their first games, with sloppy penalties and knock-ons giving the forwards plenty of scrummaging practice.  UMBC would eventually get into the groove and score 4 tries, giving them a 26-0 victory to start the day.

After a short break, UMBC took the pitch against Susquehanna.  Both teams were in good spirits and had a great time playing.  UMBC finally worked out its offensive ball-handling mistakes to lead effective back plays which pressured the Susquehanna defense constantly.  Good crash balls and rucking proved to be too much for Susquehanna's pack, who couldn't keep up with the well-conditioned UMBC forwards.  With several good runs from forwards inserting into the back line, UMBC would go on to score another 4 tries, and get their second win 24-0.

UMBC's final match of the first day was against Ursinus, who came out and immediately put the pressure on the UMBC defense.  However, UMBC held firm and kept the ball out of the try zone during several close calls against the monstrous Ursinus forwards on pick-and-go's.  Good kicking and offensive plays from the backline relieved the pressure but the game was scoreless at halftime.  After more back-and-forth action, UMBC finally got a scoring opportunity off of a penalty and capitalized to go up 3-0.  For the last 2 minutes of the game, UMBC forwards kept ball-in-hand with a series of crashes which left the pack exhausted, but ultimately victorious.  UMBC ended the day 3-0 and were not scored on.

Getting up even earlier on Sunday was more brutal than imagined.  However, UMBC was focused on finishing what they started and getting their championship trophy.  At 8:00 am they kicked off vs Susquehanna in a rematch where both teams had something to prove.  A much tougher, smarter, and more disciplined Susquehanna team held well defensively and made powerful offensive runs.  UMBC struck first when a ball popped out of a ruck, and the hooker grabbed the ball on the go and ran 20 meters down the sideline to score.  A beautiful angled point-after would put up UMBC 7-0.  Susquehanna answered after halftime, with a run off a penalty to tie the game at 7-7.  Despite both teams' best efforts, neither could get the ball over the posts or in the try zone until the final whistle, ending the game in a 7-7 tie.

This meant that in order to become champions, UMBC had to win their final game vs Neumann.  Hurting for numbers, UMBC asked several new players to step up, and they did very well.  Experienced with several games under their belt, Neumann had several offensive attacks where they were poised to score.  However, UMBC's defense held their ground with poaches and counter-rucks.  Excellent counter-attacking and good support runners gave a total of 5 tries for UMBC.  With a 29-0 win, UMBC finished the tournament 4-0-1.  Afterwards, UMBC took a photo with Neumann to commemorate the club's first opponent on the pitch.  There were plenty of laughs and congratulations all around in true rugby fashion.

UMBC's 4-0-1 record (13 points) barely edged out Ursinus's 4-1-0 (12 points) to give UMBC its second consecutive Frostbite Tournament Championship.  In the trophy presentation, tournament director Tom Hallowell spoke about the club, saying,"You boys are a blast [to play with]... and represent the best in sportsmanship."

UMBC would like to thank its players who woke up early and came out the the games, especially the new players who had never even seen a game of rugby before.  We hope the tournament shows what rugby is all about - dedication, sportsmanship, and love for the game.  And maybe being a bit crazy too.

Plenty of recovery and practice is in order after the win, to prepare for the first home game of the season this Saturday.

Frostbite Tournament and a New Look!

url-1 As you may have noticed, umbc-rugby.com just got a makeover and it looks better than ever!  Many thanks to our Webmaster for designing and executing the new look!  We sincerely apologize for the lapse of updates and information during the transition period, but we will return to regularly scheduled posting immediately.  Please click around and check out the new look and features of the site!

In the meantime, UMBuC Rugby has been practicing for its first tournament of the season, Frostbite!  As defending D2 Men's Champs, we will have to win another trophy and secure our title against a new batch of challengers.  Hard practices in frozen mud and bitter cold wind have conditioned the team to the bone chilling temperatures of PA.  UMBC is looking stronger and more confident than ever with new players stepping up to fill in the holes left by recent graduates.  New guys will have a lot to prove and plenty of opportunities to prove it this weekend.  Our schedule is as follows...

Saturday 2/23

  • 8:30am - Farifax CC

  • 10:00am - Susquehanna

  • 11:30am - Lafayette


Sunday 2/24

  •  8:00am - Ursinus

  • 10:30am - Neumann


We will have to arrive at Frostbite bright and early for a morning of hard hitting rugby.  Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter, as well as the website, for game results and summaries.  Go UMBuC!

 

Fundraiser and Spring Updates!

