- Ithaca College Bombers rugby team played Alfred University in the first round of playoffs on October 28.
- The Bombers had already lost to them once, and needed this win to continue their season.
- The Bombers went into the game defending their title as the Western Conference Champions.
After a long week of hard work, the Ithaca College men’s rugby team, the Bombers, faced Alfred University on Saturday, October 28th. Eighty minutes later, the Bombers lost to Alfred with a score of 39 to 15.
A Week Before the Game
This wasn’t the first time Bombers rugby had faced Alfred University this season. Ithaca also lost to Alfred a few weeks prior, and the Bombers were determined to defend their title as Western Conference Champions the second time around.
Mark Hasset, vice president of the club, said this game was the make it or break it game for the men’s team.
“This is the culmination of everything we have been working on since pre-season. If we win, we go on but if we lose it’s all over,” Hasset said.
After having an otherwise undefeated season, with five wins and only one loss, the men’s team was not ready for their season to be over. The game against Alfred would determine if they continued into November for the national championship game.
The men’s team practiced with intensity and determination in order to have the upper hand on Alfred. One of the captains for the team, Drew Mele, said defense was their main focus the week before facing Alfred.
“We are preparing to play in our first round of play offs against Alfred University. This week, we are trying to come out into practice with a lot more intensity and pace. Defense is the stress this week,” Mele said.
During the Game
After leaving Ithaca College at 9:30 a.m. in order to make it to Alfred University with time to warm up before kick-off at 1 p.m., the men’s rugby team was ready to go. As per usual, they had someone live tweeting the game.
The first try scored on the pitch was made by senior Keon Broadnax, the inside center and president of the Bombers team. Seniors Devin Nunez and Kevin Zeosky scored the next two tries. In total the Bombers scored 15 points.
Despite the Bombers setting the precedent of the match with the first try, Alfred managed to face them head on. After the Bombers scored, Alfred scored and made the conversion kick, putting them ahead by two points. They scored twice more before Nunez was able to punch in his try, putting the score at 22-10.
After 80 minutes of good rugby from both of the mens’ teams, Alfred walked away as the Western Conference Champions, scoring a total of 39 points.
Broadnax said the main issue during the game was the lack of advantages the Bombers thrive off of.
“They were bigger, but our biggest advantages, like penalties, scrums, and kick offs, just weren’t there for us,” Broadnax said.
However, after winning over half the games in the regular season and making it to the first round of playoffs, Broadnax isn’t too upset with the season overall.
“The season overall was an experiment. We tried a new offense, which was difficult, but we had each other’s backs on the pitch win or lose,” Broadnax said.
*Image credit from games in video to Annemarie Farrell