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Tomorrow is one of the last Varsity Basketball fundraisers, and it's a big one!  A double-header starting at 1:00pm in the RAC is a great opportunity to get your fundraising dues in for this semester!  Come out and cheer for UMBC and have a great time with the team heckling the opponents' inferior skills and ugly faces.


If you haven't checked out our Spring Schedule yet, click the "Schedule" tab and see our big plans for this semester!   3 tournaments, plenty of scrimmages,  an awesome trip to Florida and some community service will keep us busy on Saturdays.  We appreciate all our fans who come to support us during our events, and can't wait to see you all this semester!

Special thanks to our sponsor, SAP NS2!  We have an excellent new look we plan to show off this semester, one with your name on it!  We're very excited and proud to have your logo on our jerseys so the other teams can appreciate it as we run past them and into the try zone!


Gonna be a great semester for UMBuC Rugby, especially for our Seniors who will be leaving us at the end of the semester.  Let's put in the work this semester and make it one to remember!

Spring Practices Begin TOMORROW!

2 Rain, wind, or sunshine, UMBC will begin practicing tomorrow at 4pm on Walker Field.  All returning players are expected to be in attendance and any new players are welcome to come to the regularly scheduled practices 4-6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Returning players will be tested on their fitness and strength from their off-season workouts.  If there was no improvement from the end-of-season workouts from November, the player will not start in our first scrimmage until they return to in-season shape.

The official spring schedule will be released when it is finalized.  UMBC looks forward to competing in several tournaments and scrimmages to prepare current and future A-side players for the Fall 2013 season.  We aim to further add to our trophy collection; 2 were added last spring from Frostbite and Rocky Gorge tournaments and we hope to improve upon that number this spring.

More updates to come soon!

UMBC’s Season Concludes

577379_10151044371890826_597333158_n The Fall 2012 season for UMBC ended Saturday with a tough loss to #1 Salisbury.  UMBC came out hitting hard and playing fast, but Salisbury capitalized on UMBC ball-handling mistakes early to go up by two tries.  Fatback Cordell Drummond, on his last game for UMBC, stiff-armed away tacklers and punched the ball into the corner of the try zone to keep the score within one try at 10-5.  However, soon Salisbury's quick and rehearsed play proved to be too much for UMBC's outside defense, and Salisbury went up big by halftime.  UMBC came back in the second half and kept the ball moving and the hits coming, no matter what the score was.  Shifty flyhalf Neil Watson dove under a Salisbury defender to get UMBC its second try.  As the final whistle blew, UMBC was disappointed by the loss but proud of how they played.  The final score of the game was 43-10, Salisbury over UMBC.

Here is the link to a video done by a team mom with UMBC's two tries:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VlhPXVr2PA

Salisbury would go on Sunday to defeat #2 Towson 27-0 as Men's Division 2 College Champs of the PRU.  UMBC feels good that they played a nationally ranked team so well, though a win would have felt much better.  Still, there are many positives to take away from the game and the season as a whole.  UMBC played disciplined rugby, and was penalized very infrequently in this game and all of its other games.  Strong, clean hits earned opponents' respect in forwards play and in the backline.  UMBC's tackling was stout defensively and on the flip side, strong runners often took multiple tacklers to be brought down.  UMBC knows exactly what it needs to improve on for the spring season and will be working diligently over the winter break to come out for a strong showing spring 2013.

UMBC would like to thank its dedicated coach, Vince Michalski, who sacrificed a lot to make it to practices and games.  His excellent coaching and organizational skills brought UMBC to #4 in the league.  His work, as well as the work of assistant coach Chris Powell, helped develop the rugby skill and knowledge of UMBC over the course of the season and it is apparent from the gameplay how far the team has come.  UMBC would also like to thank its amazing fanbase, including alumni, students, friends, and family of players who were there for the team on Saturdays.  UMBC would like to thank its sponsor, SAP NS2, for its first semester of supporting the program.  Last, but certainly not least, UMBC would like to thank the seniors who played their last game with the team on Saturday.  Your efforts have helped develop new and experienced players alike, and you led the team through example the whole season.  The program only moves forward from where you leave it, thanks to your dedication and hard work.

The fall season is over but UMBC Rugby is still active with practices, workouts, tournaments, and campus involvement.  Keep up with the team by following us on Twitter, @UMBCMensRugby, and liking our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/UMBC-MENS-RUGBY/147954260825?fref=ts

UMBC vs. Salisbury – Semifinal Playoff Match

url #4 UMBC (4-3) will be taking on #1 Salisbury (7-0) this Saturday, November 10th.  A great game of rugby is expected as both teams fight for a place in the final match of the Fall 2012 Division II season.  Salisbury has already topped UMBC once earlier in the year, but it is a whole new game now.  The stakes are higher and both teams have improved tremendously from the first week of the season.  They will be meeting on a neutral pitch in Columbia, MD, at 3pm.  UMBC is hungry for a victory and wants to make this year one of its best playoff showings in its 28 year history.

The winner of the UMBC v Salisbury game will go on to play the victor of #2 Towson (6-1) and #3 Georgetown (5-2), being played at 1pm on Saturday. UMBC is expecting a strong showing from its fans and alumni, who are sure to create a great rugby atmosphere.  Any fan of rugby is sure to enjoy the intense game and high level of play.  If you are interested in coming to the game, the game will be at:

East Columbia Branch Library Fields - 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045

We hope to see you there!

UMBC Advances with 29-12 Win

msm playoffs brady Back to practice on Monday, because UMBC won its quarterfinal (re)match vs. Mt. St. Mary's on Saturday!  The bone-chilling temperature and gusts of freezing winds made every hit even more brutal in the most intense game UMBC has played all year.  Mt. St. Mary's came out with a fire inside them burning for a win, but those flames were quickly doused by the confident, powerful play from UMBC.

The game began with several penalties against Mt. St. Mary's as UMBC marched its way downfield, constantly pushing back the defensive line.   After kick for points that bounced off the right side upright, UMBC recovered the ball and swung it wide to 8man Michael Peuse who shook off a defender for a try in the corner.  UMBC brilliantly defended their try line on the following kickoff from a strong offensive from Mt. St. Mary's as fullback Richie Campbell made several  booming kicks against the high winds to give UMBC excellent field position.  Crushing hits from prop Sean Brady and powerful runs from incenter Cordell Drummond shook the Mt. St. Mary's defense until tighthead prop Erik Anderson dove into the try zone after a series of forward crashes.

Two of the most impressive plays of the day came from 8man Michael Peuse and incenter Cordell Drummond.  On a UMBC lineout, Mt. St. Mary's intercepted the ball intended for Peuse.  But while still in midair, Peuse grabbed the ball out of the opposing jumper's hands.  The Mt. St. Mary's team, thinking they won the ball, were left oblivious as Peuse sprinted through their confused defensive line.  Peuse shrugged off two arm tackles and dotted the ball down in the try zone for another UMBC score.  The ensuing kickoff, incenter Cordell Drummond got the ball and bursted through the Mt. St. Mary's defensive line for an 80 meter try complete with stiff-arming the opposing fullback to the ground.  These plays put UMBC up 22-0 at halftime.

Down by 4 tries, Mt. St. Mary's came out in second half  willing to do anything for a win.  There had been "extracurricular activity" by both sides in the first half, as high intensity leads to aggressive play.  But in the second half, the Mt. St. Mary's hooker earned a yellow card for diving at UMBC player's feet and not wrapping in the tackle.  UMBC took advantage of this and had several forwards crash balls, and immediately swung the ball to the backs where flyhalf Neil Watson shiftily sprinted through three defenders to give UMBC another try.  The Mt. St. Mary's hooker was allowed back into play but quickly repeated the same infringement for a red card.

As the clock ticked down, Mt. St. Mary's took advantage of two sloppy ball-handling mistakes from UMBC to prevent a shutout, but they did not have enough time to mount a comeback. As the final whistle blew the UMBC sideline erupted in cheering as UMBC had now beaten the team which, this time last year, knocked them out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals.  The final score was 29-12 UMBC over Mt. St. Mary's.  UMBC now eagerly awaits information on the next round of playoff matches.

Rematch vs. Mt. St. Mary’s

Beef Killer B's This is the culmination of all our hard work - Playoffs.

After suffering a tough loss to Georgetown 34-22, UMBC has earned a spot in the PRU Men's Division II Playoffs, with home-field advantage.  Placing 4th in the A-Tier, UMBC will have a rematch vs. Mt. St. Mary's, who is 5th in the A-Tier.  Last year, UMBC had the same matchup for the quarterfinals, but did not have home-field advantage.  Mt. St. Mary's was able to defeat UMBC, but it will be a much different story this year.

UMBC has already defeated Mt. St. Mary's this year, in a muddy and sloppy brawl.  Conditions look to be no better this time around - the pitch is currently flooded with rain from Hurricane Sandy, or the "Frankenstorm" as it has been dubbed.  UMBC continues to practice hard in these poor conditions in preparation for its playoff match, which will certainly be a close battle.

UMBC hopes for a strong showing of fans and supporters on Saturday at 1pm, a great game of rugby is sure to be enjoyed by all.